Status and Role Transformations of the Elderly in Modern Russia


  • Tatyana Mikhailоvna Ryabova
  • Elena Viktorovna Frolova
  • Olga Vladimirovna Rogach
  • Andrey Vladimirovich Kirillov



Pensioner, Seniors, Successful aging, Retirement, Culture of care, the Transformation of the pensioner’s image.


The article reviews the results of an author's study with the aim of exploring the needs and expectations of Russian citizens when they reach retirement age in view of changing status and role positions. The focus is on studying the social and psychological conditions that accompany the aging process, analyzing the reasons for the termination of employment, the evaluation of the life orientations of today's retirees. The study included a survey of 437 people who reached the retirement age and 20 in-depth interviews with pensioners. As a result, the authors confirmed the hypotheses about the dominant influence of the current "culture of caring and helping children" on the target setting in the "third age" that determine the decision to terminate or continue working. A modern pensioner is in a constant choice between work, "caring" and "life for oneself." The hypothesis concerning the concept of successful aging for the Russian pensioner has not found its confirmation in the course of the study. The study identified the following reasons for the termination / continued employment upon reaching retirement age: - health status; - the desire to live for themselves; - a reduction in the organization; - there is no one to sit with their grandchildren, / - the sense of the importance of their professional activities; - have the strength and desire to continue to work and live as before retirement; - the need to help their children and grandchildren; - fear; - the inability to live on a pension. It was found that the pensioner is perceived as an assistant, supporting children in the education of grandchildren. The degree of independence in making a decision to change the social status affects the satisfaction of the pensioner with his new status and life in connection with the termination of employment. In the current socio-economic conditions, the Russians are among Asian model "respect for old age and elderly" and the European model of personal needs and "expectations deferred". Therefore in most cases, modern pensioner in Russia performs the role of the staff in the family or at work.


Baltes, M. M. (1990). Successful aging: Perspectives from the behavioral sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 35–49. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511665684.004

Baltes, P. B. & Baltes, M. M. (1990). Psychological perspectives on successful aging: The model of selective optimization with compensation. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1–34. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511665684.003

Borozdina, L. V. & Spiridonova I.A. (1998). Vozrastnye izmenenija vremennoj transspektivy subekta [Age changes in the subject's transitional subject]. Psychological journal, vol. 2, pp. 40-50.

Burkert, C. & Hochfellner, D. (2016). Employment Trajectories Beyond Retirement. Journal of Aging & Social Policy, vol. 29, no. 3, 143-167. Available at: (accessed 29 September 2017)

Calvo, E.; Haverstick, K. & Steven, A. S. (2009). Gradual Retirement, Sense of Control, and Retirees' Happiness. Research on Aging, 31, 112-135.

Cheung, F.; Wu, A. & M. S. (2013). Social Identification, Perception of Aging, and Successful Aging in the Workplace. Journal of Career Development, vol. 41, no. 3, pp. 218-236.

Depp, C. A. & Jeste D. V. (2006). Definitions and predictors of successful aging: A comprehensive review of larger quantitative studies. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, no. 14, pp. 6–20. doi:10.1097/01.JGP.0000192501.03069.bc

Dixon, J. M. (2004). Working and Saving for Retirement: New Labour’s Reform of Company Pensions. Critical Social Policy, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 270-282.

Feofanov, K. A. & Victor, K. (1994). Starost' v sovremennom obshhestve: Rukovodstvo po social'noj gerontologii [Old age in modern society: A guide to social gerontology]. Social gerontology: Modern research, Moscow: INION RAS.

Frolova, E. V. (2014). Social infrastructure of contemporary Russian municipal bodies: Issues and prospects for modernization. Sotsiologicheskie Issledovaniya, no 12, pp. 51-58.

Frolova, E. V. & Rogach, O. V. (2017). Municipal-private partnership in education: infrastructural aspect. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 145-160. DOI: 10.15838/esc/2017.1.49.8

Glass, T. A. (2003). Assessing the success of successful aging. Annals of Internal Medicine, Т. 139, №. 5, Part 1, pp. 382-383.

Gonzales, E. & Nowell, W. B. (2016). Social Capital and Unretirement Exploring the Bonding, Bridging, and Linking Aspects of Social Relationships. Research on Aging, 39(10), 1100-117.

Hilton, J. M.; Kopera-Frye, K. & Krave, А. (2009). Successful Aging from the Perspective of Family Caregivers. The Family Journal, vol. 17, no 1, pp. 39-50.

Holland, C.; Boukouvalas, A.; Wallis, S.; Clarkesmith, D.; Cooke, R.; Liddell, L. & Kay, A. Transition from community dwelling to retirement village in older adults: cognitive functioning and psychological health outcomes. Ageing & Society, 37(7), 1499-1526. DOI:

James, A. & Bergman, J. D. (2008). The Crisis in Retiree Health Benefits. Journal of Aging & Social Policy, pp. 153-168. Available at: (accessed 29 September 2017)

Ji, H.; Ling, J. & McCarthy, V. L. (2014). Successful Aging in the United States and China. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, vol. 26, no 2, pp. 129-136.

Krasnova, O. V. (2003). Psihologija starenija i starosti [Psychology of Aging and Old Age]. Moscow: Akademiya.

Lewis, J. (2014). The Role of the Social Engagement in the Definition of Successful Ageing among Alaska Native Elders in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Psychology and Developing Societies, vol. 26, no 2, pp. 263-290.

Martin, P.; Kelly, N.; Kahana, B.; Kahana, E.; Bradley, J.; Willcox, M. D.; Willcox, D. C. & Poon, L. W. (2015). Defining Successful Aging: A Tangible or Elusive Concept. Gerontologist, vol. 55, no 1, pp. 14-25. DOI:

Meijering, L. & Lager, D. (2014) Home-making of older Antillean migrants in the Netherlands. Ageing & Society, vol. 34, no 5. DOI:

Moffatt, S. B. (2016). Planning for uncertainty: narratives on retirement transition experiences .Ageing & Society, pp. 1-20. DOI: 28

Noone, J.; O'Loughlin, K. & Kendig, H. (2013). Australian baby boomers retiring ‘early’: Understanding the benefits of retirement preparation for involuntary and voluntary retirees. Journal of Aging Studies, vol. 27, no 3, pp. 207-217.

Ozawa, M. N. & Wai-on, L. S. (2010). Reported Reasons for Retirement: A Study of Recently Retired Workers. Journal of Aging & Social Policy pp. 35-51

Peisah, C. (2015). Successful ageing for psychiatrists. Australasian Psychiatry, vol. 24, no 2, pp. 126-130.

Perras, M. G. M.; Strachan, S. M. & Fortier, M. S. (2015). Possible Selves and Physical Activity in Retirees. The Mediating Role of Identity. Research on Aging, vol. 38, no 8, pp. 819-841. Available at: (accessed 29 September 2017)

Preter, H.; Looy, D. & Mortelmans, D. (2013). Individual and institutional push and pull factors as predictors of retirement timing in Europe: A multilevel analysis. Journal of Aging Studies, vol. 27, no 4, pp. 299-307.

Pruchno R. & Wilson-Genderson M. (2012). Adherence to Clusters of Health Behaviors and Successful Aging. Journal of Aging and Health, vol. 24, no 8, pp. 1279-1297.

Pruchno, R.; Hahn, S. & Wilson-Genderson, M. (2012). Cigarette Smokers, Never-Smokers, and Transitions: Implications for Successful Aging. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, vol. 74, no 3, pp. 193-209.

Rees, J. I.; Leontowitsch, M. & Higgs, P. (2010). The Experience of Retirement in Second Modernity. Generational Habitus among Retired Senior Managers. Sociology, vol. 44, no 1, pp. 103-120.

Robson, S. M.; Hansson, R. O.; Abalos, A. & Booth M. (2006). Successful Aging. Journal of Career Development, vol. 33, no 2, pp. 156-177.

Rowe, J. W. & Kahn, R. L. (1998). Successful Aging. New York: Random Housе.

Siguaw, J. A.; Sheng, X. & Simpson, P. M. (2017). Biopsychosocial and Retirement Factors Influencing Satisfaction with Life: New Perspectives. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, vol. 85, no 4, pp. 332-353. DOI: 10.1177/0091415016685833

Siu-man, N. G.; Leng, L. & Wang, Q. (2017). Active Interest Mentorship for Soon-to-Retire People. A Self-Sustaining Retirement Preparation Program. Journal of Applied Gerontology. DOI: 10.1177/0733464816687448

Stevens-Ratchford, R. G. (2016). Ballroom Dance. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, vol. 83, no 3, pp. 290-308.

Storms, R. (2002). Benefits That Save Retirement. Compensation & Benefits Review, vol. 34, no 1, pp. 33-37.

Van Dalen, H. P. & Henkens, K. (2005). The Double Standard in Attitudes toward Retirement: The Case of the Netherlands. Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance: Issues and Practice, pp. 693–710.

Zanjari, N.; Sani, M. S.; Chavoshi, M. H.; Rafiey, H. & Shahboulaghi, F. M. (2016). Perceptions of Successful Ageing among Iranian Elders. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, vol. 83, no 4, pp. 381-401.




How to Cite

Ryabova, T. M., Frolova, E. V., Rogach, O. V., & Kirillov, A. V. (2018). Status and Role Transformations of the Elderly in Modern Russia. Journal of History Culture and Art Research, 7(1), 132-141.