Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Tammi Vacha-Haase & Natalie E. Brescian & Krystle M. Balkan
Gerontology is defined as the study of aging, focusing on the physical, social, and psychological aspects of older adulthood. In the most general sense, gerontology draws from diverse disciplines covering all aspects of the aging process in people and animals. Gerontology is made up of professionals from areas such as nursing, nutrition, psychology, medicine, pharmacology, sociology, and other social-service related fields focusing on the aging experience. Whether they are focused on research or applied science, gerontologists have a mutual interest in the increased understanding of aging and aging mechanisms and an overarching goal of the promotion of successful aging. In a youth oriented society, aging may carry a negative connotation. Ageism, prejudice or discrimination based on an individual's age, is manifested in negative views of aging held by the general public. One such stereotype is that all older adults are the same, with increasing homogeneity occurring simultaneously with aging. Myths ...