Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences

Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences

8th Edition - August 18, 2015

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  • Editors: Linda George, Kenneth Ferraro
  • eBook ISBN: 9780124172852
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780124172357

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Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences, Eighth Edition, presents the extraordinary growth of research on aging individuals, populations, and the dynamic culmination of the life course, providing a comprehensive synthesis and review of the latest research findings in the social sciences of aging. As the complexities of population dynamics, cohort succession, and policy changes modify the world and its inhabitants in ways that must be vigilantly monitored so that aging research remains relevant and accurate, this completely revised edition not only includes the foundational, classic themes of aging research, but also a rich array of emerging topics and perspectives that advance the field in exciting ways. New topics include families, immigration, social factors, and cognition, caregiving, neighborhoods, and built environments, natural disasters, religion and health, and sexual behavior, amongst others.

Key Features

  • Covers the key areas in sociological gerontology research in one volume, with an 80% update of the material
  • Headed up by returning editor Linda K. George, and new editor Kenneth Ferraro, highly respected voices and researchers within the sociology of aging discipline
  • Assists basic researchers in keeping abreast of research and clinical findings
  • Includes theory and methods, aging and social structure, social factors and social institutions, and aging and society
  • Serves as a useful resource—an inspiration to those searching for ways to contribute to the aging enterprise, and a tribute to the rich bodies of scholarship that comprise aging research in the social sciences


Clinicians, researchers, and students in gerontology, developmental psychology, psychiatry, biology, and other related health care professions tasked with caring for the aging population.

Table of Contents

    • Dedications
    • Foreword
    • Preface
    • About the Editors
    • List of Contributors
    • Part I: Theory and Methods
      • Chapter 1. Aging and the Social Sciences: Progress and Prospects
        • Theoretical and Conceptual Developments
        • Methods and Data
        • Emerging Themes in Aging Research
        • What Aging Research Contributes to the Social Sciences: The Big Picture
        • References
      • Chapter 2. Trajectory Models for Aging Research
        • Growth Modeling in a Nutshell
        • Latent Class Modeling in a Nutshell
        • Latent Class Growth Analysis
        • Growth Mixture Modeling
        • Important Issues in the Implementation of Trajectory Methods
        • Conclusion
        • References
    • Part II: Social Structures and Processes
      • Chapter 3. Biodemography: Adding Biological Insight into Social, Economic, and Psychological Models of Population and Individual Health Change with Age
        • Introduction
        • Expansion of the Demographic Approach: The Process of Health Change
        • The Expanded Biodemographic Model of Health
        • Measuring Biomarkers in Population Studies
        • Use of Biomarkers in Assessing Population Health and Health Care Use and Its Effectiveness
        • Summary Indices of Biological Risk
        • Genetic Markers as a New Frontier
        • Summary
        • Appendix: Information on Biomarkers often Used in Social Science Research
        • References
      • Chapter 4. Late-Life Disability Trends and Trajectories
        • Introduction
        • The Conceptualization of Disability
        • Measuring Disability
        • Evidence on Trends in Disability Prevalence
        • Individual-Level Disability Trajectories
        • Conclusion
        • References
      • Chapter 5. Early Life Origins of Adult Health and Aging
        • Introduction
        • Historical Overview
        • Early Origins of Adult Disease: From FOAD Through DOHaD to a Life Course Perspective
        • Early Life Origins of Functional Aging in a Life Course Perspective
        • Conclusions and Future Directions
        • References
      • Chapter 6. Racial and Ethnic Inequalities in Health
        • Racial and Ethnic Inequalities in Health
        • Theoretical Perspectives
        • Research Across Minority Groups
        • Summary and Conclusion
        • References
      • Chapter 7. Immigration, Aging, and the Life Course
        • Introduction
        • Immigration as a Life-Course Experience
        • The Principle of Life-Span Development
        • The Principle of Agency
        • The Principle of Time and Place
        • The Principle of Timing
        • The Principle of Linked Lives
        • Immigrants and Families
        • Socioeconomic Outcomes of Older Immigrants
        • The Health of Older Immigrants
        • Conclusion
        • References
      • Chapter 8. Gender, Time Use, and Aging
        • Introduction
        • Measuring Time Allocation in Later Life
        • “A Day in the Life” of Older Adults
        • The Social versus Solitary Dimension of Time
        • Caregiving, Time Use, and Well-Being
        • Future Directions
        • Acknowledgments
        • References
      • Chapter 9. Social Networks in Later Life
        • Introduction
        • Network Concepts and Definitions
        • Why and How Social Networks Matter
        • Aging and Social Network Change
        • Social Networks and Stratification
        • Emerging Topics in Network-Gerontology
        • Conclusions
        • References
    • Part III: Social Factors and Social Institutions
      • Chapter 10. Stability, Change, and Complexity in Later-Life Families
        • Introduction
        • Theoretical Roots and Conceptual Advances
        • Substantive Advances
        • Relationship Quality Between Older Parents and Adult Children
        • Sibling Relations
        • Grandparent–Grandchild Relations
        • Marriage in the Later Years
        • Conclusion
        • References
      • Chapter 11. The Influence of Military Service on Aging
        • Introduction
        • Cohort Flow, Periods of War, and the Composition of the US Older Adult Population
        • Military Service as a “Hidden Variable” in Aging Research
        • Mechanisms Through Which Military Service Influences Aging
        • An Overview of Military Service and Aging Among Specific War Cohorts
        • Studying Military Service and Aging
        • References
      • Chapter 12. Religion, Health, and Aging
        • Introduction
        • Religious Involvement over the Life Course
        • Religion, Health, and Well-Being
        • From Correlation to Explanation: Identifying the Health-Related Dimensions of Religion
        • Spiritual Struggles: Assessing the Dark Side of Religion
        • Race/Ethnicity, Religion, and Health
        • Conclusions
        • Acknowledgment
        • References
      • Chapter 13. Evolving Patterns of Work and Retirement
        • Introduction
        • The Beginning and End of Earlier and Earlier Retirement
        • A Closer Look at the Retirement Process in the Modern Era
        • Changes to the Traditional Pillars of Retirement Income and How They Relate to Labor Force Participation
        • The Increasing Importance of Macroeconomic Influences
        • The Potential Benefits of Continued Work Later in Life
        • Disclaimer and Acknowledgments
        • References
      • Chapter 14. Productive Engagement in Later Life
        • Introduction
        • Conceptual Issues
        • Relevance of Productive Engagement in Later Life
        • Scholarship on the Antecedents and Outcomes of Productive Engagement
        • Challenges and Future Directions
        • References
      • Chapter 15. Aging, Neighborhoods, and the Built Environment
        • Introduction
        • Theoretical Models of Neighborhood
        • Neighborhood Structure and the Health of Older Persons
        • The Built Environment and the Health of Older Persons
        • Discussion and Directions for Future Research
        • References
      • Chapter 16. Abusive Relationships in Late Life
        • Introduction
        • A Socioecological Framework for Understanding Elder Abuse
        • Vulnerabilities and Risk for Elder Abuse
        • Perpetrators of Elder Abuse
        • Responses to Elder Abuse
        • Future Research
        • References
      • Chapter 17. The Impact of Disasters: Implications for the Well-Being of Older Adults
        • Introduction
        • Types and Definitions of Disasters
        • Influence of Residential Environment on Disaster-Related Activities and Outcomes
        • Group Evacuation versus Individual/Independent Evacuation
        • Temporary Evacuation, Transfer, or Permanent Relocation
        • Age and Vulnerability
        • Stress and Coping
        • Age and Resilience
        • Disaster-Related Physical and Mental Health Issues
        • Social Factors and Disaster Response Outcomes
        • Role of Formal and Informal Social Support and Social Networks
        • Future Directions
        • Conclusion
        • References
      • Chapter 18. End-of-Life Planning and Health Care
        • Introduction
        • Death and Dying in the United States
        • Advance Care Planning
        • Public Policy Innovations
        • Conclusion and Future Directions
        • References
    • Part IV: Aging and Society
      • Chapter 19. Organization and Financing of Health Care
        • Introduction
        • References
      • Chapter 20. Innovations in Long-Term Care
        • Introduction
        • Defining Long-Term Care
        • A Brief Historical Overview of Long-Term Care in the United States
        • Selected Innovations in Long-Term Care
        • Looking Toward the Future of Long-Term Care
        • References
      • Chapter 21. Politics and Policies of Aging in the United States
        • Introduction
        • The Altered Political Perceptions of Older Americans
        • The Transformation of Seniors’ Political Environment
        • Accounting for Old-Age Policy Enactments
        • Emerging Issues
        • References
      • Chapter 22. The Future of Retirement Security in Comparative Perspective
        • Introduction
        • Social Security in the United States
        • Employer-Sponsored Pensions in the United States
        • International Developments and Lessons
        • Conclusion
        • Acknowledgments
        • References
      • Chapter 23. Health Inequalities Among Older Adults in Developed Countries: Reconciling Theories and Policy Approaches
        • Introduction
        • Theories of Health Inequality in Older Age
        • Welfare States and the Interplay of Social Solidarity and Equity
        • WHO Age-friendly Environments Programme
        • Promising Avenues for Sociological Research
        • References
    • Author Index
    • Subject Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 552
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2015
  • Published: August 18, 2015
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780124172852
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780124172357

About the Editors

Linda George

Linda K. George is Professor of Sociology at Duke University where she also serves as Associate Director of the Duke University Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development. She is a fellow and past president of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA). She is former chair of the Aging and Life Course Section and the Sociology of Mental Health Section of the American Sociological Association (ASA). She is former editor of the Journal of Gerontology, Social Sciences. She is currently associate editor of Social Psychology Quarterly and former associate editor of Demography. Professor George is the author or editor of eight books and author of more than 250 journal articles and book chapters. She co-edited the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh editions of the Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences. Her major research interests include social factors and illness, stress and social support, and mental health and well-being across the life course. Among the honors Professor George has received are Phi Beta Kappa, the Duke University Distinguished Teaching Award, the Mentorship Award from the Behavioral and Social Sciences Section of GSA, the Dean’s Mentoring Award from the Graduate School of Duke University, the Kleemeier Award from the GSA, and the Matilda White Riley Award from the ASA.

Affiliations and Expertise

Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

Kenneth Ferraro

Kenneth F. Ferraro is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and founding Director of the Center on Aging and the Life Course at Purdue University. He is the author of over 120 peer-reviewed articles in prominent journals in sociology, gerontology, and public health. He has written two books, including The Gerontological Imagination: An Integrative Paradigm of Aging (Oxford University Press), and edited four editions of Gerontology: Perspectives and Issues. Ferraro’s recent research focuses on health inequality over the life course, including the early origins of adult health, stress, and health disparities. With interests in how stratification processes unfold over the life course, he developed cumulative inequality theory for the study of human development, aging, and health. A fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), Ferraro formerly edited Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences and chaired the Behavioral and Social Sciences section of GSA. He also is a member of the honorary Sociological Research Association and former chair of the Section on Aging and Life Course of the American Sociological Association (ASA). GSA has honored Professor Ferraro with the Distinguished Mentor Award and twice for both the Richard Kalish Innovative Publication Award and the Best Paper Award for Theoretical Developments in Social Gerontology. ASA honors from the Section on Aging and the Life Course include Outstanding Publication Award and Matilda White Riley Distinguished Scholar Award.

Affiliations and Expertise

Distinguished Professor of Sociology and founding Director of the Center on Aging and the Life Course, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA

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