Gerontology is the interdisciplinary study of the biological, social, and psychological aspects of aging, encompassing scholarship from a variety of fields. Although initially focused on the prevention of the physical and cognitive deterioration associated with age, modern gerontology has shifted away from pathologizing aging toward a lifespan perspective that recognizes aging as a part of the normal lifelong developmental trajectory. This entry gives a brief history of gerontology and summarizes the significant biological, social, and psychological theories of gerontology.

History of Gerontology

The term gerontology was coined by the scientist Elie Metchnikoff in the late 1800s. Metchnikoff was disappointed in the lack of scientific inquiry into the process of aging and believed that the study of aging merited greater scientific attention. Although Metchnikoff was working in France, ...

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