Social Roles and Social Participation

Research Instruments in Social Gerontology, Volume 2

David J. Mangen and Warren A. Peterson, editors

Research Instruments in Social Gerontology, Volume 2: Social Roles and Social Participation was first published in 1982.

The increasing number of older people in the United States has served to focus attention upon the processes of aging and the effectiveness of social programs for the elderly. In order to plan effective programs, accurate social measures are necessary. Now, more than ever before, researchers need conceptually explicit instruments designed to assess individual and social behaviors, attitudes, and traits in the elderly population. This three-volume work is designed to serve the needs of researchers, evaluators, and clinicians in assessing the instruments used in the field of aging.

The measures reviewed in Volume 1 focus on the cognitive reactions of older people to aging and on the assessments of aging made by people who are not yet old. This volume also contains the series introduction which explains the methods used for evaluating the instruments and assesses the status of gerontological measurement today. Each chapter is devoted to instruments in a particular subject area such as intellectual functioning, personality, self-esteem, and ethnic group identification. Volume 2 focuses on the range of social roles filled by older people. Specific topics include the family, work and retirement, religion, and friendships. Volume 3 deals with demography, social policy, and health concerns.

Most chapters are composed of three parts. First, there is a concise narrative review of the major theoretical concerns and measurement strategies within that particular research domain. The second part is a collection of abstracts, each of which presents a conceptual definition and a description of a specific instrument together with data about samples, reliability, validity, scaling properties, and correlations with age. Whenever possible the instruments themselves constitute the third part of the chapter.

Research Instruments in Social Gerontology will be helpful as a source for appropriate instruments, as a guide to developing new measures, and as a benchmark in the field -- to reduce duplication of previous work.

David Mangen, Ph.D., is founder and president of Minneapolis-based Mangen Research Associates, Inc. Formerly a statistics professor at the University of Southern California, Mangen is also the co-editor, with Warren A. Peterson, of Clinical and Social Psychology: Research Instruments in Social Gerontology, Volume 1, and Health, Program Evaluation, and Demography: Research Instruments in Social Gerontology, Volume 3.

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