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

  • Foreword


    Section I: Scientific Approaches and Methods

    Chapter 1. Frontiers of Social Science Research on Aging

    Kenneth F. Ferraro

    Chapter 2. Ethnographic Methods for Research on Aging: Making Use of a Fundamental Toolkit for Understanding Everyday Life

    Corey M. Abramson

    Chapter 3. Measuring Life Course Events and Life Histories

    Jacqui Smith, Mengyao Hu and Haena Lee

    Chapter 4. Genomic Data Measures and Methods: A Primer for Social Scientists

    Erin B. Ware and Jessica D. Faul

    Section II: Structural Constraints and Adaptation

    Chapter 5. Growing Old in Low- and Middle-Income Countries in Asia

    Jinkook Lee, Urvashi Jain, Dipti Govil, T. V. Sekher and Alyssa Lubet

    Chapter 6. Educational Attainment and Adult Health

    Jennifer Karas Montez and Jennifer D. Brooks

    Chapter 7. Social Exclusion and Social Isolation in Later Life

    Martijn Huisman and Theo G. Van Tilburg

    Chapter 8. The Role of the Built Environment for Healthy Aging: Barriers and Enablers

    Philippa Clarke and Erica Twardzik

    Chapter 9. Early Origins of Racial Health Disparities: Human Capital Policy is Health Policy

    Rucker C. Johnson

    Chapter 10. Sexuality in Later Life

    Linda J. Waite and James Iveniuk

    Chapter 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

    Chapter 12. The Role of the Military in Women's Lives

    Janet M. Wilmoth and Andrew S. London

    Chapter 13. Intergenerational Transfers of Time and Money over the Life Course

    Emily E. Wiemers and Sung S. Park

    Chapter 14. Family Caregiving

    Sara Honn Qualls

    Chapter 15. Bereavement in Later Life

    Deborah Carr and Heather Mooney

    Chapter 16. Religion and Aging in the Global Context of Secularization: Patterns, Processes, Consequences

    Ellen Idler

    Chapter 17. The Changing World of Work and Retirement

    Kene Henkens and Hanna Van Solinge

    Chapter 18. Aging and Politics: Age Differences in Political Behavior in Comparative Perspective

    Kaat Smets

    Section IV: Aging and Social Intervention

    Chapter 19. Volunteering and Health in Later Life

    Jeffrey A. Burr, Jan E. Mutchler and Sae Hwang Han

    Chapter 20. Housing Older Americans: The Challenges of Accessibility, Affordability, and Quality

    Judith G. Gonyea

    Chapter 21. Innovations for Aging in Place

    Sarah E. LaFave, Sarah L. Szanton and Laura N. Gitlin

    Chapter 22. Trends in Aging and Long-Term Care

    Molly M. Perkins

    Chapter 23. Technologies and Aging: Understanding Use, Impacts, and Future Needs

    Shelia R. Cotten

    Chapter 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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