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Encyclopedia of gerontology : age, aging, and the aged /

Other Authors: Birren, James E.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: San Diego : Academic Press, 1996
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Review by Choice Review

"In 1900, persons over 65 years of age were the smallest portion of developed societies. Today they are emerging as the largest." Working with a distinguished advisory board, Birren, a noted authority on gerontology, has produced an impressive work that should become an invaluable resource for the study of this growing segment of the world's population. The 196 authors are experts in their fields, many from research institutions in medicine, biology, and the social sciences. The scholarly quality of the essays is above average. Five major areas cover the biology of aging, psychology, social sciences, health sciences, and humanities and aging. Articles are alphabetically arranged. In addition to its text, each essay features a brief outline, a short glossary, an introductory overview, and a bibliography. Among the topics covered are bioenergetics, cardiovascular systems, diseases, research methodology, social policy, retirement, employment, cross-cultural issues, and gender roles. A detailed index refers to subjects treated in more than one essay: "Osteoporosis," for example, points to "Bones," "Rheumatic diseases," "Fracture," "Treatments," and much more. The book provides breadth of subject for students and depth for researchers. For general readers, there is The Encyclopedia of Aging: A Comprehensive Resource in Gerontology and Geriatrics (CH, Jun'96). Recommended for academic and special libraries with strong gerontology and geriatric collections. E. B. Nibley American University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

As the American population ages, the demand for information about the aging process, elder care, and related topics increases. Encyclopedia of Gerontology: Age, Aging, and the Aged is a comprehensive source that offers a multidisciplinary overview of all aspects of aging. Birren, the editor in chief, is associate director of the Center on Aging at the University of California, Los Angeles. He assembled an international group of 150 scholars to write the 139 signed articles that appear in the two volumes. The articles are arranged alphabetically. They cover a wide range of subjects within biology (cell death, evolution and comparative biology), psychology (learning, perception), social issues (abuse and neglect of elders, economics: personal), health sciences (pharmacology, geriatric assessment: physical), and the humanities (folklore, humor). There are articles on specific conditions, such as arthritis and prostate problems, that are prevalent among the elderly. Home care, pensions, images of aging, ethics, dementia, and euthanasia are among the issues of contemporary interest addressed in this work. Each article begins with an outline of major topics included and a glossary of terms used and ends with a brief bibliography of current scholarly sources. The articles are 10 to 15 pages in length. They offer extensive analysis; for example, four theories of elder abuse and a detailed assessment of the changes in body composition during aging. Line drawings, charts, and tables supplement the text. Ample cross-references lead to related material. A detailed table of contents and a subject index make it easy to find specific topics. With its lengthy articles covering everything from the biomechanics of falls to the portrayal of Grandpa Simpson on television, Encyclopedia of Gerontology provides greater depth than The Encyclopedia of Aging and the Elderly (Facts On File, 1992) and The Graying of America: An Encyclopedia of Aging, Health, Mind and Behavior (Univ. of Illinois, 1996), but some of its articles are less accessible to the lay reader than the ones contained in those works. It has a broader scope than Merck Manual of Geriatrics (2d ed., Merck, 1995). It is an excellent source for health sciences and social sciences collections in academic and large public libraries.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

With new and updated topics reflecting the dramatic research advancements and growth of interest in issues relating to all areas of gerontology, this second edition contains the most current and comprehensive information available on the subject. Birren (gerontology & psychology, emeritus, Univ. of California), a leading researcher in the field, returns as editor in chief. The 181 signed articles he includes-approximately 40 more than in the 1996 edition-are by noted scholars and researchers and address five broad areas of study: biology, psychology, the social sciences, the health sciences, and the humanities. Each of the articles, which average eight to ten pages in length, includes a glossary, a comprehensive overview of the topic, and suggestions for further reading. The entries are fully cross-referenced and cover myriad issues, e.g., abuse and neglect, bioenergetics, creativity, dementia, driving behavior, globalization, pharmacology, and wisdom. Intended for use by both students and research professionals, this work is nonetheless highly accessible for interested general readers. As an aging baby boomer with elderly parents, this reviewer found the entries to be especially readable, informative, and useful. Bottom Line While MacMillan's Encyclopedia of Aging (2002) is a frequently recommended gerontology resource, its concise and short articles don't begin to provide the level of information and research offered here. Highly recommended for all academic, public, and medical libraries; those owning the previous edition will also want to purchase. [Available online via ScienceDirect (www.info.sciencedirect.com).-Ed.]-Elizabeth M. Wavle, Elmira Coll. Lib., NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.