chapter  1
11 Pages


This chapter creates the framework for the basic elements and approaches to gerontological research. It explains gerontology and aging research terminology and introduces the reader to key components of developing a research question or narrowing down a topic of interest. Journal articles, existing literature reviews, and free-writing are presented as ways to create a new research question or develop an existing question further. The chapter also introduces the process of choosing a research philosophy and other key decisions needed to develop a methodological stance and research design. The history and current definitions of gerontology are a starting point for the development of research agenda. Understanding one's own view and basic research principles is the roadmap to generating or refining an age-based research topic. Research designs are the frameworks or processes that dictate how the data will be collected and analyzed. Major quantitative research designs include the causal comparative method, correlation, pre-/post-testing and experimental designs, structured observation, and single-case research.