Introduction

Toward Theories in Mental Health and Aging
  • Jacob Lomranz
Part of the The Springer Series in Adult Development and Aging book series (SSAD)

Abstract

This chapter offers a perspective on the state of and need for theory in adult development generally and in the domain of mental health and aging particularly. Although gerontology is continuously making progress (Streib & Binstock, 1990), in many ways, the field of aging is still in the formative stages of collecting and accumulating data that are the basis for theory construction. In other respects, however, owing to the accumulation and availability of valuable research findings, gerontology has reached a point in its development as a science at which such data should be generalized between and across related fields to make it possible to embark upon theory construction. Decades ago, Wittgenstein (1953) wrote, “In psychology there are experimental methods and conceptual confusion” (p. xiv). This also seems to be true today of gerontology. The chapters in this volume present the state of knowledge, research, and integrative attempts toward theory construction in cogent areas of mental health and aging. Most of the chapters are based on the first international forum of the Herczeg Institute on Aging, convened under the title “Toward Theories in Mental Health and Aging.” Despite the gains made in the realm of theory construction (e.g., Achenbaum, 1995; Bengtson, Burgess, & Parrot, 1997; Birren & Bengtson, 1988), the background to the Herczeg forum was the fact that gerontological theory, empirical research, and processes of aging in reality have not always been complementary and congruent.

Keywords

Mental Health American Psychological Association Theory Building Theory Construction Adult Development 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacob Lomranz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and the Herczeg Institute on AgingTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

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