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Relationships In Old Age / Edition 1

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Overview

This book emphasizes a set of factors often ignored in the literature--personality characteristics and ways of relating that can enable the older adult to become an active agent in shaping his or her own life. Reviewing recent research and theory, the authors focus on relationships important to life enhancement in later years--from friendship, family, and co-residents in shared housing to care givers, health-care providers, and social agency personnel-and illustrate how an older individual's relational competence can make a critical difference in initiating and maintaining these relationships.

This book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Bruce Rybarczyk, PhD (Rush Medical College of Rush University)
Description: The book covers four main areas: the general literature on stress and coping in the elderly, with an emphasis on social functioning; the authors' developmental model of the interpersonal situations encountered by older adults as they become more dependent; the theory and measurement of relational competence, a construct developed by the authors; and the application of relational competence to the elderly.
Purpose: The relational competence model has much heuristic value, particularly in the area of preventive and community interventions. Despite the general title of the book, however, the primary emphasis is on authors' theory as it applies to dependent elders (i.e., the "old-old" and otherwise frail elderly).
Audience: The book is intended for advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, researchers, and practitioners in the various health fields. The first half of the book serves as an overview of the background literature and, therefore, is written to the level of students. In addition, the intervention chapters do not describe any clinical cases or specific therapeutic techniques that would be appealing to clinicians.
Features: The authors both have impressive research credentials in the areas covered in the book. I found the tables presented in chapters 5 and 6 to be an excellent integration of the research on sequential stages of social adjustment of the elderly. The references are very up-to-date, particularly in the area of caregiver issues and social support.
Assessment: As a gero-psychologist and graduate school instructor, I found the ideas presented in the book both stimulating and important. I hope the authors' theory becomes more widely known and gets studied further. However, the book is not quite comprehensive or in-depth enough to serve as a reference book or text for a class on aging. It would, nonetheless, make a nice contribution to libraries serving gerontology students and professionals.
Bruce Rybarczyk
The book covers four main areas: the general literature on stress and coping in the elderly, with an emphasis on social functioning; the authors' developmental model of the interpersonal situations encountered by older adults as they become more dependent; the theory and measurement of relational competence, a construct developed by the authors; and the application of relational competence to the elderly. The relational competence model has much heuristic value, particularly in the area of preventive and community interventions. Despite the general title of the book, however, the primary emphasis is on authors' theory as it applies to dependent elders (i.e., the "old-old" and otherwise frail elderly). The book is intended for advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, researchers, and practitioners in the various health fields. The first half of the book serves as an overview of the background literature and, therefore, is written to the level of students. In addition, the intervention chapters do not describe any clinical cases or specific therapeutic techniques that would be appealing to clinicians. The authors both have impressive research credentials in the areas covered in the book. I found the tables presented in chapters 5 and 6 to be an excellent integration of the research on sequential stages of social adjustment of the elderly. The references are very up-to-date, particularly in the area of caregiver issues and social support. As a gero-psychologist and graduate school instructor, I found the ideas presented in the book both stimulating and important. I hope the authors' theory becomes more widely known and gets studied further. However, the book is not quitecomprehensive or in-depth enough to serve as a reference book or text for a class on aging. It would, nonetheless, make a nice contribution to libraries serving gerontology students and professionals.
Booknews
The authors (both psychology, U. of Tulsa) review recent research and theory to emphasize a set of factors often ignored in the literature on aging: personality characteristics and ways of relating that enable older adults to become active in shaping their lives, specifically, in creating and maintaining vital relationships with friends, family, co- residents, care-givers, health care professionals and social service agencies. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780898621983
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/1/1994
  • Series: Personal Relationships Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 180
  • Product dimensions: 0.56 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert O. Hansson, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology and Director of Graduate Programs in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at the University of Tulsa. His research interests focus on aging, families, and on older adults coping with loss and with stressful life transitions. He is currently conducting studies of the impact of bereavement on the family, and on successful aging in the workplace.

Bruce N. Carpenter, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of Clinical Training for clinical psychology programs at the University of Tulsa. He studies the role of relationships in stress and psychopathology, with a special emphasis on how relationships and social skills help us cope. His current research has resulted in the development of several new measures of psychopathology and social functioning.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 The Critical Role of Relationships 1
Ch. 2 Adaptation and Coping in the Aging Context 15
Ch. 3 The Problematic Nature of Supportive Relationships in Old Age 28
Ch. 4 Obstacles to Family Support and Caregiving in Later Years 47
Ch. 5 The Interpersonal Contexts of Old Age 64
Ch. 6 Theory and Measurement of Relational Competence 74
Ch. 7 Research on Relational Competence and Social Functioning 92
Ch. 8 Intervention Strategies 114
Ch. 9 Special Problems of the Elderly: Depression, Housing, Legal Incompetence, and Caregiver Strain 132
Ch. 10 Concluding Thoughts 145
References 149
Author Index 171
Subject Index 178
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