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 1.12

  • 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
    • 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: 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.
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    ABSTRACT: Advertisements as well as contemporary literature and films often depict older adults as sexually undesirable and unattractive, which reinforces the stereotype that they are nonsexual. However, the evolving discourses of successful aging emphasize that active engagement in life is a key element of healthy aging and as such, have been influencing the ways that older adults' sexuality is represented. This paper explores how popular newspapers and magazines in Canada construct and portray later life sexuality within the context of online dating. We retrieved 144 newspaper and magazine articles about later life online dating that were published between 2009 and 2011. Our thematic and discursive analyses of the articles generated six themes. Of 144 articles, 13% idealized sexuality (sexual attractiveness and optimal sexual engagement) for older adults. The articles portrayed sexual interests and functioning as declining in later life (19%) more often than sustaining (15%). Approximately 15% of the articles suggested that older adults should explore new techniques to boost sexual pleasure, thereby medicalizing and ameliorating sexual decline. In addition, the articles challenged the stereotype of older adults as non-sexual and claimed that sexual engagement in later life was valuable as it contributed to successful aging. We address the paradox in the articles' positive portrayals of older adults' sexuality and the tensions that arise between the two distinct ideals of sexuality that they advance.
    Journal of Aging Studies 01/2015; 32(Advance online publication).
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    ABSTRACT: A retirement village consists of a collection of privately owned or leased flats or maisonettes for elderly adults that are supported by a central hub that provides catering, medical care and social activities. There have been studies of the psychological experience and impacts of such environments, however, there is lack of research that links the retirement village experience to overarching theories of eudaimonic wellbeing, and that uses qualitative methods to find out about how wellbeing manifests for the individual. This study used Ryff's (1989) model of wellbeing as a framework for analysis, while aiming to gain an in-depth understanding of the experiences and sources of wellbeing in residents of two retirement villages in the South East of England. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 18 residents. Thematic analysis revealed a dialectical tension to retirement village living: while facilitating all six core components of eudaimonic wellbeing as conceptualized by Ryff's model, individuals living within the retirement villages also experience challenges to wellbeing on the same dimensions. An integrative model of these tensions between positive and negative experiences is presented and discussed.
    Journal of Aging Studies 12/2014; 31:10–19.
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    ABSTRACT: Despite growing recognition in health and care services of the necessity for client engagement, it is still not easily put into practice. This is owing to a range of factors relating to participating staff and clients, as well as the broader institutional context. One of the central factors affecting client engagement is the challenge it poses to traditional power relations inherent in care relationships and contexts. This is particularly the case in aged care services, which have traditionally positioned older adults in passive roles as “recipients” of care, or as lacking capacity to participate in care decision making. This paper presents an exploration of client engagement practices within a large aged care service provider in Australia. Interviews and focus group discussions with clients and staff were analysed for the ways in which clients were positioned – by both themselves and by staff – in terms of the roles that they hold within engagement practices. Four positions were identified: “Passivity, disempowerment and bestowal of power”, “Role of expert/consumer”, “Resistance, compliance and manageability”, and “Complexity, diversity and uniqueness”. While clients were positioned at times in empowering roles, they were simultaneously limited by personal, relational, or organisational constraints, making opportunities for client engagement provisional. This reflects a tension between passive and empowered client roles in the context of aged care provision.
    Journal of Aging Studies 12/2014; 31:119-131.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper addresses ageing and embodiment and explores how age is negotiated in interaction using Membership Categorisation Work. Data were derived from group and individual interviews with home-dwelling retirees in the Faroe Islands. The analysis showed that the interviewees negotiated age by drawing on two contrasting categories, placing themselves and others in the categories of ‘old’ or ‘not old’. Good health was the main predicate tied to the category ‘not old’ and keeping busy and taking care of oneself were the main activities that the interviewees ascribed to the category ‘not old’. The analysis also demonstrated how health as a moral discourse was actualised during the interviews. Staying active and in good health were not just talked about as ways to achieve personal well-being. The interviewees talked about having a responsibility to stay ‘fit’ for as long as possible to avoid being a burden to the society or to their families.
    Journal of Aging Studies 12/2014; 31:83–92.
  • Source
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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 12/2014; 31:20–25.
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    ABSTRACT: Since the late 1980s, the concept of 'successful ageing' has set the frame for discourse about contemporary ageing research. Through an analysis of the reception to John W. Rowe and Robert L. Kahn's launch of the concept of 'successful ageing' in 1987, this article maps out the important themes and discussions that have emerged from the interdisciplinary field of ageing research. These include an emphasis on interdisciplinarity; the interaction between biology, psycho-social contexts and lifestyle choices; the experiences of elderly people; life-course perspectives; optimisation and prevention strategies; and the importance of individual, societal and scientific conceptualisations and understandings of ageing. By presenting an account of the recent historical uses, interpretations and critiques of the concept, the article unfolds the practical and normative complexities of 'successful ageing'. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Journal of Aging Studies 12/2014; 31:139-49.
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    ABSTRACT: The article explores how old people who live in their ordinary home, reason and act regarding their ‘material room’ (technical objects, such as household appliances, communication tools and things, such as furniture, personal belongings, gadgets, books, paintings, and memorabilia). The interest is in how they, as a consequence of their aging, look at acquiring new objects and phasing out older objects from the home. This is a broader approach than in most other studies of how old people relate to materiality in which attention is mostly paid either to adjustments to the physical environment or to the importance of personal possessions. In the latter cases, the focus is on downsizing processes (e.g. household disbandment or casser maison) in connection with a move to smaller accommodation or to a nursing home. The article is based on a study in which thirteen older people (median age 87), living in a Swedish town of medium size were interviewed (2012) for a third time. The questions concerned the need and desire for new objects, replacement of broken objects, sorting out the home or elsewhere, most cherished possessions, and the role of family members such as children and grandchildren. The results reveal the complexity of how one handles the material room. Most evident is the participants' reluctance to acquire new objects or even to replace broken things. Nearly all of them had considered, but few had started, a process of sorting out objects. These standpoints in combination resulted in a relatively intact material room, which was motivated by an ambition to simplify daily life or to facilitate the approaching dissolution of the home. Some objects of special value and other cherished objects materialized the connections between generations within a family. Some participants wanted to spare their children the burden of having to decide on what to do with their possessions. Others (mostly men), on the contrary, relied on their children to do the sorting out after they had died.
    Journal of Aging Studies 12/2014; 31:110-118.
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose of the study The process of involving older clients with regard to their care arrangements has been the subject of previous studies. However, a more general overview of the issues addressed by older people living in long-term care (LTC) facilities, in order to inform practice improvements, is missing. This article explores which aspects of care that older people in LTC facilities want to improve, by means of a collective policy agenda-setting project, during which the participants voice their own experiences and concerns regarding LTC. Design and methods Seven LTC facilities for older people in the Netherlands joined a collective agenda-setting project in which a total of 58 residents participated. Qualitative methods were used: participant observations (80 h in total) and semi-structured interviews (n = 16), which were analysed according to the principles of a qualitative content analysis. Findings There were many similarities between the seven organisations with regard to the proposed practice improvements. Nine topics were found to be important in improving the lives of older residents: a sense of community, feeling at home, social contacts between residents, independence, maintaining own hobbies and lifestyle, interpersonal conduct between residents and caregivers, being informed, security within the LTC facility, and food. Implications Narratives about the daily lives and experiences of residents provided a rich understanding of what living in a LTC facility means, as well as the changes the residents wish to see. We found that according to the residents, the relatively ‘small things’ in life may have a big influence on improving the quality of life within LTC facilities.
    Journal of Aging Studies 12/2014; 31:45–53.
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    ABSTRACT: The article deals with the re-negotiation of old age in current times of flexible capitalism and its analysis by Critical Gerontologists who criticize this process as age denial and midlife-imperialism. Starting out from the instructive critique of active ageing and consumer-based anti-ageing strategies, rooted in the heterogeneous field of Critical Gerontology, the here presented contribution aims at critically reviewing and discussing this critique. The article exposes theoretical pitfalls that make this critique run into a dead-end, since old age tends to be homogenized and sometimes even naturalized within Critical Gerontology: Though certainly often unintended, the appreciation of old age as being positively different from midlife ends up with sheltering “old people” as “the others” from the impositions of active society. After elaborating on this difference perspective and discussing its problems, I will finally sketch some conceptual ideas, inspired by poststructuralist thinking, on how to overcome the fruitless dichotomy of imperialism/sameness (“they have to be like us”) and difference (“they are the others”).
    Journal of Aging Studies 12/2014; 31:93–103.
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    ABSTRACT: Initially the aim of this article was to discuss and define aging at the intersection point between biology and sociology. However, recent biomedical and technological advances are changing the discourse on aging, and against this background the author of this article argues that current definitions of aging should be improved. The author emphasizes that there is a need to update current definitions of aging, or to formulate new multidisciplinary ones. The author suggests that (besides biology, psychology and sociology) the technological discipline should be included in the integrative gerontology model. Finally, in this article a new definition of aging is put forward. According to the author of this article, human bio-techno-social aging is characterized by: (a) a time-bound process of change including, (b) both reversible and irreversible biological processes, (c) social processes forming an irreversible chain of events, and (d) an increasing use of technological artifacts whose purpose is to support or replace damaged biological functions; and/or an increasing use of technological artifacts whose purpose is to facilitate or enable interaction. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Aging Studies 12/2014; 31:104-9.
  • Journal of Aging Studies 12/2014; 31:182.
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    ABSTRACT: The increase in life expectancy enhances phenomena such as second couplehood in old age following widowhood or divorce as an alternative way of coping with changes that occur with aging. Research on the phenomenon has focused mainly on individual and dyadic perspectives of the repartnered. The aim of this article was to explore repartnering from the stepfamily's perspective, which has scarcely been studied. Nineteen Israeli stepfamilies (38 multigenerational families) were recruited using criterion sampling, of men who repartnered at age 65 + and women at 60 +, with children and grandchildren from a lifelong marriage that ended in widowhood or divorce. We audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim 107 semi-structured, qualitative interviews with older partners, their adult children, and grandchildren. Analysis was based on grounded theory and dyadic analysis principles adapted to families. It showed how repartnering in old age changed the family structure, constructing complex stepfamilies, which require further study. Emotional experiences refer to repartnering being a replacement for couplehood but not for parenthood/grandparenthood. Practical consequences refer to “knowing their place” within the stepfamily and included the following subthemes: showing affection; participating in memorials for the deceased spouse; sharing, listening, and assisting. Findings are discussed regarding life course and family life cycle perspectives.
    Journal of Aging Studies 12/2014; 31:70–82.
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    ABSTRACT: While discussions of accessibility, mobility and activities of daily living frame relocation studies, in older adulthood, the paper explores the emotional motivation of gift giving as a rationale for moving. This ethnographic study investigates the processes of household disbandment and decision-making of older adults in the Midwestern United States relocating in post-Global Financial Crisis contexts. In this study, relationships are created and sustained through the process of moving, linking older adults (n = 81), their kin (n = 49), and professionals (n = 46) in the Midwestern United States. Using Marcel Mauss' The Gift (1925/1990) as a theoretical lens, relocation in older adulthood is conceptualized as a gift in two ways: to one's partner, and one's kin. Partners may consider gift-giving in terms of the act of moving to appease and honor their partner. Kin who were not moving themselves were also recipients of the gift of moving. These gifts enchain others in relationships of reciprocity. However these gifts, like all gifts, are not without costs or danger, so this paper examines some of the challenges that emerge along with gift-giving.
    Journal of Aging Studies 12/2014; 31:1–9.
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    ABSTRACT: 'Freedom of sexual expression' is a slogan that has long been synonymous with the generation known as the baby boomers during the 1960s and 1970s. But does this catchphrase still have currency for the men and women in this cohort who are mostly now over the age of fifty? This paper explores the question by reporting on qualitative data from a multi-method Australian study about the influence of growing older on baby boomers' sexual expression. The sample comprised ten interview participants and fifty-seven Internet survey respondents, aged between 50 and 70years. Following a theoretical perspective known as the sociology of emotions, the analysis of data reveals that baby boomers' emotional experiences range from constraining to liberating sexual expression, to a paradoxical combination of both. The article argues that while sexual freedom is still an important concept to baby boomers, there are new emotional dimensions to its expression, particularly in the form of comfort and confidence, that come with age. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Aging Studies 12/2014; 31:150-8.
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    ABSTRACT: In late modern circumstances, aging individuals are confronted with the task of creating a meaningful individual life trajectory. However, these personal narratives are situated in the context of broader cultural narratives. It is argued that current cultural narratives about aging are often stereotyping and demeaning, being based on either a decline ideology or an age-defying ideology. This complicates the ascription of meaning to later life. We argue that narrative gerontology could profit from integrating a more cultural critical stance in its investigations. Dominant cultural narratives need to be challenged by viable counter narratives aimed at repairing and strengthening the moral agency of aging individuals. We discuss the criteria such counter narratives have to answer to and consider how the moral discourse on self-realization can provide an ideological foundation for meaning-generating cultural counter narratives on aging.
    Journal of Aging Studies 12/2014; 31:34–44.