Health, Illness, and Optimal Aging, Third Edition

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Health, Illness, and Optimal Aging, Third Edition

SKU# 9780826134042

Biological and Psychosocial Perspectives

Author: Carolyn Aldwin Ph.D., Diane Gilmer Ph.D., Heidi Igarashi PhD, Michael R. Levenson PhD



Praise for the Second Edition:

"Aldwin and Gilmer have supplied an interesting textual model for examining health, illness, and aging. Their homogenized approach to aging research is refreshing and insightful."-Anthropology and Aging Quarterly

"Clearly written at a level for college students, this is an excellent resource on aging...Highly recommended."-Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries

"This text, which primarily focuses on biological and physiological aspects of aging, is ideal for graduate students or upper-level undergraduate students, yet is comprehensive enough to be effective in in both discipline-specific social work classes, as well as multidisciplinary settings."-Journal of Gerontological Social Work

Uniquely bridging a gap in the gerontology literature between the biological and psychosocial aspects of aging, the second edition of this interdisciplinary text provides key updates on an abundance of cutting edge research, expands information on diversity issues in aging, and examines in greater depth the physiology of aging, theories of biological aging, and methodological issues. Instructors will also welcome the addition of an Instructor's Manual and PowerPoint slides.

Written for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students, and invigorated by the addition of new coauthors, the text integrates findings in biology, psychology, and the social sciences to provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary coverage of the aging process. Included is key information on age-related changes and disease-related processes, the demography of the aging population worldwide, aging theories, and how to promote optimal aging. From a psychosocial perspective, the book examines mental health, stress and coping, spirituality, and caregiving in later years. Also included is crucial information on longitudinal design and statistics as they relate to aging research, promising new trends in gerotechnology, Green Houses, and information on health promotion programs. Real life examples throughout the text help students to understand practical applications of the material.

New to the Third Edition:

  • Abundant new cutting-edge research
  • Expands information on diversity issues
  • Updated theories of biological aging: microRNA, proteasomes, and gut microsomes
  • Psychology of aging: how variability in responses to stress affect health and mortality, Blue Zones
  • Aging and public policy: How the recent recession has affected poverty rates resulting in increases in mortality among poor, middle-aged whites
  • Gerontechnology: The “internet of things,” assistive devices, and the potential of robots
  • Includes the research of new authors
  • Instructor’s Manual and PowerPoint slides

Key Features:

  • Integrates cutting-edge information on biological and psychosocial aspects of aging
  • Examines age-related changes, disease-related processes, aging theories, and how to promote optimal aging
  • Encompasses mental health, stress and coping, spirituality, and caregiving in later years
  • Provides information on aging-related longitudinal design and statistics
  • Covers promising new trends such as gerontechnology and Green Houses

Product Details 

  • Publication Date October 28, 2017
  • Page Count 424
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826134042

About The Author(s) 

Carolyn M. Aldwin, PhD, is the Jo Anne Leonard Endowed Director, Center for Healthy Aging Research; Director of the Gerontology Program; and Professor in Human Development and Family Sciences, School of Social & Behavioral Health Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR. She is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, as well as both Divisions 20 (Adult Development and Aging) and 38 (Health Psychology) of the American Psychological Association. She received the Developmental Health Psychology Award from these divisions, and is a former president of Division 20. Dr. Aldwin has authored or edited six books, including Stress, Coping, and Development, 2nd ed., Handbook of Health Psychology and Aging, and Health, Illness, and Optimal Aging, 2nd ed. (Springer Publishing). She has authored or co-authored 124 other publications on stress, stress-related growth, coping, health, and optimal aging, as well as the long-term effects of military service on health outcomes in later life, and was Editor for Research in Human Development. She currently has funding from the National Institute on Aging.

Heidi Igarashi, PhD, recently received her doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies from Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR. Her work focuses on the intersection of resilience, optimal aging, and wisdom; specifically, how individuals navigate and negotiate their social environments during everyday life, as well as critical life events. This research interest emerges from 26 years as a mental health counselor. Dr. Igarashi has authored and co-authored professional journal articles and book chapters on stress, coping, resilience, optimal aging, and intergenerational relationships in adulthood. She also serves on the Board of Directors of an adult day service in an effort to support community-based approaches that facilitate resilient aging in both caregivers and care recipients.

Diane Fox Gilmer, PhD, was most recently a lecturer and post-graduate researcher in the Department of Human and Community Development, University of California, Davis, and is now retired. She is certified as an Adult Family Nurse Practitioner and has worked extensively with older adults. In addition to authoring many professional journal articles, Dr. Gilmer is a co-author with Dr. Aldwin on Health, Illness, and Optimal Aging, 1st ed. (2004) and 2nd ed. (2013).

Michael R. Levenson, PhD is Research Associate Professor, Human Development and Family Sciences, School of Social & Behavioral Health Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR. He studies exceptional adult development, both positive (e.g., wisdom and spirituality) and negative (e.g., psychopathy). He has also studied age, cohort, and period effects in the use of alcohol, as well as the effects of personality on health. He has over sixty publications.

Table of Contents 

Foreword xi

Preface to the Third Edition

Preface to the Second Edition xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

1. Introduction and Basic Concepts in Aging


2. Demography of Aging

3. Theories of Aging

4. Understanding Change in Aging Research


5. Aging of the Skin and Musculoskeletal System

6. Aging of the Internal Organ Systems

7. Aging of the Sensory and Nervous Systems

8. Aging of the Endocrine and Immune Systems

9. Functional Health, Health Promotion, and Quality of Life


10. The Interface Between Physical and Mental Health

11. Stress, Coping, and Health

12. Social Support, Health, and Aging


13. Aging in the Sociostructural Context

14. What Is Optimal Aging?