Handbook of Gerontology: Evidence-Based Approaches to Theory, Practice, and Policy
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More About This Title Handbook of Gerontology: Evidence-Based Approaches to Theory, Practice, and Policy


A multidisciplinary resource that combines the latest research with the best practices for working with older adults

The Handbook of Gerontology: Evidence-Based Approaches to Theory, Practice, and Policy provides an essential source of important theoretical and applied information on gerontology for all mental health professionals interested in optimizing the health and well-being of older adults. Interdisciplinary and incorporating the most current evidence-based practices in its focus, this timely book considers the many factors that affect the way this growing population experiences the world-and provides a positive and proactive guide to administering care.

Integrating the latest research findings with important practice implications for working with an older client population, the Handbook of Gerontology draws on a multidisciplinary team of expert contributors who provide coverage and insight into a diverse range of topics, including:

  • A global perspective on aging
  • Elder abuse
  • Family caregiving
  • Parenting grandchildren
  • Depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Successful aging and personality
  • Biological and cognitive aspects and theories of aging

An exceptional resource for practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and students, the Handbook of Gerontology is essential reading for anyone who works with older adults.


JAMES A. BLACKBURN, PHD, is a Professor and former Dean of the School of Social Work at Hunter College and a former Dean of the School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He is a member of the Gerontological Society of America, the National Council on Family Relations, the Council on Social Work Education, and the American Psychological Association.

CATHERINE N. DULMUS, PHD, is Associate Professor of Social Work and Director of the Buffalo Center for Social Research at the University of Buffalo, The State University of New York. She is coeditor of several social work journals and has authored or edited a number of books, including Essentials of Child Welfare, Handbook of Preventive Interventions for Children and Adolescents, Handbook of Preventive Interventions for Adults, and The Social Work and Human Services Treatment Planner, all published by Wiley.


Preface vii

About the Editors ix

Contributors xi


1 Global Aging 3
Karen M. Sowers and William S. Rowe


2 Biological Aspects and Theories of Aging 19
Laura J. Pankow and Jeffrey M. Solotoroff

3 Cognitive and Affective Theories of Adult Development 57
Bert Hayslip Jr. and Benjamin P. Chapman

4 Personality Theories of Successful Aging 87
Natalie C. Ebner and Alexandra M. Freund

5 Wisdom, Life Longings, and Optimal Development 117
Susanne Scheibe, Ute Kunzmann, and Paul B. Baltes

6 Sociological Approaches to Understanding Age and Aging 143
Debra A. Street


7 Health Promotion 171
Jill Bradshaw and Waldo C. Klein

8 Disability 201
Elizabeth Lightfoot

9 Sleep Disturbances 230
Mary Ann Leitz

10 Sexuality and Intimacy 244
Linda J. Brock and Glen Jennings

11 Depression 269
Leslie Hasche and Nancy Morrow-Howell

12 Substance Abuse 309
Noell L. Rowan and Anna C. Faul

13 Alzheimer’s Disease 333
Masahiro Shigeta and Akira Homma

14 Grief and Bereavement 367
Robert O. Hansson, Bert Hayslip Jr., and Margaret S. Stroebe


15 Parenting Grandchildren 397
Hwa-Ok Hannah Park and Jan Steven Greenberg

16 Family Caregiving 426
Rhonda J. V. Montgomery, Jeannine M. Rowe, and Karl Kosloski

17 Community- and Facility-Based Care 455
Gretchen E. Alkema, Kathleen H. Wilber, and Susan M. Enguidanos

18 Elder Abuse 498
Patricia Brownell and Gina R. Rosich

19 Health Decisions and Directives about the End of Life 519
Jay Wolfson and Rebecca Morgan


20 Global Challenges for an Aging Population 545
Jeanette C. Takamura

Author Index 565

Subject Index 581


"...the Handbook is one of the best in providing comprehensive, thoughtful coverage of theory, practice and policy, and differentiates itself from other handbooks with its important focus on evidence-based information. The section on evidence-based practice provides highly relevant information about common clinical issues, often with the helpful inclusion of case studies and recommendations for specific interview questions and clinical measures. It fuels the type of holistic and flexible thinking that is foundational to advancing our understanding and treatment of older adults." (PsycCRITIQUES, February 2008)