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Category: General Aging Research

Age Is in the Eye of the Perceiver

Assessing our external world and the people in it is a daily activity we all engage in to navigate the terrain of life. Little research, however, has been done to understand exactly how our perceptions of others and ourselves change over the life span. A recent review article in Psychology and Aging begins to formulate some ideas on this topic by looking in-depth across several prior...

The More You Know: A PSA on How to Be a Wiser Consumer of Scientific Research

A recent study in Neurobiology of Aging attempted to further scientific understanding of how the aging process impacts the human capacity to empathize. While the findings were less than conclusive, they have provided additional support for what neuro-psychological researchers have known for years—functional MRI (fMRI) studies are expensive, and small sample sizes lead to inconclusive...

Reflections on Aging, Irony & Wisdom

“Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.”—Charlie Chaplin To paraphrase the wise comedian, life is ironic—a paradox that sometimes makes us laugh and other times scream-cry like a colicky baby. The notions of irony and wisdom have been married in the world of comedy since the beginning of time—like Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman. That said, pairing...

Aging & the Social Dimensions of Time

Time can initially seem like a basic, common-sense concept that is easily measured. But the social and subjective experiences of time—concepts such as generations, age norms, even individuals’ own understanding of their life histories—have great significance in the study of aging. An article in the Gerontologist points to the influence of three major social scientists of the...

Non-Family Relationships May Be Increasingly Important in Aging

Previous research presented in aging in action suggests that a diverse social network, one that includes non-family, is associated with improved health, well-being, and access to resources in later life. Multiple recent social changes in much of the industrialized world have increased the relevance and availability of non-family social networks for older adults. At the same time,...

Aging Research in France: Emerging Trends in a Changing Europe

Attention to aging policies, demographic trends, and research findings in other countries can provide researchers and policy makers with valuable perspectives. A recent International Spotlight review in The Gerontologist presents an overview of aging research and policies in France, a country with higher population replacement rates than its European neighbors but which is likewise...

Positive Relationships That Support Older Adult Health and Well-being are Grounded in Midlife/Adolescent Family

Many studies conducted over the last 20 years demonstrate the importance of adult parent/child relationships on the health and well-being of parents in later life. The interpretation of these findings is limited by their cross-sectional design. To contextualize our understanding of the link between adult parent/child relationships and health, researchers from Indiana...

Aging & Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Over the past few decades, autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have drawn much attention in medical and social science literature. However, there is still very little known about the experience  of older adults diagnosed with ASD and related conditions. A review in Gerontology summarizes available literature on aging and ASD, and points to how future research in this area may...

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