Research Design in Aging and Social Gerontology: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Research Design in Aging and Social Gerontology

Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods, 1st Edition

By Joyce Weil


302 pages

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Research Design in Aging and Social Gerontology provides a review of methodological approaches and data-collection methods commonly used with older adults in real-life settings. It addresses the role of normative age-related sensory, cognitive, and functional changes, as well as the influence of generational cohort (age-period-cohort) upon each design. It discusses the role of older adults as true co-researchers; issues uniquely related to studies of persons residing in community-based, assisted, skilled, and memory-care settings; and ethical concerns related to cognitive status changes. The text concludes with detailed guidelines for improving existing data collection methods for older persons and selecting the best fitting methodologies for use in planning research on aging.

Features of Research Design in Aging and Social Gerontology include:

  • Descriptions and evaluations of a wide range of methodological approaches, and methods used to collect data about older persons (quantitative, qualitative, mixed, and emergent methods: photovoice, virtual environments, etc.)
  • Ways to match research questions to selection of method without a preconceived methodological preference or dominance
  • Real-world and applied examples along with cases from the gerontological literature
  • "How to" sections about reading output/software reports and qualitative-analysis screenshots (from ATLAS.ti) and quantitative (SPSS) output and interpretation
  • Pedagogical tools in every chapter such as text boxes, case studies, definitions of key terms, discussion questions, and references for further reading on chapter topics
  • Glossary of key terms, complete sample research report, and an overview of past methodological research design work in gerontology
  • Companion website at where instructors will find PowerPoint presentations, additional discussion questions, and a sample syllabus; and students will find flashcards based on glossary terms, a downloadable copy of the sample research report in the text, and links to data sets, related websites, further reading, and select gerontological journals

This text is intended for upper-level undergraduates and masters students in aging and gerontology as well as students in human development, applied anthropology, psychology, public health, sociology, and social-work settings. Health care professionals, social workers, and care managers who work with older adults will also find this text a valuable resource.


'Joyce Weil has accomplished a remarkable feat; producing a volume that does justice to the wide range of research tasks that confront the gerontological imagination. She provides the important context to studying ageing as well as giving the researcher a clear account of how research works. This will be an invaluable text for all of those engaged in the field of ageing studies.' - Paul Higgs, University College London, UK

'Research Design in Aging and Social Gerontology is a refreshing and timely addition to the interdisciplinary field of social gerontology, providing an informative, comprehensive textbook that explicates the process of discovery and a full range of research methods. Joyce Weil brings to life the intricacies of advanced methods training by integrating methods, cutting-edge applications, and instructive resources.' - Andrew V. Wister, Simon Fraser University, Canada

'This is a truly unique book that brings together key perspectives—past and present—in gerontology with a wide variety of research designs and analytical approaches. It is a valuable tool for anyone who studies aging.' - Kate de Medeiros, Miami University, USA

Table of Contents

Part I: Getting Started: An Overview of the Aging Research Process 1. Introduction 2. Designing Research about Older People and Aging 3. Gerontological Theoretical Approaches Part II: Choosing a Research Method and Selecting a Design 4. Qualitative Methods 5. Quantitative Methods 6. Quantitative Data Analysis and Evaluation 7. Mixed Methods 8. Emerging and Future Methods Part III: Analyzing Results and Reporting Findings 9. Quantitative, Qualitative Software and Computer-Assisted Research 10. Ethical Issues and Concerns in Aging Research 11. Reporting Aging Research

About the Author

Joyce Weil, Ph.D., MPH, is an Assistant Professor of Gerontology at the University of Northern Colorado.

About the Series

Textbooks in Aging

Currently, more than 617 million people are aged 65 and older, accounting for about 8.5% of the world’s population. To enhance students’ understanding of the issues associated with aging, an increasing number of academic programs include a life-span perspective or opt to incorporate consideration of aging processes among the topics they include in the curriculum. The Routledge/Taylor and Francis Textbooks in Aging Series is designed to address the growing need for new educational materials in the field of gerontology. Featuring both full-length and supplemental texts, the series offers cutting-edge interdisciplinary material in gerontology and adult development and aging, with authored or edited volumes by renowned gerontologists who address contemporary topics in a highly readable format. The series features texts covering classic topics in adult development and aging in fresh ways as well as volumes presenting hot topics from emerging research findings. These texts are relevant to courses in human development and family studies, psychology, gerontology, human services, sociology, social work, and health-related fields. Undergraduate or graduate instructors can use these texts by selecting a series volume as a companion to the standard text in an introductory course, by combining several of the series volumes to use as instructional materials in an advanced course, or by assigning one series volume as the primary text for an undergraduate or graduate course or seminar. If you are interested in submitting a proposal for the series please contact Rosemary Blieszner at or Karen A. Roberto at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Adulthood & Aging
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gerontology