University of Washington

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

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Aging and disability: biopsychosocial perspectives


Molton IR, Jensen MP



Publication Info:

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Clinics of North America, 21(2):253-265


Understanding the complex trajectories of disability and aging requires a biopsychosocial approach that considers disability in the broader context of later adulthood. Although disability service researchers and gerontologists have many shared interests and a similar mission, the fields are relatively new to one another and have had little historical interaction. The purpose of this article is to increase and improve collaboration among investigators in these fields by providing some background in social gerontology to the disability researcher, and by applying key theories in aging to the issue of growing older with physical disability. The article discusses particular problem areas for older adults, including social support, and also discusses the parallel paradoxes of aging and disability.

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