Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences

8th Edition

Editors: Linda George Kenneth Ferraro
Paperback ISBN: 9780124172357
eBook ISBN: 9780124172852
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 8th September 2015
Page Count: 552
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Table of Contents

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  • 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 O


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.


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About the Editors

Linda George Editor

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 Editor

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 100 peer-reviewed articles and two books and has edited four editions of Gerontology: Perspectives and Issues. Ferraro’s recent research focuses on health inequality over the life course. Current projects examine the early origins of adult health, health disparities, and the health consequences of obesity. With interests in how stratification processes unfold over the life course, he has developed cumulative inequality theory for the study of human development, aging, and health. A fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, 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, Richard Kalish Innovation 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

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA