Books reviewed by James Woodward

A measure of ageing

The Psychology of Ageing, Ian Stuart-HamiltonThe Psychology of Ageing, Ian Stuart-Hamilton, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2006, ISBN: 1843104261, pbk £19.99

Text books need to demonstrate some clear qualities if they are to be useful tools for both students and practitioners.  Here are some of those qualities: good organisation including references and index; readable; accessible and able to stimulate the reader into further reflection and reading.

This book succeeds in all of these areas.  In an expanded fourth edition the author has up-dated much of the knowledge base.  There are eight chapters covering the following areas : the nature of ageing; measuring intellectual change in later life; memory; language; personality and life style; mental illness; measuring the psychological status of older people and finally, the future of ageing.  There is a glossary of technical terms, with, as we have noted, extensive references and indexing.

One personal note from my own perspective of an interest in religion and ageing. This subject is discussed with some care (and necessary brevity) but would have benefited from references to other Jessica Kingsley books in this area.  Finally, without in any way taking away the skill and excellence of this book, more work needs to be done in the area of inter-professional dialogue about ageing and the ageing process around which psychology is one significant part along with other perspectives, disciplines and practices.  Jessica Kingsley Publishers should be congratulated on their excellent presentation of this book which makes it easy to use and read.

James Woodward