Life-span studies are designed to explore human development from infancy to old age, showing how successive stages build on prior experiences and circumstances and how the full range of experiences—ranging from the within the individuals to their family and their emotional, intellectual, and economic resources and extending even to national and international events—all interact to influence individual outcomes over time. Psychological studies of the life span have relied heavily on cross-sectional data because following the same individuals in real time requires many years and multiple investigators. Theory has concentrated on the interface between biology and culture across the life span. For example, the Seattle Study and the Berlin Aging Study both rely on cross-sectional findings to illustrate important trajectories of change in function over the ...

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