Social Gerontology: A Multidisciplinary Perspective (with "Research Navigator") / Edition 7

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More About This Textbook


This best-selling, multidisciplinary, text on the experience of growing old presents positive images of aging while considering the many factors that contribute to how older individuals experience life.

Up-to-date and expanded, Social Gerontology, Seventh Edition, offers a comprehensive view that presents aging positively, portraying concepts of active aging and resilience, and defining productive aging by elaborating on the many ways elders contribute to society and to their families. Based on the latest research findings, it offers greater depth to critical issues of aging, attending to differences by age and cohort, gender, ethnic minority status, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status.

New features to the seventh edition include:

  • FREE subscription to Research Navigator™ with every new book. This subscription offers unlimited access to Research Navigator™ for six months from any computer with an Internet connection.
  • Automatically packaged with new copies of this text is the Research Navigator™ Guide for Social Gerontology, a guide that encourages readers to go beyond the book to explore current research and news on aging from articles in leading scholarly journals, popular magazines, and The New York Times.
  • Expanded discussion on international and cross-cultural aging issues, emphasize immigrant and refugee elders and multigenerational and intergenerational exchange across the life span that affects quality of life in old age.
  • New material on future directions in aging and career opportunities is interspersed throughout the text.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205423347
  • Publisher: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/20/2004
  • Edition description: Text and Research Navigator Guide Compan
  • Edition number: 7
  • Pages: 680
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Table of Contents

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



1. The Growth of Social Gerontology.

The Field of Gerontology.

Social Gerontology.

What Is Aging?

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.

Chronic and Acute Diseases.

Causes of Death in Older Adults.

Common Chronic Conditions.

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.

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.

Chronic 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.

Growth of the Multigenerational Family.

Older Partners.

Sibling Relationships.

Never-Married Older People.

Childless Older Adults.

Other Kin.

Intergenerational Relationships: Adult Children.

Grandparenthood and Great-Grandparenthood.

Friends and Neighbors as Social Supports.

Interventions to Strengthen or Build Social Supports.

Relationships with Pets.

10. Opportunities and Stresses of Informal Caregiving

Costs and Benefits of Informal Care.

Caregiver Gains.

Who Are the Informal Caregivers?

The Gendered Nature of Family Care.

Spouses/Partners as Caregivers.

Adult Children/Grandchildren as Caregivers.

Family Caregivers of Color.

Caregiving for Relatives with Dementia.

Elder Mistreatment.

Legislation to Support Family Caregivers.

Use of Services.

Supportive Services for Older Adults.

Supportive Services for Family Caregivers.


Underpaid Family Caregivers: Direct Care Workers.

Future Directions.

11. 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.

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.

12. 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.

13. Death, Dying, Bereavement, and Widowhood.

The Changing Context of Dying.

The Dying Process.

Care of the Dying.

The Right to Die or Hastened Death.

Legal Options Regarding End-of-Life Care.

Bereavement, Grief, and Mourning Rituals.


14. 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.

15. 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.


16. 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?

17. Health and Long-Term Care Policy and Programs.

Health and Long-Term Care Expenditures.



Social Services Block Grants and the Older Americans Act (OAA).

Private Insurance.

Health and Long-Term Care Reforms.



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