Pub. Date:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Handbook on Women and Aging

Handbook on Women and Aging

by Jean M. Coyle


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Statistics show that women live longer than men, and that they constitute a substantial majority of the North American population over age 50. But more research has been done on the lives of older men, and the lack of empirical data on aging women has perpetuated a number of myths and stereotypes. Twenty years ago, for example, there was a presumption that only males worked and only males retired, though women often held jobs outside the home and these jobs were sometimes their only source of income. Studies of retirement, therefore, rarely treated the experience of women. Many fallacies still remain, despite a growing body of research conducted by women investigators. This reference provides a comprehensive overview of current research on women and aging and helps correct many mistaken assumptions.

Chapters are written by expert contributors and are grouped in several broad sections. The first section provides a historical and theoretical perspective on women and aging and covers topics such as sexism and ageism, representations of older women in the arts, and the attitudes of society toward aging women. The second section treats economic issues related to employment and retirement. The third section explores the psychological and physical health of women and includes related information on topics such as voluntarism and religious activity. The fourth section looks at the particular concerns of women from diverse racial and ethnic groups. It also includes a chapter on the special needs of the rural elderly. The final section studies the relationships of older women, including the impact of widowhood and the significance of friendship patterns. Each chapter cites current research and the volume closes with a selected bibliography of major studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780313288579
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 08/30/1997
Pages: 504
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.06(d)
Lexile: 1370L (what's this?)

About the Author

JEAN M. COYLE is President of Jean Coyle Associates, a gerontological consulting firm in Alexandria, Virginia. She founded the first academic gerontology program in the state of Louisiana in 1976 and has taught at universities throughout the United States. She has been Secretary of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, National President of Sigma Phi Omega gerontology honor society, and a founder and president of the Southwest Society on Aging. She is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the author of Women and Aging: A Selected, Annotated Bibliography (1989) and Families and Aging: A Selected, Annotated Bibliography (1991), both published by Greenwood Press.

Table of Contents



Introduction by Jean M. Coyle

Historical and Theoretical Perspectives

Sexism and Ageism by Erdman B. Palmore

Images of Middle-Aged and Older Women: Historical, Cultural, and Personal by Susan R. Sherman

Witches, Widows, Wives, and Workers: The Historiography of Older Women in America by Carole Haber

Images of Aging Women through the Years by Mary F. Grizzard

Sagacious, Sinful, or Superfluous?: The Social Construction of Older Women by Elizabeth W. Markson

Economic Issues

The Economic Status of Older Women by Rose M. Rubin

Middle-Aged and Older Women in the Work Force by John C. Rife

Retirement and Women by Frances M. Carp

Health, Psychological, and Living Issues

The Health of Older Women: A Diverse Experience by Diana J. Torrez

Developmental Models of Midlife and Aging in Women: Metaphors for Transcendence and for Individuality in Community by Jan D. Sinnott

Life Satisfaction and Older Women: Factor Structure Consistency among Age Cohorts by B. Jan McCulloch

Reminiscence among Older Women by Debra McDonald and Eileen Deges Curl

Suicidal Behavior in Middle-Aged and Older Women by Nancy J. Osgood and Marjorie J. Malkin

Women Survivors: The Oldest Old by Sally Bould and Charles F. Longino

Religion and Faith Development of Older Women by Barbara P. Payne-Stancil

Voluntarism Among Older Women by Winifred Dowling

Living Arrangements for Midlife and Older Women by Frances M. Carp

Racial, Ethnic, and Demographic Issues

Midlife and Older Black Women by Penny A. Ralston

Hidden Lives: Aging and Contemporary American Indian Women by Robert John, Patrice H. Blanchard, and Catherine Hagan Hennessy

Issues and Trends Affecting Asian Americans, Women, and Aging by Darlene Yee

Chicanas and Aging: Toward Definitions of Womanhood by Elisa Facio

Rural Older Women by Vira R. Kivett


Family Relationships of Midlife and Older Women by Jean Pearson Scott

Single Women in Later Life by Richard L. Newtson and Pat M. Keith

Friendship Patterns Among Older Women by Rebecca G. Adams

Older Women and the Experience of Widowhood by Julia Bradsher

Women and Caregivers for the Elderly by Sally Bould

Fathers, Daughters, and Caregiving: Perspectives from Psychoanalysis and Life-Course Social Science by Bertram J. Cohler

Conclusions and Research Implications by Jean M. Coyle



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