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Relationships in Old Age: Coping with the…
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Relationships in Old Age: Coping with the Challenge of Transition

by Robert O. Hansson

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0898621984, Hardcover)

This book emphasizes a set of factors often ignored in the literature--personality characteristics and ways of relating that can enable the older adult to become an active agent in shaping his or her own life. Reviewing recent research and theory, the authors focus on relationships important to life enhancement in later years--from friendship, family, and co-residents in shared housing to care givers, health-care providers, and social agency personnel-and illustrate how an older individual's relational competence can make a critical difference in initiating and maintaining these relationships.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:52 -0400)

The aging experience demands continuous adaptation to changing physical, psychological, and social capacities. Research has focused primarily on the personal and family relationships that are vital during this time. Offering an important new perspective, this book emphasizes a set of factors often ignored in the literature - personality characteristics and ways of relating that can enable the older adult to become an active agent in shaping his or her own life. Reviewing recent research and theory, the authors focus on relationships important to life enhancement in later years - from friendship, family, and coresidents in shared housing, to care givers, health-care providers, and social agency personnel - and illustrate how an older individual's rational competence can make a critical difference in initiating and maintaining these relationships. Establishing a context, initial chapters describe the nature of aging and the experiences of loss, decline, and adaptation. Models of coping and adaptation are presented and the influence of personal relationships is examined. How these relationships function both as important sources of logistical, social, and psychological support and as sources of conflict, tension, and stress is discussed. The authors then propose a model - interpersonal contexts of old age - which permits an integrative analysis of the categories of interpersonal settings with respect to the coping or adaptational demands placed on older adults. The latter half of the book is devoted to the construct of relational competence. Chapters examine components of the construct and how they can be measured, as well as present social and clinical interventions. The proposed relational competence model is explicated with a detailed description of the interpersonal characteristics it encompasses and the functions they serve in the initiation and enhancement of significant relationships. The research on ways in which relational competence shapes and influences the quality of human relationships and enhanced functioning in other areas of later life is presented. Finally, social and clinical interventions that can enhance an older person's social functioning and personal coping resources are described. Drawing from a range of disciplines, this book is intended for researchers and practitioners in the fields of gerontology, psychology, sociology, family relations, personal relationships, social work, and nursing. Written in an accessible style, it also serves as a text for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses that explore the lives of aging adults.… (more)

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