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Life Course Analysis 

Life Course Analysis
Chapter:
Life Course Analysis
Author(s):

Kenneth F. Ferraro

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190665340.003.0003
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date: 09 May 2021

Life course analysis prioritizes the long view of aging: study aging as a process from embryo to death and how the timing of events and exposures shapes those lives. The act of analyzing the life course (or life span) highlights an intellectual tension in the field that has existed for decades: Is gerontology the study of older organisms or how those organisms age? Although human social services are often organized by age groups, science is better off studying the aging process—how the organism became older. In humans and animals, the experience of aging varies by historical time and place. Three vantage points for life course analysis are specified: the study of (1) early origins, (2) centenarians, and (3) family lineage.

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