Historical Perspectives

  • Joan M. Cook
  • Michel Hersen
  • Vincent B. Van Hasselt
Part of the The Springer Series in Adult Development and Aging book series (SSAD)


A review of the historical perspectives of geropsychology reveals a remarkable progression in standpoints on aging. The development in knowledge of aging is substantial and has been rapidly increasing in recent years. This chapter provides a historical review of the growth and development of the scientific psychological study of older adults. In the first section, we examine why there is a growing interest in the psychology of older individuals. In the second section, we examine the historical antecedents of geropsychology, ranging over three time periods: 1835 to 1918, 1919 to 1946, and 1947 to the present. Although most of the historical antecedents section focuses on perspectives on psychological research on older adults, information on policy and practice in geropsychology is added where deemed necessary. The last section of this chapter focuses on future perspectives in the field of geropsychology. It is important to understand that research, policy, and practice on aging depends in part on contextual variables such as social, economic, and political influences (Riegel, 1973).


Mental Health Mental Health Service Mental Health Care American Psychological Association Mental Health System 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joan M. Cook
    • 1
  • Michel Hersen
    • 2
  • Vincent B. Van Hasselt
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Psychological StudiesNova Southeastern UniversityFort LauderdaleUSA
  2. 2.School of Professional PsychologyPacific UniversityForest GroveUSA

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