Handbook of the Psychology of Aging

Handbook of the Psychology of Aging

3rd Edition - February 28, 1990

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  • Editor: James Birren
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483288154

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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

  • Contributors



    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

Product details

  • No. of pages: 552
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1990
  • Published: February 28, 1990
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483288154

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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