9780316989367

Aging Well : Surprising Guideposts to a Happier Life from the Landmark Harvard Study of Adult Development

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780316989367

  • ISBN10:

    0316989363

  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2002-01-09
  • Publisher: Little Brown & Co
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Summary

Harvard Medical School has spent more than fifty years studying the basic elements of adult development, looking at life choices, health, and happiness in hundreds of individuals. Now, for the first time ever, the results of this unprecedented study are being made public, and they reveal an extraordinary set of conclusions about how men and women can lead a happier, more fulfilling, healthier life -- into their sixties, seventies, eighties, and beyond. Using these studies and the subjects' individual histories, George E. Vaillant, M.D., the director of the study, shows why some people turn out to be more resilient than others. His extraordinary conclusion is that individual lifestyle choices play a greater role than genetics, wealth, race, or other factors in determining how happy people are in their later life. And Aging Well reveals for the first time which lifestyle choices truly make a difference. Dr. Vaillant explores: the importance of marriage and the impact of divorce. New friends for new life situations. The role of play. Alcohol and other mood elevators. Making contact with new people. And dozens of other factors that can make a huge difference in life. Dr. Vaillant offers step-by-step advice about how we can change our lifestyle and live a more fulfilling, satisfying, and rewarding life in the later years. His definitive and inspiring book is the new classic account of how we live and how we can live better. Book jacket.

Author Biography

George E. Vaillant, M.D., Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, is a widely respected researcher, a psychiatrist at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and a professor at the Harvard Medical School

Table of Contents

The Study of Adult Development
3(36)
Ripeness Is All: Social and Emotional Maturation
39(44)
The Past and How Much It Matters
83(30)
Generativity: A Key to Successful Aging
113(28)
Keeper of the Meaning
141(18)
Integrity: Death Be Not Proud
159(26)
Healthy Aging: A Second Pass
185(34)
Retirement, Play, and Creativity
219(30)
Does Wisdom Increase with Age?
249(8)
Spirituality, Religion, and Old Age
257(24)
Do People Really Change Over Time?
281(26)
Positive Aging: A Reprise
307(40)
APPENDICES
A The Three Cohorts
327(7)
B An Illustrated Glossary of Defenses
334(2)
C Methodology for Assessing Maturity of Adaptive Mental Mechanisms (a.k.a. Defenses)
336(2)
D Assessment of Childhood Scales
338(1)
E Basic Trust at Age 50 Associated with Childhood Environment and Future Successful Aging
339(1)
F Scale for Subjective Physical Health (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living)
340(2)
G Scale for Objective Mental Health (Age 50--65)
342(1)
H Scale for Objective Social Supports (Age 50--70, Harvard Cohort Only)
343(1)
I Scale for Subjective Life Satisfaction
344(1)
J Table Contrasting the Happy-Well with the Sad-Sick and the Prematurely Dead
345(1)
K Graceful Aging Scale
346(1)
Notes 347(12)
Acknowledgments 359(2)
Index 361

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