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September 12, 1977

Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences

JAMA. 1977;238(11):1184. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280120076026

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Physicians whose interests in health problems of the elderly extend beyond the clinical specialty of geriatrics and into the broader interdisciplinary aspects of social gerontology should greet this new handbook with choruses of praise. As a companion volume to the Handbook of the Biology of Aging and the Handbook of the Psychology of Aging (all recently published under the guidance of a single project-advisory board with James E. Birren as editor-in-chief), this is a work of singular breadth, depth, clarity, and incisiveness. One of its distinguishing features is an extensive bibliography of previous work in the field of aging, with excellent subject and author indexes.

Thirty-two contributors from a variety of disciplines have assembled 25 chapters that, as stated in the preface, are "designed as a compendium of what is now known about the social aspects of aging and of suggested central issues for further research." In general there is