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Handbook of the Psychology of Aging - 3rd Edition - ISBN: 9780121012809, 9781483288154

Handbook of the Psychology of Aging

3rd Edition

Editor: James Birren
eBook ISBN: 9781483288154
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 28th February 1990
Page Count: 552
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Handbook of the Psychology of Aging, Third Edition describes the psychology of adult development and aging. This book is organized into four parts encompassing 28 chapters that cover the basic behavioral changes and capacities occurring with advancing age.

The first part deals with the history, concept, and models of the psychology of aging. This part also examines the distinctions between physical, biological, psychological, and social time or age. The second part explores the influences of racial, ethnic, and cultural factors on biological/health, social, and psychological aging processes. This part also surveys gender differences in aging. The third part describes numerous behavioral processes, changes, and patterns in advancing age. This part specifically considers the motivation, cognitive and motor performance, attentional processes, learning, memory, personality, and wisdom in aging. The fourth part focuses on the applications of the concepts and principles of aging to the individual and society. This book will be of great value to psychologists, researchers, and graduate students.

Table of Contents




Part One Theory and Measurement in the Psychology of Aging

1. The Concepts, Models, and History of the Psychology of Aging

I. Introduction

II. Intellectual Roots of the Psychology of Aging

III. The Relations of General and Experimental Psychology to the Psychology of Aging

IV. The Emergence of Developmental Psychology

V. Perspectives on Developmental Psychology

VI. The Emergence of a Psychology of Aging

VII. Complexity and Theories of Aging

VIII. The Status of Theory and Explanations of Aging

IX. Integrative Theory

X. Conclusion


2. Latent Variable Growth Models for Research on Aging

I. Introduction

II. Methods for Latent Growth Model Analyses

III. Results of Latent Growth Models

IV. Discussion of Latent Growth Models


3. Concepts of Time and Aging in Science

I. Physical Time

II. Biological Time

III. Psychological Time

IV. Intrinsic Time


Part Two Influences of Behavior and Aging

4. Human Behavioral Genetics of Aging

I. Introduction

II. Lessons from Recent History

III. Developmental Behavioral Genetics

IV. The Genetics of Behavioral Aging

V. Summary


5. Biological and Health Influences on Behavior

I. Biology, Disease, and Aging

II. Methodological Implications of Health Psychology Paradigms

III. Methodological Challenges

IV. Effects of Health on Behavior

V. The Impact of Behavior on Health

VI. Health-Related Behaviors and Interventions

VII. Conclusions


6. Cultural, Racial, and Ethnic Minority Influences on Aging

I. Overview

II. Biological, Social, and Psychological Processes in the Aging of Racial and Ethnic Minorities

III. Biological and Health Processes in the Aging of Racial and Ethnic Minorities

IV. Social Processes of Aging in Racial and Ethnic Minorities

V. Psychological Processes of Aging in Racial and Ethnic Minorities

VI. Summary and Conclusions: Toward a Life-Span Perspective on Cultural, Racial, and Ethnic Influences on Aging


7. Gender Differences in Aging

I. Approaches to the Study of Gender

II. Gender and Psychological Functioning

III. Models of Gender Differentiation

IV. Implications for Aging Research and Practice


Part Three Behavioral Processes in Aging

8. Electrophysiology and Aging

I. Electrophysiological Age Differences

II. Theoretical Implications of Electrophysiological Changes in Aging

III. Modulation of CNS Age Differences with Physical Fitness

IV. Summary and Conclusions


9. Vision and Hearing in Aging

I. Introduction

II. Vision

III. Hearing

IV. Summary and Conclusions


10. Motivation, Human Aging, and Cognitive Performance

I. Assessments of Intrinsic Motivation

II. Age and Motivation—Performance Relationships

III. Aging and Models of Motivation

IV. Summary


11. Motor Performance and Aging

I. Work Capacity

II. Muscular Strength

III. Muscular Endurance

IV. Upper Limits of Performance

V. Conclusion


12. Aging and Information-Processing Rate

I. Introduction

II. Aging in a Neural Network

III. Latency as a Function of Age

IV. Latency as a Function of Task

V. Contrary Views

VI. Recapitulation

VII. The Theoretical Gain

VIII. Conclusions


13. Aging and Attentional Processes

I. Definitions

II. Aging and Attention

III. New Directions in Research on Aging and Attention

IV. Conclusions


14. Mammalian Models of Learning, Memory, and Aging

I. Animal Models in Gerontology

II. Mammalian Models of Learning and Memory in Normal Aging

III. Summary and Conclusions


15. Learning and Memory in Aging

I. Differential Decline in Memory Systems

II. Memory for Meaningful Materials and Events

III. Experience and Plasticity of Memory

IV. Individual Differences in Learning and Memory in Aging

V. Conclusion


16. Interactions between Memory and Language in Old Age

I. Language Comprehension and Memory in Old Age

II. Memory and Language Comprehension in Old Age


17. Intellectual Development in Adulthood

I. Introduction

II. Methodological Issues

III. Patterns of Intellectual Aging

IV. Factors that Affect Intellectual Aging

V. Practical Intelligence

VI. Interventions in Adult Intellectual Development

VII. Conclusions: Future Directions for Research on Intellectual Aging


18. Cognitive Competence and Expertise in Aging

I. Differences in the Type of Cognition

II. Differential Representativeness of Individuals or Observations

III. Different Standards of Evaluation

IV. Differential Amounts of Experience

V. Summary


19. Creativity and Wisdom in Aging

I. Introduction

II. Creativity

III. Wisdom

IV. Integration

V. Conclusions


20. Personality and Aging

I. Introduction

II. Trait Models

III. Contextual Models

IV. Developmental Stage Models

V. Summary and Conclusions


21. Psychosocial Factors and Effective Cognitive Functioning in Adulthood

I. Introduction

II. Relevant Findings of Different Disciplines

III. Self-Direction and Cognitive Functioning

IV. Remedial Possibilities

V. Conclusion


22. Psychopathology and Mental Health in the Mature and Elderly Adult

I. Mental Health in Later Life

II. Symptoms Signaling Possible Mental Disorder in the Elderly

III. Atypical Presentations of Mental Disorder in the Elderly

IV. Research Opportunities and Controversies

V. The Epidemiology of Mental Illness in the Elderly

VI. Interactions between Mental and Physical Health Phenomena in Aging

VII. Brain and Behavior Interactions Influencing Mental Health and Illness

VIII. Conclusion: Understanding and Treating Mental Disorders in the Elderly


Part Four Applications to the Individual and Society

23. Psychological Intervention with the Aging Individual

I. Introduction

II. Principles of Research and Evaluation of Psychological Intervention

III. The Service Array: Types of Intervention for Older Adults

IV. Professional and Policy Issues

V. Conclusions


24. Caregiving Families

I. Aging Families

II. Involvement of the Family in Caregiving

III. Interventions to Aid Family Caregivers

IV. Conclusion


25. Psychological Assessment of the Aging Individual

I. Introduction

II. Neuropsychological Assessment

III. Functional Psychometric Assessment

IV. Critical Issues in the Psychological Assessment of Older Adults

V. Assessing Complaints of Memory Difficulty

VI. Conclusions and Future Directions


26. Human Factors and Design for Older Adults

I. Human Factors and Age

II. The Older Information Processor

III. Designing the Visual and Auditory Environment

IV. Anthropometry

V. Design for the Home

VI. The Design of Microcomputer Systems

VII. Conclusions


27. The Design of Special Environments for the Aged

I. Autonomy versus Security

II. Special Types of Environments: Autonomy and Security

III. The Social Environments of Residential Types

IV. How Can Empirical Research Accommodate the Complexity of Person—Environment Relations?

V. Conclusion


28. Ethical Issues in Gerontological Research and Services

I. Ethical Issues in Psychological Research on Aging

II. Ethical Issues in Psychological Services for the Aged

III. Conclusion


Author Index

Subject Index


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1990
28th February 1990
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Editor

James Birren

James E. Birren is currently Associate Director of the Center on Aging at the University of California, Los Angeles, and serves as an adjunct professor in medicine, psychiatry, and biobehavioral sciences. He is also professor emeritus of gerontology and psychology at the University of Southern California. Dr. Birren's previous postions include service as Chief of the section on aging of the National Institute of Mental Health, founding Executive Director and Dean of the Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center of USC, founding Director of the Anna and Harry Borun Center for Gerontological Research at UCLA, and President of the Gerontological Society of America, the Western Gerontological Society, and the Division on Adult Development and Aging of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Birren's many awards include the Brookdale Foundation Award for Gerontological Research, the Sandoz prize for Gerontological Research, and the award for outstanding contribution to gerontology by the Canadian Association of Gerontology. Author of over 250 scholarly publications, Dr. Birren has research interests including how speed of behavior changes with age, the causes and consequences of slowed information processing in the older nervous system, the effect of age on decision-making processes, and the role of expertise in skilled occupations. He has served as a delegate to several White House Conferences on Aging and continues to have a strong interest in developing national priorities for research and education related to issues of aging.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of California, Los Angeles, U.S.A.

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