Regression, Stress, and Readjustment in Aging: A Structured, Bio-Psychosocial Perspective on Coping and Professional Support

Regression, Stress, and Readjustment in Aging: A Structured, Bio-Psychosocial Perspective on Coping and Professional Support

Regression, Stress, and Readjustment in Aging: A Structured, Bio-Psychosocial Perspective on Coping and Professional Support

Regression, Stress, and Readjustment in Aging: A Structured, Bio-Psychosocial Perspective on Coping and Professional Support

Synopsis

This volume develops a comprehensive multivariate paradigm of the process of aging, delineating the factors underlying age-related degeneration. The model is aimed at understanding the conditions under which age sets into motion a process of degeneration. The process of degeneration is evidently due to the combined impact of deleterious biophysiological, psychological, and socio-cultural factors and the interaction among them. Based on this evidence, Ben-Sira shows how age-related degeneration can be viewed as a product of a damaging cycle of reciprocally activating stimuli from the person's internal and external environment. Consequently, aging is conceptualized as a process of bio-psychosocial regression. The paradigm outlined in this volume identifies factors that are likely to accelerate or decelerate the process of aging.

Excerpt

The phenomenon of aging highlights a paradox characterizing modern societies. On the one hand, vast pecuniary, human, and scientific investments have brought about dramatic achievements in the prolongation of life. On the other hand, that laboriously achieved prolonged period of life is denied the allocation of adequate resources for facilitating an emotionally, socially, and pecuniary gratifying livelihood. the restrictions in the allocation of needed resources is legitimized by typifying aging as an irreversible developmental process of degeneration in health and physical and mental capacities.

Viewing the process of degeneration essentially as biophysical legitimizes viewing the elderly as the least worthy of investment and the most neglected sector of society. But is aging by definition doomed to biophysical degeneration?

There is a growing recognition that aging can hardly be considered as the single decisive factor in age-related degeneration. What are the factors that initiate and energize age-related degeneration? What are the roles of biophysiological, psychological, and sociocultural factors -- and the interaction among them -- in triggering and energizing a damaging cycle of mutually activating deleterious stimuli leading toward irreversible degeneration? What are the forces that arrest or decelerate this process? These are the questions to which the present work addresses itself.

I express my warmest and deepest appreciation to Mrs. Haya Gratch of the Louis Guttman Israel Institute of Applied Social Research whose understanding, insights, and efforts made this work possible. Her generous and altruistic assistance and provocative queries during the . . .

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