Encyclopedia of Gerontology

Encyclopedia of Gerontology

by James E. Birren
     
 

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The research literature on aging continues to expand rapidly, reflecting both the rising interest of the scientific community and also the needs of a growing older population. In the year 1900, persons over 65 years of age were the smallest portion of developed societies. Today they are emerging as the largest. With that shift in the greying of the population come

Overview

The research literature on aging continues to expand rapidly, reflecting both the rising interest of the scientific community and also the needs of a growing older population. In the year 1900, persons over 65 years of age were the smallest portion of developed societies. Today they are emerging as the largest. With that shift in the greying of the population come changes in behavior, physiology, social infrastructure, etc. The articles in the Encyclopedia touch upon the many and varied aspects of research in gerontology, from the genetics and biology of aging, to issues of daily life: the workplace, family life, retirement, health care, social security and pensions. Aging is a complex process of change involving influences of a biological, behavioral, social, and environmental nature, all of which are explored in the context of this encyclopedia. Readers will find all new articles and wholly new coverage of topics that have seen research advances. Very few articles are unchanged from the First Edition.

The rise in aging related research has increased the amount and diversity of research material available, making the need for integration of information important. The Encyclopedia provides a single entry point for a wealth of information, consolidating and summarizing pertinent findings while providing information for additional readings. Organized alphabetically by article title, the Encyclopedia also provides a comprehensive subject index for better reader access to topics that may go by several different naming conventions. Articles are additionally cross-referenced to each other as relevant to better guide readers to additional relatedinformation.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

With new and updated topics reflecting the dramatic research advancements and growth of interest in issues relating to all areas of gerontology, this second edition contains the most current and comprehensive information available on the subject. Birren (gerontology & psychology, emeritus, Univ. of California), a leading researcher in the field, returns as editor in chief. The 181 signed articles he includes�approximately 40 more than in the 1996 edition�are by noted scholars and researchers and address five broad areas of study: biology, psychology, the social sciences, the health sciences, and the humanities. Each of the articles, which average eight to ten pages in length, includes a glossary, a comprehensive overview of the topic, and suggestions for further reading. The entries are fully cross-referenced and cover myriad issues, e.g., abuse and neglect, bioenergetics, creativity, dementia, driving behavior, globalization, pharmacology, and wisdom. Intended for use by both students and research professionals, this work is nonetheless highly accessible for interested general readers. As an aging baby boomer with elderly parents, this reviewer found the entries to be especially readable, informative, and useful.
—Elizabeth M. Wavle

Booknews
Reflecting major disciplines, common topics of research, and areas of public interest, 139 entries cover five major areas: the biology of aging, the psychology of aging, aging and the social sciences, health sciences, and the humanities and aging. Each article includes an outline, a glossary, cross references, and a bibliography. Topics include abuse and neglect of elders; allergic reactivity in the elderly; consumer behavior; ethics and euthanasia; gastrointestinal function and dysfunction; literary representations of aging; biological and social theories of aging; and work and employment. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780122268618
Publisher:
Elsevier Science & Technology Books
Publication date:
08/28/1996
Pages:
764

Meet the Author

James E. Birren is currently Associate Director of the Center on Aging at the University of California, Los Angeles, and serves as an adjunct professor in medicine, psychiatry, and biobehavioral sciences. He is also professor emeritus of gerontology and psychology at the University of Southern California. Dr. Birren's previous postions include service as Chief of the section on aging of the National Institute of Mental Health, founding Executive Director and Dean of the Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center of USC, founding Director of the Anna and Harry Borun Center for Gerontological Research at UCLA, and President of the Gerontological Society of America, the Western Gerontological Society, and the Division on Adult Development and Aging of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Birren's many awards include the Brookdale Foundation Award for Gerontological Research, the Sandoz prize for Gerontological Research, and the award for outstanding contribution to gerontology by the Canadian Association of Gerontology. Author of over 250 scholarly publications, Dr. Birren has research interests including how speed of behavior changes with age, the causes and consequences of slowed information processing in the older nervous system, the effect of age on decision-making processes, and the role of expertise in skilled occupations. He has served as a delegate to several White House Conferences on Aging and continues to have a strong interest in developing national priorities for research and education related to issues of aging.

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