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Social Integration in the Second Half of Life Description
Social scientists use the term social integration to refer to individuals' connections with others in their environments. The concept and its consequences have been the subject of considerable study. Many researchers have asserted that meaningful and enduring ties to other persons serve as a buffer against stress, and thereby promote physical and mental health. The results are especially pronounced for older persons. Social Integration in the Second Half of Life presents integrative reviews of theory and research on this topic. The editors and contributors, all currently or previously affiliated with the Cornell Gerontology Research Institute, also present new empirical findings of research done at their center. The first section of the book discusses basic theory and principles of social integration in later life and its implications for health. The second, largest section examines specific issues: retirement, driving, family support, housing, neighbors. The third section addresses interventions to promote social integration: transportation, volunteering, and peer support for dementia caregivers. integration and its converse, social isolation, in later life. Pillemer and colleagues, in their excellent review of social integration at the threshold of the 21st century, document the problems of mid-lifers and elders as they seek social integration, that is, a life with people.--The Gerontologist Karl Pillemer, Phyllis Moen, Elaine Wethington, and Nina Glasgow succeed admirably in giving social integration a contemporary focus using a life-course perspective that emphasizes institutional context, linked lives, and processes of development and change. They should be congratulated on this insightful volume integrating theory and research on social integration and the larger issue of successful aging. Researchers and practitioners alike will find this clearly written and well-organized book a very useful reference. Moreover, it could be used in graduate courses in gerontology because of its content and focus or in research methods for its excellent examples of sociological research. widely cited summary document that pulls together both existing literature and original findings. The scholarship is exemplary and the insights are laudable. Because of the book's intrinsic merit, it will approach the status of 'handbook' on social integration and therefore will be tantamount to required reading in graduate-level social gerontology classes.--Jon Hendricks, Oregon State University
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