Journal of Aging Studies (J AGING STUD)

Publisher: Elsevier

Journal description

The journal's aim is to feature scholarly papers offering new interpretations that challenge existing theory and empirical work. Papers need not deal with the field of aging in general, but with any defensibly relevant topic pertinent to the aging experience and related to the broad concerns and subject matter of the social and behavioral sciences and the humanities. The Journal of Aging Studies highlights innovation and critique, new directions in general, regardless of theoretical or methodological orientation. Theoretical, critical, and empirical submissions are welcome.

Current impact factor: 1.12

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2015
2009 Impact Factor 0.914

Additional details

5-year impact 1.42
Cited half-life 7.60
Immediacy index 0.16
Eigenfactor 0.00
Article influence 0.44
Website Journal of Aging Studies website
Other titles Journal of aging studies, Aging studies
ISSN 0890-4065
OCLC 14221706
Material type Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

Publisher details


  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Pre-print allowed on any website or open access repository
    • Voluntary deposit by author of authors post-print allowed on authors' personal website, or institutions open scholarly website including Institutional Repository, without embargo, where there is not a policy or mandate
    • Deposit due to Funding Body, Institutional and Governmental policy or mandate only allowed where separate agreement between repository and the publisher exists.
    • Permitted deposit due to Funding Body, Institutional and Governmental policy or mandate, may be required to comply with embargo periods of 12 months to 48 months .
    • Set statement to accompany deposit
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to journal home page or articles' DOI
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • NIH Authors articles will be submitted to PubMed Central after 12 months
    • Publisher last contacted on 18/10/2013
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Within the field of gerontology, several different theories have attempted to explain common psychological and social changes associated with the aging process. The Theory of Gerotranscendence is one such theory which purports that a shift in meta-perspective from a more materialistic and pragmatic view of the world to a more cosmic and transcendent one occurs as we age. Corresponding with this shift in meta-perspective, the individual exhibits certain behaviors that could be mistaken as signs of psychopathology if viewed based on the assumptions of more culturally-assimilated theories of aging. The purpose of this study was to examine the difference in perception of gerotranscendence behaviors between college students and older adults. Perceptions were quantified using an instrument that described many behaviors indicative of gerotranscendence within the context of a written narrative depicting an older adult living in an assisted living facility. Respondents were then asked to rate these behaviors in terms of how unusual they were and how concerning they were. As hypothesized, results indicated that several behaviors indicative of gerotranscendence were rated as more concerning and unusual by college students compared to older adults. Implications of these findings in terms of interactions between younger and older individuals occurring in the community and within healthcare settings are discussed.
    Journal of Aging Studies 08/2015; 34. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.03.003
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Residential relocation in later life is almost always a downsizing, with many possessions to be divested in a short period of time. This article examines older movers' capacities for selling things, and ways that selling attenuates people's ties to those things, thus accomplishing the human dis-possession of the material convoy. In qualitative interviews in 79 households in the Midwestern United States, older adults reported their experience with possession sales associated with residential relocation. Among this group, three-quarters of the households downsized by selling some belongings. Informal sales seemed the least fraught of all strategies, estate sales had mixed reviews, and garage sales were recalled as laborious. Sellers' efforts were eased by social relations and social networks as helpers and buyers came forward. As selling proceeded, sentiment about possessions waned as their materiality and economic value came to the fore, easing their detachment from the household. Possession selling is challenging because older adults are limited in the knowledge, skills, and efforts that they can apply to the recommodification of their belongings. Selling can nonetheless be encouraged as a divestment strategy as long as the frustrations and drawbacks are transparent, and the goal of ridding is kept in view.
    Journal of Aging Studies 08/2015; 34. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.03.006
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Drawing on feminist epistemologies, this paper attends to the way the reductionist assumptions have shaped the organization of nursing home carework in manners that are insufficient to the needs of relational care. This paper is informed by a study involving nine focus groups and a survey of Canadian residential care workers (141 RNs, 139 LPNs and 415 frontline careworkers). Four major themes were identified. Reductionist assumptions contributed to routinized, task-based approaches to care, resulting in what careworkers termed "assembly line care." Insufficient time and emphasis on the relational dimensions of care made it difficult to "treat residents as human beings." Accountability, enacted as counting and documenting, led to an "avalanche of paperwork" that took time away from care. Finally, hierarchies of knowledge contributed to systemic exclusions and the perception that "careworkers' don't have a voice." Careworkers reported distress as a result of the tensions between the organization of work and the needs of relational care. We theorize these findings as examples of "epistemological violence," a concept coined by Vandana Shiva (1988) to name the harm that results from the hegemony of reductionist assumptions. While not acting alone, we argue that reductionism has played an important role in shaping the context of care both at a policy and organizational level, and it continues to shape the solutions to problems in nursing home care in ways that pose challenges for careworkers. We conclude by suggesting that improving the quality of both work and care will require respecting the specificities of care and its unique epistemological and ontological nature. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Aging Studies 04/2015; 33. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.02.005
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Japan leads the global race for solutions to the increasing long-term care demand from an ageing population. Initial responses in 2000 saw the launch of the public Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI) system which witnessed an unexpectedly substantial uptake - with doubts raised about financial viability and sustainability. The post-2005 LTCI reform led to the adoption of innovations - including the "mobilisation" of active, older volunteers to support their frailer peers. This strategy, within the wider government's "2025 Vision" to provide total care for the entire older population, sought to secure financial viability and sustainability. Drawing on qualitative in-depth interviews with 21 provider organisations this study will examine three "mobilisation" schemes and identify those factors contributing to overall strengths while acknowledging complexities, diversities and challenges the schemes encountered. Initial literature written by mobilisation proponents may have been overly optimistic: this study seeks to balance such views through providing an understanding and analysis of these mobilisation schemes' realities. The findings will provide insights and suggest more caution to policy-makers intending to promote such schemes - in both Japan and in countries considering doing so. Furthermore, more evaluation is required to obtain evidence to support financial feasibility and sustainability. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Aging Studies 04/2015; 33. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.02.004
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The present study examines the experience of co-residence of older mothers with their adult children who have returned home, as seen from the mothers' perspective. The population of the study consisted of 14 women between the ages of 58 and 74, whose sons and daughters aged 30 to 40 had come to live with them. The study is a qualitative one, conducted on the basis of in-depth, semi-structured interviews with the mothers. The data were analyzed using constant comparisons. The analysis of the interviews yielded four main themes: a) the mother's perception of the parental role; b) the mother's perception of the returning son or daughter; c) the mother's perception of living together with the adult child; and d) the emotional ramifications arising from co-residence. The differences among the mothers interviewed allowed for the distinction of three types: (1) the mother as rescuer (2) the ambivalent mother and (3) the involved mother. The study sheds light on this late stage of the mother-child relationship, points to the complexity of the phenomenon, and offers insights for professionals working with clients in such situations. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Aging Studies 04/2015; 33. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.03.002
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: With increasing focus on client control and active client roles in aged care service provision, client engagement is highlighted as fundamental to contemporary care practice. Client engagement itself, however, is complex and is impacted by a range of issues including the relationships and power dynamics inherent in the care context. These dynamics do not simply reflect the roles that are available to or taken up by clients; just as important are the roles and positions that staff of aged care services are offered, and take up, in client engagement. This paper presents the findings of a study that explored client engagement practice within a large Australian service provider. Analysis of interview and focus group discussions addressed the ways in which staff were positioned - by both themselves and by clients - in terms of the roles that they hold within engagement practice and the power relations inherent within these. Analysis of power from the dominant policy perspective of choice and control, and the alternative perspective of an ethic of care suggests that power relations within the care context are dynamic, complex and involve on-going negotiation and regulation by clients and staff members in aged care. The use of these two contrasting perspectives reveals a more dynamic and complex understanding of power in care practice than dominant uni-dimensional approaches to critique suggest. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Aging Studies 04/2015; 33. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.02.011
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We conducted a qualitative interview study with people of different professions working with lonely elderly people. The rationale of the study was to examine how these respondents explain loneliness among the elderly. The present article focuses on the social explanations, i.e. explanations that identify causes of loneliness in the structure of modern society. We found that many of the social explanations given are aspects of a more encompassing and general pattern underlying all the reasoning about loneliness among the elderly. This pattern is the expression of two contrasting images of society which the classical sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies termed Gemeinschaft (community) and Gesellschaft (society). The former refers to traditional or small-size rural communities characterized by high degrees of social cohesion, integration, solidarity, proximity and familiarity, whereas the latter refers to functional differentiation, distance, individualization, exchanged-based social relations and anonymity. Loneliness among the elderly is explained by the lack of Gemeinschaft and its characteristics in contemporary society. This explanatory pattern goes hand in hand with a critical view of contemporary society and a nostalgic yearning for the lost communities of past societies, where inhabitants find their staked-out place and sense of belonging, and thus loneliness hardly seems to occur. We summarized this view under the label the "lost Gemeinschaft". Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Aging Studies 04/2015; 33. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.02.001
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Social policy applications of 'active ageing' ideals have recently focussed on volunteering as a beneficial and valuable contribution that older people can make to their communities. In this paper we draw attention to the positive and negative effects of a general imperative to contribute. Understanding the benefits of contribution in terms of the moral force of reciprocity recognises that older people do need and want to contribute to society and these contributions are beneficial for their sense of identity and wellbeing. However, older people vary greatly in their health, financial resources, and social networks and should not be seen as a homogenous group whose members must contribute in the same way. A policy focus on the imperative to contribute as a participating citizen can be oppressive and lead to withdrawal from social engagement by those who are the most in need of support to participate. Priorities for social and organisational policies must include support for the many ways older people are able to be involved in their communities and to provide structures necessary to support their preferences. A focus on individual responsibility for active engagement in society, which does not take account of individual circumstances or past contributions, can be harmful. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Aging Studies 04/2015; 33. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.02.003
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The bodily experience of patients near end of life has been presented within sociological literature as largely undifferentiated. The attempt of this paper is to overcome this gap by exploring how gender intersects with the loss of bodily autonomy experienced by hospice patients. The study was conducted in two in-patient hospice units located near Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. A total of ten terminally ill patients were interviewed, along with twenty family members and twenty members of hospice staff. For the men in this study loss of bodily autonomy was a very dramatic experience as it contravened masculine norms. The women's reactions towards their loss of autonomy were less negative compared to those of men and they made a considerable effort to integrate the best as they could their physical condition. This reflected feminine traits. Findings suggested that the loss of bodily autonomy is gendered in the sense that men and women experience it in dissimilar ways. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Aging Studies 04/2015; 33. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.03.001
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Of increasing interest to gerontologists is resilience: the capacity for coping with the challenges of later life with openness and positivity. An overlooked factor in resilience, however, is the narrative complexity of older persons' self-accounts. The research on which this article is based is part of a larger project aimed at assessing the role of narrative interventions in strengthening the stories that older people tell about their lives. Presented here are preliminary findings from analyses conducted by our multidisciplinary team (representing gerontology, social work, nursing, dementia studies, and literary theory) on open-ended life story interviews done with 20 community-dwelling individuals (15 F, 5 M; aged 65–89 years) who completed the Connor Davidson Resilience Scale. Specifically, we compared the self-accounts of the 6 from these 20 who scored highest on the CDRS with the 7 who scored lowest to determine any patterns in how each group “stories” their lives. We conclude with certain observations of relevance to narrative care.
    Journal of Aging Studies 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.02.010
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Over the years, the dominant accountability structures for eldercare in the Netherlands have conceptualized “care” in mainly quantitative terms, based on measurable outcomes and performance indicators. This article describes a two-year program that was designed to find ways for a renewed story of accountability and quality with a more “story conscious” way of engaging with the realities of both life and care. From the autoethnographical stance of the program manager, the article first provides the historical background of the program, tracing its roots in narrative gerontology. Second, it outlines the design of the program, which was meant to combine the practice of care organizations with scientific research and policy making. Third, it sheds light on issues of quality and accountability when eldercare is approached as a social constructionist practice. It concludes with some thoughts on how the learning gained in setting up the program are relevant to future policies regarding quality and accountability in eldercare.
    Journal of Aging Studies 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.02.006
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In most narrative approaches to understanding old age, the primary object of interest is the told story. However, what is often overlooked in narrative research are the untold stories – the silences, gaps, and omissions that form a type of shadow story or a story that lies just below the surface of what is said or written. This paper presents an illustrative case example of Constance to demonstrate how careful listening can help uncover hidden stories in an interview. In this case, Constance mentions two people (her brother and husband) as being important in her life yet omits them from the majority of her interview. The interviewer is able to uncover a hidden story with regard to her brother, learning important details about their relationship that would have otherwise gone unspoken. Overall, findings point to the importance of untold stories both in terms of content and as a way to empower the speaker to address topics that he or she may have otherwise thought were not of interest to the interviewer.
    Journal of Aging Studies 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.02.009
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: My research on the stories of palliative care patients emphasizes the heterogeneity of the types of stories they tell, including stories of illness, of everyday life, of the future, and of the past (Synnes, 2012). This article pays special attention to the prevalence of stories of past experiences in which the past is portrayed through idyllic and nostalgic interpretation. In contrast to most research on illness narratives and narrative gerontology that is preoccupied with stories of change, these stories of nostalgia are characterized by a plot where nothing in particular happens. However, this may be the primary purpose for the storytellers in their particular situation of illness and imminent death. The main purpose of nostalgia is precisely to ensure the continuity of identity in the face of adversity (Davis, 1979). In this article, I argue that these stories of nostalgia are vital aspects of maintaining the continuity of the self, or a narrative identity, when much else in life is characterized by discontinuity and uncertainty. Thus, stories of nostalgia should not be dismissed as escapism but valued and listened to as important aspects of narrative care among palliative care patients, and as a way of preserving the sense of a narrative identity.
    Journal of Aging Studies 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.02.007
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To assess the nature of beliefs and values among older adults with a focus on changes in worldview over time.
    Journal of Aging Studies 01/2015; 32. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2014.12.004
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The provision and receipt of emotion work—defined as intentional activities done to promote another's emotional well-being—are central dimensions of marriage. However, emotion work in response to physical health problems is a largely unexplored, yet likely important, aspect of the marital experience. We analyze dyadic in-depth interviews with husbands and wives in 21 mid- to later-life couples to examine the ways that health-impaired people and their spouses provide, interpret, and explain emotion work. Because physical health problems, emotion work, and marital dynamics are gendered, we consider how these processes differ for women and men. We find that wives provide emotion work regardless of their own health status. Husbands provide emotion work less consistently, typically only when the husbands see themselves as their wife's primary source of stability or when the husbands view their marriage as balanced. Notions of traditional masculinity preclude some husbands from providing emotion work even when their wife is health-impaired. This study articulates emotion work around physical health problems as one factor that sustains and exacerbates gender inequalities in marriage with implications for emotional and physical well-being.
    Journal of Aging Studies 01/2015; 32. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2014.12.001
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study explored how culture shapes relationships in aged care and the extent to which the residential aged care sector supports a cohesive multicultural workforce. An exploratory methodology utilising semi-structured questionnaires collected data from 58 participants comprising: staff who provide direct care to residents; managers; and family members from six residential care facilities in Perth, Western Australia. Communication issues emerged as an over-arching theme, and included interpersonal communication, the effect of cultural norms on communication and the impact of informal and formal workplace policies relating to spoken and written language. Sixty percent of participants from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) background had experienced negative reactions from residents with dementia, linked to visible cultural difference. They used a range of coping strategies including ignoring, resilience and avoidance in such situations. CaLD participants also reported prejudicial treatment from non-CaLD staff. The findings highlight the need for organisations to incorporate explicit processes which address the multiple layers of influence on cross cultural communication: internalised beliefs and values; moderating effects of education, experience and social circumstance; and factors external to the individuals, including workplace culture and the broader political economy, to develop a cohesive multicultural workplace.
    Journal of Aging Studies 01/2015; 32. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2014.12.003