Social Adaptation in Older Adults

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


The phenomenon of aging has long been of interest to observers of human behavior. The systematic and empirical study of the process and behavioral effects of aging, however, has burgeoned dramatically over the past quarter of a century. A primary reason for such increased interest in our older population is that substantially more people are living longer. Indeed, in the early 1900s, the average male life-span was 45 years; today, it exceeds 72 years. Further, persons 65 years and older comprise almost 13% of the population; based on current population trends and continuing medical advances, the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (1976) predicts that 50% of the population could be middle aged or older by the year 2100 (see also U.S. Bureau of Census, 1993). Also, by the year 2010, the number of Americans over age 85 is projected to double (White House Domestic Policy Council, 1993). Aside from increased longevity, today’s older adults are healthier, wealthier, better educated, and more politically active than at any previous point in history (Neugarten, 1974).


Social Skill Social Cognition Interpersonal Skill Geriatric Depression Scale Social Skill Training 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Harry Pettibon
    • 1
  • Vincent B. Van Hasselt
    • 1
  • Michel Hersen
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Psychological StudiesNova Southeastern UniversityFort LauderdaleUSA

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