The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study

( 17 )

Overview

"An extraordinary eighty-year study has led to some unexpected discoveries about long life."
-O, The Oprah Magazine

For years we have been told to obsessively monitor when we're angry, what we eat, how much we worry, and how often we go to the gym. So why isn't everyone healthy? Drawing from the most extensive study of long life ever ...

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The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study

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Overview

"An extraordinary eighty-year study has led to some unexpected discoveries about long life."
-O, The Oprah Magazine

For years we have been told to obsessively monitor when we're angry, what we eat, how much we worry, and how often we go to the gym. So why isn't everyone healthy? Drawing from the most extensive study of long life ever conducted, The Longevity Project busts many long- held myths, revealing how:

  • Many of those who worked the hardest actually lived the longest
  • Getting married is not a magic ticket to good health
  • It's not the happy-go-lucky who thrive-it's the prudent and persistent

    With self-tests that illuminate your own best paths to longer life, this book changes the conversation about what it really takes to achieve a long, healthy life.

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Editorial Reviews

-The Wall Street Journal

"Provocative. An absorbing and invaluable read."
-Katherine Bouton

"I recommend you read the book."
-Andrew Weil

"A remarkable achievement with surprising conclusions."
Katherine Bouton
The Longevity Project is written for the general reader…But the book is also amply footnoted with scholarly citations that others may want to follow up. It's far more nuanced in its discussion than any short summary could be.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
In this illuminating addition to the burgeoning bookshelf on longevity, UC-Riverside health researchers Friedman and Martin draw on an eight-decade-long Stanford University study of 1,500 people to find surprising lessons about who lives a long, healthy life and why. The authors learned, for example, that people don't die simply from working long hours or from stress, that marriage is no golden ticket to old age, and the happy-all-the-time types may peter out before the serious plodders. If there's a secret to old age, the authors find, it's living conscientiously and bringing forethought, planning, and perseverance to one's professional and personal life. Individual life stories show how different people find the right balance in different ways, depending on their personalities and social situations. Lively despite the huge volume of material from 80 years of study, and packed with eye-opening self-assessment tests, this book says there's no magic pill, but does offer a generous dose of hope: even if life deals you a less than perfect hand, you're not doomed to an early demise if you live with purpose and make connections with the people around you. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Analyzing the data from the Terman study and following up on the 1500 participants, Friedman (psychology, Univ. of California, Riverside) and Martin (psychology, La Sierra Univ.) investigate why some people live until old age while others die or become ill prematurely. Unlike most studies, this work looks at key psychological factors, habits, and patterns that affect health and longevity over time. Some of the authors' conclusions about achieving longevity are surprising. Factors such as the study participants' sociability, conscientiousness, happiness, and religious involvement were analyzed to show which patterns lead over time to an increased life span. The authors have provided a well-written and easy-to-follow analysis of this interesting study. Readers will enjoy the self-assessment quizzes that allow them to see where they fit into the profile. A list of research collaborators and references is also provided. VERDICT Recommended for most public libraries and readers interested in consumer health issues.—Dana Ladd, Community Health Education Ctr., Virginia Commonwealth Univ. Libs. & Virginia Commonwealth Univ. Health Syst., Richmond
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452297708
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/28/2012
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 270,358
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Howard Friedman is Distinguished Professor at the University of California in Riverside. He is the recipient of two major career awards for his health psychology research. In 1999, he received the Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology Award from the American Psychological Association; and in 2008, he was honored with the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award from the Association for Psychological Science (APS), an international award and the most prestigious in his field of applied research.

Dr. Leslie Martin is Professor of Psychology at La Sierra University, and Research Psychologist at UC Riverside. She graduated summa cum laude from the California State University and received her Ph.D. from the University of California in Riverside. She has received the Distinguished Researcher Award, and the Anderson Award for Excellence in Teaching, both at La Sierra University. Former department chair, Dr. Martin has also received awards for outstanding advising and for service learning. In addition to her research on pathways to health and longevity, she studies physician-patient communication and its relationship to medical outcomes and has lectured widely on these topics.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Breakthrough Studies of a Lifetime ix

Chapter 1 Personality and Long Life: Who Stays Well? 1

Chapter 2 Long Live the Prudent and Persistent 9

Chapter 3 Friendly and Convivial: Healthy or Trivial? 23

Chapter 4 Happiness and Health? A Cheery Conundrum 33

Chapter 5 Catastrophic Thinking: The Fates of Chicken Littles 49

Chapter 6 Childhood and School Days: Head Start, Early Finish 67

Chapter 7 Parental Divorce: Some Were Resilient 79

Chapter 8 Running for Their Lives: Jocks vs. Nerds 93

Chapter 9 To Sickness or to Health? Love, Marriage, and Divorce 111

Chapter 10 Careers, Success, and Satisfaction: Thriving and Surviving 129

Chapter 11 Long Life Meets the Afterlife: Religion and Health 149

Chapter 12 Confidants, Networks, and the Power of Social Life 159

Chapter 13 The Gender Gap in Long Life 169

Chapter 14 The Toll of War and Trauma: Why Some Thrive 185

Chapter 15 Individual Paths to Health and Long Life (and Why WeWon't Take Polypills) 201

Epilogue: Long Life and Public Health: Looking Ahead to What Society Should Do 217

Acknowledgments 223

Research Collaborators 225

Notes 229

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 17 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2013

    Fascinating book.. 100 year study of how people born in San Fran

    Fascinating book.. 100 year study of how people born in San Francisco lived their lives throughout USA. It was good, very well researched, well written, good book. Highly recommend.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2012

    Enlightening

    Excellent book. The review of the findings from the study group were very interesting and identfied that many of our health care beliefs are not based on facts. Required reading for health care educators.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2013

    Awesome!

    I generally enjoy reading books on longevity, I was really suprised by some of the information givin. I will difinitely try to find more social groups to be involved in. It was a gread and simple read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Not sound science

    The amount of speculation without clear indication, along with the excessive unrelated fluff in this book, leads me to believe that either (a) neither of the authors intended to write a book about scientifically determined facts (b) neither of the authors understands the difference between science and personal opinion. Either way, if you are looking for a book containing objective facts, this isn't it.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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