This text offers a readable and friendly presentation of the important methods, findings, and theories of human aging, while actively involving the reader in meaningful exercises and critical thinking. Students are repeatedly challenged to apply information in the text to the older adults in their own lives. Specifically, suggestions for enhancing the lives of their older relatives are offered and encouraged. These include guidelines for discussions they might have regarding social, emotional, and environmental changes as well encouraging intellectual and social interaction.

In this Edition:

  • Emphasis on the science of the study of aging and why questions in aging are difficult to answer, how social scientists attempt to handle such difficulties, and the successes and failures social scientists have had thus far in answering those questions.
  • The text also demonstrates how current research findings are now being applied in the real world and/or how they might be applied in the future.
  • Cross-cultural comparisons and ethnic group comparisons are included wherever possible.
  • Each chapter begins with "Senior View," which introduces students to a real person and gives them a chance to hear what older adults think and say about important issues related to the chapter and a chance to compare those opinions to the research findings.
  • Each chapter ends with "Making Choices," emphasizing the important behavioral, emotional, and social choices that students can make now to prolong a healthy, happy life.
  • "Chapter Projects" offer the opportunity for active learning, as students investigate for themselves an issue related to the chapter. Instructors can expand these projects for students who want to learn more, or for independent study.
  • "Focus on Aging" boxes compliment the material in the text, providing additional insight and examples, and encouraging critical thinking.
  • Every chapter includes discussion questions, study questions, chapter exercises, and related online resources.

chapter |20 pages

An Introduction to Human Aging

chapter |18 pages

Research Methods and Issues

part |70 pages

Aging and Our Bodies

chapter |15 pages

Theories of Senescence and Aging

chapter |28 pages

Health and Longevity

part |63 pages

Aging and Our Minds

chapter |18 pages

Memory and Cognition

chapter |24 pages

Intelligence, Wisdom, and Creativity

part |101 pages

Aging and Our Selves

chapter |30 pages


chapter |36 pages


chapter |33 pages

Work and Retirement

part |100 pages

Aging and Our Survival

chapter |40 pages


chapter |33 pages

Death and Bereavement

part |22 pages

Aging and You

chapter |20 pages

Looking to the Future