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From The CriticsReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book describes and updates the Seattle Longitudinal Study, a study of adult intelligence which first began in 1956. It also discusses how other variables such as environmental, health, and familial influences affect intelligence across the adult lifespan.
Purpose: According to the author, "the purpose of this volume is to update my monograph "Intellectual Development in Adulthood: The Seattle Longitudinal Study" (Schaie, 1996b), which was written to present in one place the program of studies conducted by me, my associates, and my students that has come to be known as the Seattle Longitudinal Study (SLS). I want to make clear from the onset that this volume is not simply an update, but has the major purpose of showing more explicitly how environmental, health-related, and familial influences affect intellectual development across adulthood." (p. 3).
Audience: The book is intended for researchers and students in developmental, cognitive, and social psychology. The author is the Evan Pugh Professor of Human Development and Psychology at Pennsylvania State University. He has authored more than 250 articles and chapters on the psychology of aging and 42 books. He has an impressive resume, including this incredible research project which has continued for 49 years.
Features: The book describes the Seattle Longitudinal Study in depth. It consists of seven waves, along with follow-up of all previous subjects who could be contacted. Throughout the study, five major questions have been the focus, including: 1. Does intelligence change uniformly through adulthood, or are there different life course ability patterns? 2. At what age is there a reliably detectable decrement in ability, and what is its magnitude? 3. What are the patterns of generational differences, and what is their magnitude? 4. What accounts for individual differences in age-related change in adulthood? 5. Can intellectual decline with increasing age be reversed by educational intervention? The book is full of research and statistical information.
Assessment: There are probably no books that can compare with this one in the field of adult intelligence. The Seattle Longitudinal Study has been going on for 49 years under the direction of the principal researcher, Dr. Schaie. Everything you wanted to know about intellectual development and changes in adulthood is here. It is fascinating reading and is full of statistical analysis. This book is comprehensive and readers will not be disappointed.