Health, Illness, and Optimal Aging, Second Edition

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Health, Illness, and Optimal Aging, Second Edition

SKU# 9780826193469

Biological and Psychosocial Perspectives

Author: Carolyn Aldwin Ph.D., Diane Gilmer Ph.D.


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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

Spanning the biological and psychosocial aspects of aging, this upper-level undergraduate and graduate text integrates current findings in biology, psychology, and the social sciences to provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary coverage of the aging process. This new edition incorporates the tremendous amount of research that has come to light since the first edition was published. From a physical perspective, the text examines age-related changes and disease-related processes, the demography of the aging population, aging theories, and how to promote optimal aging. Coverage of the psychosocial aspects of aging encompasses mental health, stress and coping, spirituality, and caregiving in later years.

The authors address demographic, theoretical, and methodological issues on aging, including a worldwide overview of aging demographics. The book reviews biological and psychosocial theories and offers much-needed information on longitudinal design and statistics as they relate to aging research. It discusses the aging of the major organ systems, the brain and sensory systems, and the endocrine and immune systems; basic anatomy and physiology; normal, impaired, and optimal aging; and functional health. Psychosocial factors that affect health are addressed, including the interplay between physical health and mental health, stress, coping, and social support. The text also covers current issues in social gerontology, including such promising new trends as gerontechnology and Green Houses, and provides information on health promotion programs.

New to the Second Edition:

  • Information involving retirement, volunteer opportunities, housing, and adaptation to health changes
  • Coverage of economics and aging, including information on social security and other retirement income and the future of Medicare and Medicaid
  • Significant new information about the regulatory systems
  • Revised and updated chapters on death and dying and optimal aging
  • Discussions on two models of optimal aging and valuable tips for its promotion
  • URLs to relevant websites for additional information

Product Details 

  • Publication Date January 17, 2013
  • Page Count 416
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826193469
  • EISBN 9780826193476

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.

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).

Table of Contents 

Foreword—James Birren from the prior edition; TBD

  1. Introduction and Basic Concepts of Aging

Section I. Demographic, Theoretical, and methodological Issues

  1. Demography of Aging
  2. Theories of Aging
  3. Understanding Change in Aging research

Section II. Aging of Biological Systems

  1. Aging of the Skin and Musculoskeletal System
  2. Aging of the Internal Organ Systems
  3. Aging and the regulatory Systems
  4. Functional Health, Health Promotion, and Quality of Life

Section III. Psychosocial factors Affecting Physical health

  1. The Interface Between Physical and Mental Health; Michael R. Levenson
  2. Stress, Coping, and health
  3. Social Support, Health, And Aging


Section IV. Practical and Clinical Issues in Aging.

  1. Retirement, Housing, and Adaptation to Health Changes will discuss adaptation to retirement, as well as the range of housing types that are available in later life. We will focus on exciting new trends such as gerotechnology which allows elders to age in place as well as Green Houses, which embody a new, client-centered philosophy of elder care.
  2. Economics and Aging, which will provide information on Social Security and other types of income sources in retirement, including a basic description of types of pension plans. We would also provide basic information on health care systems such as Medicare and Medicaid and their future.
Optimal Aging, revising and updating the current chapter.