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: Nursing homes have been criticised for not providing a home for their residents. This article aims to provide insight into (1) the features of home and institution as experienced by residents and caregivers of a secured ward in a nursing home, and (2) how interventions implemented on the ward can contribute to a more home-like environment. For this purpose, a participatory intervention study, involving both caregivers and residents, was carried out. We collected data through qualitative research methods: observations, in-depth interviews and diaries to evaluate the interventions over time. We adopted an informed grounded theory approach, and used conceptualisations of total institutions and home as a theoretical lens. We found that the studied ward had strong characteristics of a total institution, such as batch living, block treatment and limited privacy. To increase the sense of home, interventions were formulated and implemented by the caregivers to increase the residents' autonomy, control and privacy. In this process, caregivers' perceptions and attitudes towards the provision of care shifted from task-oriented to person-centred care. We conclude that it is possible to increase the home-like character of a secured ward by introducing core values of home by means of interventions involving both caregivers and residents. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Aging Studies 08/2015; 34. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.05.002
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    ABSTRACT: Participatory action research (PAR), with its focus on engagement and collaboration, is uniquely suited to enhancing culture change initiatives in dementia care. Yet, there is limited literature of its application to culture change approaches in care settings, and even less in dementia specific care contexts. To address these gaps in the literature, the purpose of this paper is to examine the complexities of a PAR project aimed at changing the culture of dementia care in two diverse dementia care settings, including a long term care (LTC) and community care setting. Drawing from data gathered throughout the PAR process, we unpack the challenges experienced by participants working together to guide culture change within their respective care settings. These challenges include: overextending selves through culture change participation; fluctuating group membership; feeling uncertainty, confusion and apprehension about the process; frustratingly slow process; and seeking diverse group representation in decision making. We also highlight the potential for appreciative inquiry (AI) to be integrated with PAR to guide a process whereby participants involved in culture change initiatives can develop strategies to mitigate challenges they experience. We view the challenges and strategies shared here as being constructive to would-be culture change agents and hope this paper will move others to consider the use of PAR when engaging in culture change initiatives. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Aging Studies 08/2015; 34. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.04.002
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to investigate media presentations of baby boomers as future care users. The Swedish baby boomer generation, born in the 1940s, and known as the '40s generation, has been characterized as youthful and powerful, and a question investigated in the study was whether boomers are supposed to display these characteristics as care users. We analyzed 481 articles in Swedish newspapers, published between 1995 and 2012, with a qualitative content analysis. The results showed that the '40s generation was predicted to become a new breed of demanding, self-aware care users. These claims were supported by descriptions of the formative events and typical characteristics of these individuals, which were then projected onto their future behavior as care users. Such projections tended to portray contemporary care users as passive, submissive, and partly responsible for problems associated with elder care. Consequently, approaches that focus on differences between cohorts need to incorporate a constructionist dimension to highlight the problem of generationism. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Aging Studies 08/2015; 34. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.05.001
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    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Aging Studies 08/2015; 34. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.03.006
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    ABSTRACT: According to Taiwanese government policies and regulations, families planning to hire migrant care workers must apply for a medical assessment of the needs of elderly people destined to be cared for. The physician conducting this assessment acts as a gatekeeper who carries out her/his work with state and medical profession authority to identify, define, and regulate older people's needs. Using institutional ethnography as the method of inquiry, this article locates the problematic nature of the medical assessment as an entry point to an inquiry into how the care needs met by migrant workers are textually-mediated. This article begins by telling the daily story of an old woman and her live-in migrant worker to point out the standpoint of care recipients and their families where the inquiry anchors. I examine the physicians' daily working activities of medical assessment to discover how policy subordinates people's interests to the governmental purpose. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Aging Studies 08/2015; 34. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.04.001
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    ABSTRACT: This paper explores the experiences of older community-dwelling Australians evacuated from their homes during the 2011 and 2013 Queensland floods, applying the novel creative methodology of poetic inquiry as an analysis and interpretative tool. As well as exploring how older adults managed during a natural disaster, the paper documents the process and potential of poetic inquiry in gerontological research. The first and second poems highlight the different social resources older people have to draw on in their lives, especially during a crisis. Poem 1 ("Nobody came to help me") illustrates how one older resident felt all alone during the flood, whereas Poem 2 ("They came from everywhere"), Poem 3 ("The Girls") and Poem 5 ("Man in Blue Shirt") shows how supported - from both family and the wider community - other older residents felt. Poem 4 ("I can't swim") highlights one participant's fear as the water rises. To date, few studies have explicitly explored older adult's disaster experience, with this paper the first to utilise a poetic lens. We argue that poetic presentation enhances understanding of older residents' unique experiences during a disaster, and may better engage a wider audience of policy-makers, practitioners, the general community and older people themselves in discussion about, and reflection on, the impact and experience of disasters. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Aging Studies 08/2015; 34. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.05.003
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    ABSTRACT: The paper compares two films, Children of Nature (Börn náttúrunnar, Iceland, Friðrik Þór Friðriksson, 1991) and Cloudburst (Canada, Thom Fitzgerald, 2010), which share remarkable similarities, despite their difference in historical and geographical origin. In focusing on these two examples, the paper shows the extent to which a widespread fear of long-term residential care evident in popular discourse motivates larger commentaries about growing old. Each narrative presents a romance catalyzed by the threat of long-term residential care. In both stories, the couples are depicted as fugitives from the law, escaping what is perceived as a fate worse than death in order to pursue death on their own terms. The paper explores the structure and significance of how they leave and what they accomplish while they are away. The films offer examples of a broader cultural discourse that is damaging, while they are also heartening in their satisfying representation of the possibility of escape. Through that, they indicate the importance of choice and desire to transforming residential care in a manner that could also transform popular understandings of the "nursing home." Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Aging Studies 08/2015; 34:134-141. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.06.001
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    ABSTRACT: Family Group Conferencing (FGC) is emerging in the field of elderly care, as a method to enhance the resilience and relational autonomy of older persons. In this article, we want to explore the appropriateness of these two concepts to understand the FGC process in older adults. Using a case study design, we researched eight FGC cases for older adults, and selected two cases for further analysis and comparison. We found that the concepts of relational autonomy and resilience provide insight in the FGC process. Compassionately interfering social contacts, showing respect for the older person's needs and wishes gave older adults an impulse to take action to solve their problems. The capacity of a person to initiate and maintain social relations, and his or her willingness to ask for help, seemed essential to foster behavioral change. But apart from these, other, contextual factors seem to be important, which are currently not included in the theoretical framework for FGC, such as the nature of the problems, the involvement and capacities of the social network, and the older person's background. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Aging Studies 08/2015; 34:68-81. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.04.005
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    ABSTRACT: Family Group Conferencing (FGC), a model in which a person and his or her social network make their own 'care' plan, is used in youth care and might also be useful in elderly care to support older persons living at home. In Amsterdam, the Netherlands, FGC was implemented for older adults but they showed resistance. Reasons for this resistance have been researched and are described in this article. We examine existing views and attitudes of older adults concerning the use of FGC, and report on how older adults see the possibility to regain control over their lives using FGC. To do this, focus group sessions, duo interviews and individual interviews were held with older adults with varying characteristics: living at home, in sheltered housing, or in a home for the elderly; and living in urban, suburban or rural areas. Themes were: views on and contentment with the control and autonomy that they experience in their lives, and the willingness to use FGC to improve this. The main reasons for our respondents to resist FGC were: expecting people to be there for them without a FGC, not feeling ready yet for a FGC, feeling embarrassed when asking for help, being reluctant to open up about their problems, and having the fear of losing control when organizing a FGC. We conclude that, for this generation of older adults, FGC means losing control and autonomy rather than gaining it. To be appealing to older adults, a relational empowerment strengthening model should most likely be focused on reciprocity, peer-to-peer support, and solutions instead of problems. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Aging Studies 08/2015; 34:57-67. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.04.003
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    ABSTRACT: How the general public in Norway conceives being an older adult and the meaning of chronological age has changed over the last few decades. As narratives of aging may be identified in the Norwegian mass media and in the population at large, dominant narratives may also be identified in policy documents, such as government health policy papers. This article explores a narrative analytical framework based on stories, subtexts, and counterstories; it argues that such narratives are characterized as much by what is unsaid as by what is said, and as much by choice of words and word combinations as by explicit messages. Culture strongly influences the conception of a likely future (what will be) and an envisioned future (what ought to be) regarding aging and geriatric care in Norway, as expressed in the public policy papers. The public policy story is discussed as both a story continuously developing, where later health policy papers relate to and comment on earlier documents, and as a story characterized by a measure of cultural incoherence. Some recent government documents dealing with professional geriatric care will serve as material for a narrative analysis. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Aging Studies 05/2015; 34. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2015.04.006
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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