FNP Certification Exam Review Sale - now only $44.95 + Free Shipping. Fast checkout with Amazon Pay! Shop Now

Handbook of Theories of Aging, Third Edition

Double click on above image to view full picture

Zoom Out
Zoom In
Read a Sample Chapter
Bestseller New Edition

Handbook of Theories of Aging, Third Edition

SKU# 9780826129420


  • Vern L. Bengtson PhD
  • Richard Settersten PhD
Now available on:


This state-of-the-art handbook will keep researchers and practitioners in gerontology abreast of the newest theories and models of aging. With virtually all new contributors and content, this edition contains 35 chapters by the most highly respected luminaries in the field. It addresses theories and concepts built on cumulative knowledge in four disciplinary areasóbiology, psychology, social sciences, and policy and practiceóas well as landmark advances in trans-disciplinary science. With its explicit focus on theory, the handbook is unique in providing essential knowledge about primary explanations for aging, spanning from cells to societies.

The chapters in the third edition place a strong emphasis on the future of theory development, assessing the current state of theories and providing a roadmap for how theory can shape research, and vice versa, in years to come. Many chapters also address connections between theories and policy or practice. Each set of authors has been asked to consider how theories in their area address matters of diversity and inequalities in aging, and how theories might be revised or tested with these matters in mind. The third edition also contains a new section, "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants," which includes personal essays by senior gerontologists who share their perspectives on the history of ideas in their fields, and on their experiences with the process and prospects of developing good theory.

Hallmarks of the Third Edition:

  • Highlights important gains in trans-disciplinary theories of aging

  • Emphasizes the future of theory development

  • Provides insights on theory development from living legends in gerontology

  • Examines what human diversity and inequality mean for aging theories

  • Emphasizes interconnections between theory, research, intervention, and policy

  • Underscores international issues with greater representation of international authors

  • Includes section introductions by the editors and associate editors that summarize theoretical developments

Key Features:

  • Highlights variability and diversity in aging processes, from the cellular level of biological aging to the societal level of public policy

  • Provides insights on theory development from living legends in gerontology

  • Offers intergenerational, interdisciplinary, and international perspectives

  • Disseminates a forward-thinking, future-oriented focus in theory development

Product Details 

  • Publication Date May 19, 2016
  • Page Count 752
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826129420
  • EISBN 9780826129437

About The Author(s) 

Vern L. Bengtson, PhD, is AARP/university professor of gerontology emeritus and research professor, Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging, School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California. A senior statesman in gerontology, Bengtson is a world-recognized expert on the sociology of the life course, family sociology, social psychology, ethnicity and aging. He has been elected as president of the Gerontological Society of America and has been granted two MERIT awards for research from the National Institutes of Health. He has written or edited 17 books and published more than 260 research papers. Early in his career, Bengtson started the Longitudinal Study of Generations, a multigeneration and multidisciplinary investigation of families, aging, and social change, which now is in its 45th year of data collection from more than 350 multigenerational families. He has received research awards from the Gerontological Society of America, the American Sociological Association, the American Psychological Association, the National Council on Family Relations, and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. As the lead editor on the two prior editions of the Handbook of Theories of Aging, and coeditor of the book that preceded them, Emergent Theories of Aging, Dr. Bengtson has led the charge to transform gerontology into a field that is rich in both data and theories.

Richard A. Settersten, Jr., PhD, is Professor of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences, Oregon State University, where he is also Endowed Director of the Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families and a member of the Center for Healthy Aging Research. Dr. Settersten is Editor of numerous books and journal issues. His research spans multiple periods of the life course (especially early adulthood and late life) and multiple levels of analysis (from genomics to demography). A fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, Dr. Settersten has played leadership roles in the GSA as well as the American Sociological Association. His recent co-edited book (with J. Angel), the Handbook of Sociology of Aging, won the 2012 Outstanding Publication Award of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Aging and the Life Course. The MacArthur Foundation as well as multiple divisions of the National Institutes of Health have supported his research. He has also participated in activities of the National Academy of Science/National Research Council/Institute on Medicine panels on the health and wellbeing of young adults, and on new directions in social demography, social epidemiology, and sociology of aging.

Table of Contents 





1. Theories of Aging: Developments Within and Across Disciplinary Boundaries

Vern L. Bengtson and Richard A. Settersten, Jr.

2. Concepts and Theories of Age and Aging

Richard A. Settersten, Jr., and Bethany Godlewski


Standing on the Shoulders of Giants in Gerontology

Richard A. Settersten, Jr.

3. Unlike Aging, Longevity Is Sexually Determined

Leonard Hayflick

4. The Psychology of Aging

K. Warner Schaie

5. How Theories of Aging Became Social: Emergence of the Sociology of Aging

Vern L. Bengtson

6. Social Movements and Social Knowledges: Gerontological Theory in Research, Policy, and Practice

Carroll L. Estes with Nicholas R. DiCarlo


Advances in Biological Theories of Aging

Brian K. Kennedy

7. Evolutionary Theory and Aging

Devin Arbuthnott, Daniel E. L. Promislow, and Jacob A. Moorad

8. Inflammation and Aging

Ming Xu and James L. Kirkland

9. Theories of Stem Cell Aging

Pedro Sousa-Victor, Joana Neves, and Heinrich Jasper

10. Proteostasis and Aging

Matt Kaeberlein


Advances in Psychological Theories of Aging

Jacqui Smith

11. Theories of Emotional Well-Being and Aging

Susan T. Charles and Joanna Hong

12. Emotion–Cognition Links in Aging: Theories and Evidence

Nhi Ngo, Molly Sands, and Derek M. Isaacowitz

13. Theories of Social Support in Health and Aging

Bert N. Uchino, Anthony D. Ong, Tara L. Queen, and Robert G. Kent de Grey

14. Age Stereotypes’ Influence on Health: Stereotype Embodiment Theory

Brad A. Meisner and Becca R. Levy

15. Terminal Decline of Function

Gizem Hülür, Nilam Ram, and Denis Gerstorf


Advances in Social Science Theories of Aging

Richard A. Settersten, Jr.

16. Theories of Work and Retirement: Culture, Trust, and the Social Contract

Melissa Hardy and Adriana M. Reyes

17. Families and Aging: Toward an Interdisciplinary Family-Level Approach

Rosemary Blieszner and Marieke Voorpostel

18. Theories of Social Connectedness and Aging

Jaclyn S. Wong and Linda J. Waite

19. Long, Broad, and Deep: Theoretical Approaches in Aging and Inequality

Angela M. O’Rand

20. The Interpretive Perspective on Aging

Victor W. Marshall, Anne Martin-Matthews, and Julie Ann McMullin


Advances in Theory-Based Policy and Interventions

Nancy Morrow-Howell

21. Aging in Place

Andrew E. Scharlach and Keith Diaz Moore

22. Theories That Guide Consumer-Directed/Person-Centered Initiatives in Policy and Practice

Nancy R. Hooyman, Kevin J. Mahoney, and Mark Sciegaj

23. Theories Guiding Support Services for Family Caregivers

Rhonda J. V. Montgomery, Jung Kwak, and Karl D. Kosloski

24. Theoretical Foundations for Designing and Implementing Health Promotion Programs

Susan L. Hughes, Elske Stolte, and Renae L. Smith-Ray

25. Theories of the Politics and Policies of Aging

Robert B. Hudson

26. Theories of Help-Seeking Behavior: Understanding Community Service Use by Older Adults

Robbyn R. Wacker and Karen A. Roberto


Advances in Transdisciplinary Theories of Aging

Vern L. Bengtson

27. Successful Aging

John W. Rowe and Theodore D. Cosco

28. Coping, Optimal Aging, and Resilience in a Sociocultural Context

Carolyn M. Aldwin and Heidi Igarashi

29. Religion, Spirituality, and Aging

Peter G. Coleman, Elisabeth Schröder-Butterfill, and John H. Spreadbury

30. Theories of Wisdom and Aging

Monika Ardelt and Hunhui Oh

31. Theories of Environmental Gerontology: Old and New Avenues for Person–Environmental Views of Aging

Hans-Werner Wahl and Frank Oswald

32. Theoretical Perspectives on Biodemography of Aging and Longevity

Leonid A. Gavrilov and Natalia S. Gavrilova

33. The Multiplicity of Aging: Lessons for Theory and Conceptual Development From Longitudinal Studies

Dario Spini, Daniela S. Jopp, Stéphanie Pin, and Silvia Stringhini


34. The Past as Prognosis: A Prismatic History of Theories of Aging

W. Andrew Achenbaum

35. Prospects for Future Theory Development in Aging

Richard A. Settersten, Jr., and Vern L. Bengtson