Journal of Aging Studies (J AGING STUD )

Publisher: Elsevier


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.

  • Impact factor
  • 5-year impact
  • Cited half-life
  • Immediacy index
  • Eigenfactor
  • Article influence
  • Website
    Journal of Aging Studies website
  • Other titles
    Journal of aging studies, Aging studies
  • ISSN
  • OCLC
  • 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
    • Voluntary deposit by author of pre-print allowed on Institutions open scholarly website and pre-print servers
    • Voluntary deposit by author of authors post-print allowed on institutions open scholarly website including Institutional Repository
    • Deposit due to Funding Body, Institutional and Governmental mandate only allowed where separate agreement between repository and publisher exists
    • 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 PMC after 12 months
    • Authors who are required to deposit in subject repositories may also use Sponsorship Option
    • Pre-print can not be deposited for The Lancet
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Based on the self-determination theory (SDT), this study aims to examine the psychological needs satisfaction of the elderly living in residential homes and their relationship with indicators of well-being, and then to test the contribution of each need on these indicators. Participants (N=100; Mage=86.7 years, SD=3.78) completed the measures of psychological needs satisfaction, purpose in life, personal growth and geriatric depression. Cluster analyses showed two distinct profiles: one profile with a high satisfaction of the three basic psychological needs and another profile with a low satisfaction of the three basic psychological needs. These profiles did not differ in terms of residents' characteristics, health problems and functional limitations. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) results revealed that the participants with the profile of a high satisfaction of psychological needs have significantly higher levels of purpose in life and personal growth than participants with the profile of a low satisfaction of psychological needs, and no effect of cluster membership on depressive feelings was reported. Moreover, for all participants, relatedness need satisfaction was significantly and positively related to personal growth, and autonomy and relatedness needs satisfaction was related to purpose of life. In conclusion, our results offer evidence that old age can be fruitful and, in consistent with SDT, show that autonomy and relatedness need satisfaction is positively associated with indicators of well-being such as purpose in life and personal growth, considered as essential components of optimal functioning.
    Journal of Aging Studies 08/2014; 30:104-11.
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    ABSTRACT: Researchers and clinicians have traditionally explored widowhood as an intrapersonal process. We expand the paradigm of bereavement research to explore the widow's perceptions of her experience within a family context. In a study of family bereavement, 24 widows each participated in 2 separate qualitative interviews, followed by standard qualitative analyses of the transcribed narratives. Three inter-related central topics emerged. (1) Widows stress the importance of their independence vis a vis their family as central to their sense of identity. (2) Widows perceive that they and their adult children avoid expressing their feelings of sadness and loss with each other. (3) Widows believe that their children are unable to understand the meaning of the widows' loss because of differences in generations and life situations. Two inter-woven underlying themes emerged: protection of self and of other, and boundaries between widow and children. Just as protection is rooted in a dynamic of separation between widow and child, boundaries are rooted in their deep bond. When researchers and clinicians recognize the dynamics of these two themes they can potentially increase understanding of widowhood within the context of the family.
    Journal of Aging Studies 01/2014; 29:98–106.
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    ABSTRACT: The TV series, Brothers & Sisters, broadcast from 2006 to 2011 by ABC (USA) and a year later by Channel 4 (UK) with quite high audience rates, starts when the patriarchal figure, William Walker, dies of a heart attack and two female figures around their sixties come center stage: his wife, Nora Walker, and his long-term lover, Holly Harper. Once the patriarchal figure disappears, the female characters regain visibility by entering the labor market and starting relationships with other men. In that sense, both protagonists experience aging as a time in which they are increasingly freed from social and family constraints. However, their roles as nurturers keep on bringing them back to the domestic space in which they are safe from being involved in uncomfortable and unsuitable situations. Drawing on previous studies on the representation of the older woman in fictional media, this article intends to discern to what extent stereotypes related to the older woman are challenged through the two main protagonists of a contemporary TV series.
    Journal of Aging Studies 01/2014; 31:20–25.
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    ABSTRACT: The study aims to examine how grandchildren perceive their grandparents who suffer from dementia. Grandchildren living in Barcelona, Spain, participated in the study (n = 145). The data, based on qualitative information extracted from three incomplete questions (referring to the grandparent's best and worst qualities, and to the best memory that the participant has of this grandparent), showed that grandchildren mentioned the same best and worst qualities of the grandparent as those reported in other normative studies. Nevertheless, dementia had a strong influence on the responses regarding the grandparent's worst qualities, which reflected characteristics of the disease rather than personal characteristics. Regarding the best memories, participants remembered their grandparent's roles as funseekers and caregivers in the past, emphasizing the importance of this older person during their childhood. In the discussion, we stress the importance of the figure of the grandchild in intervention plans for dementia and the role that grandchildren can play in maintaining the identity of the person with dementia.
    Journal of Aging Studies 01/2014; 29:1–8.
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    ABSTRACT: Active ageing is a policy tool that dominates the way the ageing society has been constituted during the last decades. The authors argue that active ageing is an attempt at unmaking the concept of old age, by engaging in the plasticity of ageing in various ways. Through a document study of the different epistemes, models and forms used in the constitution of active ageing policies, the authors show how active ageing is not one coordinated set of policy instruments, but comes in different formats. In the WHO, active ageing configures individual lifestyle in order to expand the plasticity of ageing, based on epidemiological and public health conventions. In the EU, active ageing reforms the retirement behaviour of populations in order to integrate the plasticity of ageing into the institutions, based on social gerontological and demographic conventions. These conventional arrangements are cognitive and political in the way they aim at unmaking both the structures and the expectations that has made old age and format a new ideal of the ‘good late life’. The paper examines the role of knowledge in policy and questions whether the formats of active ageing should be made to co-exist, or whether the diversity and comprehensiveness enable a local adaptation and translation of active ageing policies.
    Journal of Aging Studies 01/2014; 30:33–46.
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    ABSTRACT: The transition from community dwelling to a nursing home is a common, though idiosyncratic, experience in the United States. This study employed an interpretive phenomenological approach to uncover how eight older adults in nursing homes in the Midwestern U.S. constructed the meaning of home shortly following the relocation and again approximately two months later. The degree to which the individual had been involved in the decision making process was also explored as it related to the meaning of home within the nursing home setting. The majority of individuals did not consider the facility to be “home,” but actively changed their attitudes toward the facility and themselves to better adjust to the setting. The findings demonstrate the importance of autonomy in older adults' definitions of home.
    Journal of Aging Studies 01/2014; 30:56–63.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: With demographic change becoming an ever more pressing issue in Germany, old age (80 +) is currently talked about above all in terms of being a problem. In mainstream discourse on the situation of the oldest old an interpretive framework has emerged that effectively rules out the possibility of people living positively and well in old age. With regard to both individual (personal) and collective (societal) spheres, negative images of old age dominate public debate. This is the starting point for an interdisciplinary research project designed to look at the ways in which people manage to “live well in old age in the face of vulnerability and finitude” — in express contrast to dominant negative perspectives. Based on the results of this project, the present article addresses an attitudinal and behavioral mode which we have coined “senior coolness”. Coolness here is understood as both a socio-cultural resource and an individualized habitus of everyday living. By providing an effective strategy of self-assertion, this ability can, as we show, be just as important for elderly people as for anyone else. “Senior coolness” is discussed, finally, as a phenomenon that testifies to the ways elderly people retain a positive outlook on life — especially in the face of difficult circumstances and powerful socio-cultural pressures.
    Journal of Aging Studies 01/2014; 28:22–34.
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    ABSTRACT: Where people die has important implications for end-of-life (EOL) care. Assisted living (AL) increasingly is becoming a site of EOL care and a place where people die. AL residents are moving in older and sicker and with more complex care needs, yet AL remains largely a non-medical care setting that subscribes to a social rather than medical model of care. The aims of this paper are to add to the limited knowledge of how EOL is perceived, experienced, and managed in AL and to learn how individual, facility, and community factors influence these perceptions and experiences. Using qualitative methods and a grounded theory approach to study eight diverse AL settings, we present a preliminary model for how EOL care transitions are negotiated in AL that depicts the range of multilevel intersecting factors that shape EOL processes and events in AL. Facilities developed what we refer to as an EOL presence, which varied across and within settings depending on multiple influences, including, notably, the dying trajectories and care arrangements of residents at EOL, the prevalence of death and dying in a facility, and the attitudes and responses of individuals and facilities toward EOL processes and events, including how deaths were communicated and formally acknowledged and the impact of death and dying on the residents and staff. Our findings indicate that in the majority of cases, EOL care must be supported by collaborative arrangements of care partners and that hospice care is a critical component.
    Journal of Aging Studies 01/2014; 30:1–13.
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    ABSTRACT: Nowadays people are growing old in a context where youth culture is the norm and where self-initiative is required in order to prepare for a good old age. However, planning old age may be more difficult for certain social groups with insecure work and living conditions. Precariousness, defined as bad financial conditions but also as having an insecure, unpredictable existence, has been little studied in the context of aging. This study brings its contribution by exploring how middle-aged adults with different social security backgrounds (insurance versus no insurance) think about aging. Episodic interviews were conducted to explore their concepts of aging, contexts of thinking about aging and perceptions of aging. These were compared between groups who have a secure old age ahead of them (N = 10) versus those who have to struggle with an uncertain present and future (N = 10). Also, differences between men (N = 11) and women (N = 9) were addressed. Results of the thematic analysis showed the predominance of fears related to aging as well as an emerging meaninglessness attached to old age. Starting from the different images of aging found in the two studied groups, the need for tailored interventions and policy are discussed.
    Journal of Aging Studies 01/2014; 29:78–87.
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    ABSTRACT: Well-known trust-building methods are routinely used to recruit and retain older African Americans into scientific research studies, yet the quandary over how to overcome this group's hesitance to participate in research remains. We present two innovative and testable methods for resolving the dilemma around increasing older African Americans' participation in scientific research studies. Certain specific and meaningful experiential similarities between the primary researcher and the participants, as well as clear recognition of the elders' worth and dignity, improved older African Americans' willingness to adhere to a rigorous research design. Steps taken in an intervention study produced a potentially replicable strategy for achieving strong results in recruitment, retention and engagement of this population over three waves of assessment. Sixty-two (n = 62) older African Americans were randomized to treatment and control conditions of a reminiscence intervention. Sensitivity to an African American cultural form of respect for elders (recognition of worth and dignity), and intersections between the lived experience of the researcher and participants helped dispel this population's well-documented distrust of scientific research. Results suggest that intentional efforts to honor the worth and dignity of elders through high level hospitality and highlighting meaningful experiential similarities between the researcher and the participants can improve recruitment and retention results. Experiential similarities, in particular, may prove more useful to recruitment and retention than structural similarities such as age, race, or gender, which may not in themselves result in the trust experiential similarities elicit.
    Journal of Aging Studies 01/2014; 29:142–149.
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    ABSTRACT: Images of women's sexuality beyond the age of forty are lacking in popular culture. Recently, however, the term cougar has been embraced by American media as a label describing “older” women who assertively pursue younger sexual partners. This term and women's opinions of it can be viewed as exemplary of two competing ideologies about aging and sexuality. These are: 1) recognition of older women's sexual desire, consistent with new trends that promote lifelong sexual health and sexual activity; or, 2) linking aging and asexuality, when the term cougar is used as a pejorative that reinforces age and gender stereotypes. Based on in-depth interviews with a diverse sample of 84 women in their 20s–60s, we explore reactions to this term and its implications for women's aging and sexuality. We find that the majority of women viewed the label cougar negatively, or had mixed feelings about what it suggests regarding older women's sexuality, particularly as it marked women as predators or aggressors. Some women, however, embraced the term or its meaning, as indicative of the reality of older women's sexuality and continued sexual desire.
    Journal of Aging Studies 01/2014; 28:35–43.
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    ABSTRACT: Drawing from ethnographic fieldwork and in-depth interviews, I explain how informal dementia caregivers attempt to reduce the affected individual's moments of confusion and disorientation through cognitive support work. I identify three stages through which such support takes shape and then gradually declines in usage. In a first stage, family members collaborate with affected individuals to first identify and then to avoid “triggers” that elicit sudden bouts of confusion. In a second stage, caregivers lose the effective collaboration of the affected individual and begin unilateral attempts to minimize confused states through pre-emptive conversational techniques, third-party interactional support, and social-environment shifts. In a third stage, caregivers learn that the affected individual has reached a level of impairment that does not respond well to efforts at reduction and begin abandoning strategies. I identify the motivations driving cognitive support work and discuss the role of lay health knowledge in dementia caregiving. I conclude by considering the utility of cognitive support work as a concept within dementia caregiving.
    Journal of Aging Studies 01/2014; 30:121–130.
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    ABSTRACT: Textual and visual representations of age are instructive as they suggest ideals towards which individuals should strive and influence how we perceive age. The purpose of our study was to investigate textual and visual representations of later life in the advertisements and interest stories of six widely read North American male-oriented magazines (namely, Esquire, GQ, Maxim, Men's Health, Men's Journal, and Zoomer). Through a content analysis and a visual textual analysis, we examined how older men were depicted in the magazine images and accompanying texts. Our findings revealed that older men were largely absent, and when portrayed, were positively depicted as experienced and powerful celebrities or as healthy and happy unknown individuals. The magazine advertisements and interest stories collectively required individuals to engage in consumer culture in order to achieve age and masculinity ideals and stave off the transition from the Third Age to the Fourth Age. We consider our findings in relation to theorizing about ageism, age relations, the Third and Fourth Ages, and idealized aging masculinity.
    Journal of Aging Studies 01/2014; 31:26–33.
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    ABSTRACT: Appearance and the work invested in it by and for people with dementia are a neglected issue within dementia studies. In policy and practice there exists an assumption that the role of supporting a person to manage their appearance is easily assumed by another within caring encounters, only to be subsumed within the daily task-oriented provision of care. This paper reports on interviews conducted as part of the Hair and Care project, which explored questions of appearance and the meanings it holds with people with dementia. The research used ‘appearance biographies’, a method which allows for a range of topics to be considered about appearance throughout the life course, acting as a conduit for reminiscence and life story work. The paper reports on the key themes and findings from these interviews, discussing them in the context of a wider debate on dementia, self-expression and agency. A key question posed by the authors is whether appearance and the work invested in it are legitimate considerations for dementia care policy and practice. And if so, how should we make sense of this work and what significance should we attach to it? In seeking to answer these questions the authors position the perspectives and experiences of people with dementia as central to their analysis. A narrative framework is suggested as a useful basis on which to understand the work of managing appearance over the life course. The implications for policy and practice are outlined.
    Journal of Aging Studies 01/2014; 30:64–72.

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