At a time when many people around the world are living into their 10th decade, the longest longitudinal study of human development ever undertaken offers some welcome news for the new old age: Our lives continue to evolve in our later years and often become more fulfilling than before.
Begun in 1938, the Grant Study of Adult Development charted the physical and emotional health of over 200 men, starting with their undergraduate days. The now-classic Adaptation to Life reported on the men's lives up to age 55 and helped us understand adult maturation. Now George Vaillant follows the men into their 90s, documenting for the first time what it is like to flourish far beyond conventional retirement.
Reporting on all aspects of male life - including relationships, politics and religion, coping strategies, and alcohol use - Triumphs of Experience shares a number of surprising findings. For example, the people who do well in old age did not necessarily do so well in midlife and vice versa. While the study confirms that recovery from a lousy childhood is possible, memories of a happy childhood are a lifelong source of strength. Marriages bring much more contentment after age 70, and physical aging after 80 is determined less by heredity than by habits formed prior to age 50. The credit for growing old with grace and vitality, it seems, goes more to ourselves than to our stellar genetic makeup.
What did you love best about Triumphs of Experience?
I am a practicing epidemiologist, so I really enjoyed this book, written from the perspective of another epidemiologist. I've listened to this book at least three times. Dr. Vaillant does an excellent job of using case histories to illustrate findings from the all of the data collected...
Super Interesting but data tables are tough to follow in an audiobook. I kept finding myself wanting to digest the tables in print rather than listening to someone tell me what they say.
This book has inspired me to seek the opportunity of participating in, or preferably beginning my own prospective longitudinal study. Adding to my inspiration, Triumphs of Experience teaches about life through beautifully articulated and statistically significant stories throughout. I truly enjoyed this book.
Where does Triumphs of Experience rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
If you want to learn what honestly is the cause behind your actions this is the book. This is a marvelous study the audio book is worth much more than the asking price
What did you like best about this story?
This is a study not a story but the story of each person's life as studied will change you.