Social Gerontology: A Multidisciplinary Perspective / Edition 3

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Aging is a fact of life. We see our parents and grandparents go through it. We even see ourselves go through it. As we get older, we enter a distinct stage of life, complete with its own biological issues and psychological and social ones too. Yet most books on social aging ignore the psychological and biological aspects of aging that make the social issues so important. This book provides a complete look at aging so that we can better understand the older stage of life for both ourselves and those around us. This book presents a multidisciplinary perspective on social aging. It takes the approach of the older person in context, and how age-related changes in the biological, functional, and psychological domains can influence the older person's interactions with his/her social and physical environment. Unique features include an original approach, a multidisciplinary perspective, a framework based on research findings, and attention to differences by age, gender, ethnic minority status, sexual orientation, and socio-economic class. Social workers, psychologists, gerontology professionals, and professors.
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Editorial Reviews

Presents the diversity of the aging experience and the older population in an interdisciplinary manner. Reviews major demographic, historical, and cross-cultural changes and their implications for the field of social gerontology, then looks at biological, physiological, and psychological changes of aging, and social theories. A final section examines the larger context of social and health policies. Includes b&w photos and chapter summaries. This edition reflects new research in the field, and expands material on women and minorities. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205141340
  • Publisher: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/1992
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 1050

Table of Contents

Each chapter concludes with “Glossary,” “Resources,” “References,” and “Summary and Implications.”



1. The Growth of Social Gerontology.
Toward Understanding Aging.
The Field of Gerontology.
Social Gerontology.
What Is Aging?
The Older Population Is Diverse.
A Person-Environment Perspective on Social Gerontology.
Organization of the Text.
Why Study Aging?
Growth of the Older Population.
The Oldest-Old.
Dependency Ratios.
Population Trends.
Worldwide Trends.
Impact of Demographic Trends in the United States.
Longevity in Health or Disease?
How Aging and Older Adults Are Studied.
Formal Development of the Field.
Research Methods.

2. Historical and Cross-Cultural Issues in Aging.
Old Age Historically.
The Effects of Modernization.
A Cross-Cultural View of Old Age in Contemporary Societies.
Effects of Culture and Modernization Are Still Changing.


3. The Social Consequences of Physical Aging.
Biological Theories of Aging.
Can Aging Be Reversed or Delayed?
Research on Physiological Changes with Age.
Changes in Sensory Functions.

4. Managing Chronic Diseases and Promoting Well-Being in Old Age.
Defining Health.
Quality of Life in Health and Illness.
Effects of Stress on Health.
Chronic and Acute Diseases.
Causes of Death in Older Adults.
Common ChronicConditions.
Falls and Their Prevention.
Use of Physician Services by Older People.
Health Promotion with Older People.


5. Cognitive Changes with Aging.
Intelligence and Aging.
Factors That May Influence Intelligence in Adulthood.
The Process of Learning and Memory.
The Information Processing Model.
Factors That Affect Learning in Old Age.
Age-Related Changes in Memory.
Improving Cognitive Abilities in Old Age:
Cognitive Retraining, Memory Mediators.
Wisdom and Creativity.

6. Personality and Mental Health in Old Age.
Defining Personality.
Stage Theories of Personality.
Trait Theories of Personality.
Self-Concept and Self-Esteem.
Stress, Coping, and Adaptation.
Successful Aging.
Mental Disorders among Older Persons.
Older Adults Who Are Chronically Mentally Ill.
Psychotherapy with Older Persons.

7. Love, Intimacy, and Sexuality in Old Age.
Attitudes and Beliefs about Sexuality in Later Life.
Myths and Reality about Physiological Changes and Frequency of Sexual Activity.
Women and Age-Related Physiological Changes.
Men and Age-Related Physiological Changes.
Disease and Sexual Activity.
Gay and Lesbian Partners in Old Age.
Psychosocial Factors and Late-Life Affection, Love, and Intimacy.
Facilitating Older Adults' Sexual Functioning.


8. Social Theories of Aging.
The Importance of Social Theories of Aging.
Social Gerontological Theory before 1961: Role and Activity.
The First Transformation of Theory.
Alternative Theoretical Perspectives.
Recent Developments in Social Gerontological Theory: The Second Transformation.

9. The Importance of Social Supports: Family, Friends, and Neighbors.
The Nature and Function of Informal Supports.
The Changing Concept of the Aging Family.
Older Couples.
Sibling Relationships.
Never-Married Older People.
Childless Older Adults.
Other Kin.
Intergenerational Relationships: Adult Children.
The Stresses of Caregiving.
Elder Abuse.
Institutionalization: A Painful Decision for Family Members.
Legal and Policy Questions Regarding Caregiving.
Grandparenthood and Great-Grandparenthood.
The Effects of Divorce.
Friends and Neighbors as Social Supports.
Interventions to Strengthen or Build Social Supports.
Relationships with Pets.

10. Living Arrangements and Social Interactions.
Person-Environment Theories of Aging.
Geographic Distribution of the Older Population.
The Impact of the Neighborhood.
Victimization and Fear of Crime.
Housing Patterns of Older People.
Long Term Care Nursing Homes.
Assisted Living, Adult Foster Care, Adult Family Homes.
Services to Aid Older People in the Community.
Technology to Help Older Persons Remain Independent.
Housing Policy and Government Programs.
SRO Housing.
The Problems of Homelessness.

11. Productive Aging: Paid and Nonpaid Roles and Activities.
Employment Status.
Economic Status: Sources of Income in Retirement.
Poverty among Old and Young.
Patterns and Functions of Nonpaid Roles and Activities.

12. Death, Dying, Bereavement, and Widowhood.
The Changing Context of Dying.
The Dying Process.
Care of the Dying.
The Right to Die.
Legal Options Regarding End-of-Life Care.
Bereavement, Grief, and Mourning Rituals.

13. The Resiliency of Elders of Color.
Defining Ethnicity.
Research History.
Older African Americans.
Older Hispanic Americans.
Older American Indians.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Implications for Services.

14. The Resiliency of Older Women.
Rationale for a Focus on Older Women's Needs.
Older Women's Health Status.
Older Women's Social Status.
Future Directions.


15. Social Policies to Address Social Problems.
Variations among Policies and Programs.
Factors Affecting the Development of Policies.
The Development of Policies for Older People.
Income Security Programs: Social Security and Supplemental Security Income.
Private Pensions and Income Tax Provisions.
Social Services.
Policy Dilemmas.
Who Is Responsible?

16. Health and Long-Term Care Policy and Programs.
Health and Long-Term Care Expenditures.
The Crisis in Medicare.
Social Services Block Grants and the Older Americans Act.
Private Insurance.
Health and Long-Term Care Reforms.



Health Status.

Health Care Delivery in the Future.

Changing Family Relationships.

New Definitions of Work and Productivity.

Changes in Living Arrangements.

Ethical Dilemmas.

Careers in Gerontology.



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