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16 Dec 2010
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Health, Illness, and Optimal Aging- Biological and Psychological Perspectives
Chapter 1: Introduction and Basic Concepts in Aging
-Quote presages the modern recognition that aging processes are plastichow we age and
the rate at which we age are balanced between resources to which we have access and our
exposure to various toxins, both of which are, in part, reflections of the choices we make
-Psychological gerontologists have focused more on describing what happens cognitively,
emotionally, and socially as we age, with a view toward identifying factors that promote
positive aging or increase the risk of negative aging
-Biogerontologists emphasizes factors that affect the rate of aging
-Birren, Butler, Greenhouse, and Yarrow (1963) divided healthy older men into 2 groups:
those with subclinical disease and those who were completely healthy
-Birren and his colleagues found that nearly all of the deficits generally associated with
aging were found in the older men with subclinical disease, but not in the optimally
healthy men
-One exception was neuronal slowing, which even the healthiest men manifested
-Gerontology is unique since it has recognized that interdisciplinary endeavours are
required for understanding the aging process
Social Sciences
-Culture effects the aging process in every way
-Although the biological processes underlying the aging process were universal, the rate at
which we age is largely a function of culture
-Gerontology is not yet a stage in which a unified theory can be proposed, but we feel that
similar themes are emerging in the various disciplines that comprise gerontology
-A major purpose of this book is to create a bridge for understanding across disciplinary
boundaries
-Many theories and studies of aging can be understood under the rubric of aging
accelerators and decelerators—factors that increase and those that decrease the rate at
which we age
BASIC DEFINITIONS
-Most basic question in gerontology is: When does late life being?
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Document Summary

Chapter 1: introduction and basic concepts in aging. Psychological gerontologists have focused more on describing what happens cognitively, emotionally, and socially as we age, with a view toward identifying factors that promote positive aging or increase the risk of negative aging. Biogerontologists emphasizes factors that affect the rate of aging. Birren, butler, greenhouse, and yarrow (1963) divided healthy older men into 2 groups: those with subclinical disease and those who were completely healthy. Birren and his colleagues found that nearly all of the deficits generally associated with aging were found in the older men with subclinical disease, but not in the optimally healthy men. One exception was neuronal slowing, which even the healthiest men manifested. Gerontology is unique since it has recognized that interdisciplinary endeavours are required for understanding the aging process. Culture effects the aging process in every way.

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