Overview

The field of gerontology has often been criticized for being "data-rich but theory-poor." The editors of this book address this issue by stressing the importance of theory in gerontology. While the previous edition focused on multidisciplinary approaches to aging theory, this new edition provides cross-disciplinary, integrative explanations of aging theory: The contributors of this text have reached beyond ...

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Handbook of Theories of Aging, Second Edition

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Overview

The field of gerontology has often been criticized for being "data-rich but theory-poor." The editors of this book address this issue by stressing the importance of theory in gerontology. While the previous edition focused on multidisciplinary approaches to aging theory, this new edition provides cross-disciplinary, integrative explanations of aging theory: The contributors of this text have reached beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries to partner with researchers in adjacent fields in studying aging and age-related phenomena.

This edition of the Handbook consists of 39 chapters written by 67 internationally recognized experts in the field of aging. It is organized in seven sections, reflecting the major theoretical developments in gerontology over the past 10 years.


Special Features:


  • Comprehensive coverage of aging theory, focusing on the biological, psychological, and social aspects of aging

  • A section dedicated to discussing how aging theory informs public policy

  • A concluding chapter summarizing the major themes of aging, and offering predictions about the future of theory development

Required reading for graduate students and post doctoral fellows, this textbook represents the current status of theoretical development in the study of aging.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

David O. Staats
This is a multiauthored review of theories of aging that also functions as a Festschrift for Dr. James Birren. The purpose is to advance the development and applications of theories of aging. The audience is the next generation of researchers in gerontology: graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior investigators. Each chapter is well organized and has extremely well-cited references. Nowhere in medicine is the theory so disjunct from its application as in geriatrics. This book is a wonderful riposte to this statement and serves as a digestive -- the contributors explain why theories are important in general, and especially so in gerontology. They then proceed to organize and reveal the vast panoply of theories in gerontology. The comprehensiveness and scholarly treatment make this a fitting tribute to Dr. Birren and a monograph young gerontological researchers will do well to consult.
Booknews
Not about aging itself, which is no longer just theoretical to many people, but theories about why and how are presented from perspectives that include biomedicine, psychology, biology, and the social sciences. Intended as a successor to Birren and Bengtsan's , the survey is addressed to the upcoming generation of gerontologists, policy makers, academics, and psychologists and so assumes no specialized knowledge of any field. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From The Critics
Reviewer: David O. Staats, MD(University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center)
Description: This is a multiauthored review of theories of aging that also functions as a Festschrift for Dr. James Birren.
Purpose: The purpose is to advance the development and applications of theories of aging.
Audience: The audience is the next generation of researchers in gerontology: graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior investigators.
Features: Each chapter is well organized and has extremely well-cited references.
Assessment: Nowhere in medicine is the theory so disjunct from its application as in geriatrics. This book is a wonderful riposte to this statement and serves as a digestive — the contributors explain why theories are important in general, and especially so in gerontology. They then proceed to organize and reveal the vast panoply of theories in gerontology. The comprehensiveness and scholarly treatment make this a fitting tribute to Dr. Birren and a monograph young gerontological researchers will do well to consult.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826162526
  • Publisher: Springer Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/27/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 2
  • Sales rank: 1,125,561
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author

Merril Silverstein, PhD is a professor in the Davis School of Gerontology and the Department of Sociology at the University of Southern California. He holds a doctorate degree in sociology from Columbia University. He was previously research assistant professor at Brown University and before that an NIA post-doctoral scholar in aging research at USC. He has authored over 100 published works, including two edited volumes: Intergenerational Relations Across Time and Place (Springer Publishing) and From Generation to Generation: Continuity and Discontinuity in Aging Families (Johns Hopkins University Press). He is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, the Brookdale National Fellowship Program, and the Fulbright International Senior Scholars Program.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Contributors
Sect. I Bases of Theory-Building in Aging
1 Are Theories of Aging Important? Models and Explanations in Gerontology at the Turn of the Century 3
2 Historical Development of Theories of Aging 21
3 Elements of a Narrative Gerontology 40
4 On Reestablishing the Phenomenon and Specifying Ignorance: Theory Development and Research Design in Aging 59
Sect. II Biological and Biomedical Concepts and Theories of Aging
5 Stress Theories of Aging 81
6 Biological Theories of Senescence 98
7 Theories of Neuropsychology and Aging 113
8 The Role of Aging Processes in Aging-Dependent Diseases 133
Sect. III Psychological Concepts and Theories of Aging
9 Multilevel and Systemic Analyses of Old Age: Theoretical and Empirical Evidence for a Fourth Age 153
10 Theories of Everyday Competence and Aging 174
11 Theories of Cognition 196
12 Social-Psychological Theories and Their Applications to Aging: From Individual to Collective 209
13 The Self-Concept in Life Span and Aging Research 227
14 Emotions in Adulthood 253
Sect. IV Social Science Concepts and Theories of Aging
15 Anthropological Theories of Age and Aging 271
16 Constructionist Perspectives on Aging 287
17 Paths of the Life Course: A Typology 306
18 The Aging and Society Paradigm 327
19 The Political Economy Perspective in Aging 344
Sect. V Applications and Potentials for Theories of Aging
20 Public Policy and Theories of Aging: Constructing and Reconstructing Old Age 361
21 Applying Theories of Aging to Gerontological Practice Through Teaching and Research 379
22 A Good Old Age: Paradox or Possibility 396
23 On the Dynamics of Development and Aging 417
24 Analyzing Social Theories of Aging 434
Afterword
25 Theories of Aging: A Personal Perspective 459
Dedication 473
Author Index 481
Subject Index 499
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