The Special World of Work and the Older Adult?

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1999, Vol 44(2), 173–175. This is a review of the book “Impact of Work on Older Adults” (see record 1997-36662-000). Impact of Work on Older Adults is the 1Oth volume of the edited proceedings of a conference at Pennsylvania State University devoted broadly to the topic of societal impact on aging. The book discusses what most would agree is a very important and timely topic. The chapters are full of specific research examples and speculation as to how the changing circumstances of work influence the older worker and recommendations for improving the workplace for older workers. In reviewing this book, Berg uses the system perspective, which involves thinking about the older worker as being at the center of multiple layers of systems that have direct or more indirect influence on the worker's behavior. The book aptly points out many new avenues for research, most notably the variation in jobs and job requirements in late life and the adaptability of older workers in meeting the new challenges they face in the larger labor market and their own occupation. The general message of the book is that it depends on the particular workplace characteristics, organizational structure, and cultural context in which the older worker finds him- or herself and the characteristics of the older worker that interact with this context. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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