The Baby Boomers Grow Up: Contemporary Perspectives on Midlife

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Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Sherry L. Willis
L. Erlbaum Associates, 2006 - Psychology - 340 pages
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The goal of this volume is to examine development in middle age from the perspective of baby boomers -- a unique cohort in the United States defined as those individuals born from 1946 to 1962. This is the largest cohort ever to enter middle age in Western society, and they currently represent approximately one-third of the total U.S. population. The Baby Boomers Grow Up provides contemporary and comprehensive perspectives of development of the baby boomer cohort as they proceed through midlife.
 
Baby boomers continue to exert a powerful impact on the media, fiction, movies, and even popular music, just as they were an imposing force in society from the time of their entry into youth. As these individuals enter the years normally considered to represent midlife, they are redefining how we as a society regard adults in their middle and later years.
 
This volume features several unique aspects. First, the literature reviewed focuses specifically on research relevant to baby boomers and their development as adults, rather than a global perspective on middle age. Second, the volume takes into account the diversity within the boomer cohort, such as social class, race, and education. In addition, quantitative and qualitative developmental changes occurring from the forties to the fifties and the sixties are considered. Differences in leading and trailing edge boomers are likewise addressed.
 
Ideal for researchers in adult development and graduate seminars on adult development, The Baby Boomers Grow Up will also appeal to adult educators, human resource personnel, health professionals and service providers, and clinical psychologists and counselors.

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About the author (2006)

Susan Krauss Whitbourne, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Dr. Whitbourne obtained her PhD (1974) in Developmental Psychology form Columbia University and completed a postdoctoral training program in Clinical Psychology at the University of Massachusetts (1988). Currently Psychology Departmental Honors Coordinator at UMass, she is also Faculty Advisor to the UMass Chapter of Psi Chi, a position for which she was recognized as the eastern Regional Outstanding Advisor for the year 2001 and for which she received the National Advisor/Florence Denmark Award in 2002. Her teaching has been recognized with the College Outstanding Teacher Award in 1995 and the University Distinguished Teaching Award in 2001.

Over the past 25 years, Dr. Whitbourne has held a variety of elected and appointed positions in Division 20 of the American Psychology Association (APA), including President (1995-6). She is the Division 20 Representative to APA Council, and began a 3-year term as member of the APA Committee for the Structure and Function of Council in 2002. She is a Fellow of Divisions 20, 2 (teaching) and 12 (Clinical). Dr. Whitbourne is also a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, and is currently serving as Chair-Elect of the Students Award Committee.

Her writings include fourteen published books and two in preparation, and nearly 100 journal articles and chapters. She has been Consulting Editor for "Psychology and Aging "and serves on the Editorial Board of the "Journal of Gerontology". Her presentations at professional conferences number over 175, and include several invited addresses, among them the APA G. Stanley Hall Lecture in 1995, the EPA Psi Chi Distinguished Lecture in 2001, and the SEPA Invited Lecture in 2002.

Sherry L. Willis is Professor of Human Development at The Pennsylvania State University. She received her Ph.D. in Educadtional Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include: adult cognitive development with a focus on middle age, cognitive training in later adulthood, and everyday problem solving in adulthood. She is a co-director of the Seattle Longitudinal Study with K. Warner Schaie, and has co-authored the textbook Adult Development and Aging, Fifth Edition. She is co-editor of two other books on midlife: Life in the Middle (with J. Reid) and The Baby Boomers (with S. Whitbourne). She is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, the American Psychological Society, and Divisions 15 and 20 of the American Psychological Association, and a past-president of APA Division 20, Adult Development and Aging (1993-1994). In 1992, she received the Pattishall Distinguished Research Award and in 1999 the Pennsylvania State University Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement.

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