Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences

Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences

9th Edition - January 9, 2021

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  • Editors: Kenneth Ferraro, Deborah Carr
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128162859
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128159705

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Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences, Ninth Edition, provides a comprehensive synthesis of the latest research findings in the science of aging. The complexities of population dynamics, cohort succession and policy changes modify the world and its inhabitants in ways that must be vigilantly monitored. Completely revised, this 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, among others. This book will serve as a useful resource and an inspiration to those searching for ways to contribute to the aging enterprise.

Key Features

  • Includes aging topics at both the micro- and macro-level
  • Addresses the intersection of individual and aggregate factors
  • Covers a spectrum of disciplines, including demography, economics, epidemiology, gerontology, political science, psychology, social work, sociology and statistics
  • Brings together the work of almost fifty leading scholars to provide a deeper understanding of aging


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

Table of Contents

  • Section I: Scientific Approaches and Methods
    1. Frontiers of Social Science Research on Aging
    Kenneth F. Ferraro
    2. Ethnographic Methods for Research on Aging: Making Use of a Fundamental Toolkit for Understanding Everyday Life
    Corey M. Abramson
    3. Measuring Life Course Events and Life Histories
    Jacqui Smith, Mengyao Hu and Haena Lee
    4. Genomic Data Measures and Methods: A Primer for Social Scientists
    Erin B. Ware and Jessica D. Faul

    Section II: Structural Constraints and Adaptation
    5. Growing Old in Low- and Middle-Income Countries in Asia
    Jinkook Lee, Urvashi Jain, Dipti Govil, T. V. Sekher and Alyssa Lubet
    6. Educational Attainment and Adult Health
    Jennifer Karas Montez and Jennifer D. Brooks
    7. Social Exclusion and Social Isolation in Later Life
    Martijn Huisman and Theo G. Van Tilburg
    8. The Role of the Built Environment for Healthy Aging: Barriers and Enablers
    Philippa Clarke and Erica Twardzik
    9. Early Origins of Racial Health Disparities: Human Capital Policy is Health Policy
    Rucker C. Johnson
    10. Sexuality in Later Life
    Linda J. Waite and James Iveniuk
    11. The Interplay of Age, Period, and Cohort Effects on Obesity and Metabolic Diseases in Later Life
    Jessica A. Kelley and Roland J. Thorpe Jr.

    Section III: Social Institutions
    12. The Role of the Military in Women's Lives
    Janet M. Wilmoth and Andrew S. London
    13. Intergenerational Transfers of Time and Money over the Life Course
    Emily E. Wiemers and Sung S. Park
    14. Family Caregiving
    Sara Honn Qualls
    15. Bereavement in Later Life
    Deborah Carr and Heather Mooney
    16. Religion and Aging in the Global Context of Secularization: Patterns, Processes, Consequences
    Ellen Idler
    17. The Changing World of Work and Retirement
    Kene Henkens and Hanna Van Solinge
    18. Aging and Politics: Age Differences in Political Behavior in Comparative Perspective
    Kaat Smets

    Section IV: Aging and Social Intervention
    19. Volunteering and Health in Later Life
    Jeffrey A. Burr, Jan E. Mutchler and Sae Hwang Han
    20. Housing Older Americans: The Challenges of Accessibility, Affordability, and Quality
    Judith G. Gonyea
    21. Innovations for Aging in Place
    Sarah E. LaFave, Sarah L. Szanton and Laura N. Gitlin
    22. Trends in Aging and Long-Term Care
    Molly M. Perkins
    23. Technologies and Aging: Understanding Use, Impacts, and Future Needs
    Shelia R. Cotten
    24. End-of-Life Medical Expenses
    Eric French, John Bailey Jones, Elaine Kelly and Jeremy McCauley

Product details

  • No. of pages: 460
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2021
  • Published: January 9, 2021
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128162859
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128159705

About the Editors

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

Deborah Carr

Deborah Carr is Professor and Chair of Sociology at Boston University. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997. Dr. Carr has held faculty positions at University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, and Rutgers University. She is the author of over 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, as well as the author of several books including Worried Sick: How Stress Hurts Us and How to Bounce Back (Rutgers, 2014). Her latest book Golden Years? Social Inequality in Later Life (2019, Russell Sage) received the Richard Kalish Innovative Publication Award from the Gerontologicial Society of America. Carr’s research focuses on psychosocial factors that affect health and well-being over the life course. Recent research focuses on disability and obesity-related discrimination, family relationships as a source of support and strain, and death and dying issues including bereavement, advance care planning, and well-being at the end of life. Carr is fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and was editor-in-chief of the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences from 2015-20. She is a member of the honorary Sociological Research Association and former chair of the Aging and Life Course and Medical Sociology sections of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor of Sociology, Boston University, USA

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