Studying the Aging Worker

Brendan M. Baird, Lindsay Pitzer, Alissa Russell and Cindy S. Bergeman

in The Oxford Handbook of Work and Aging

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780195385052
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Studying the Aging Worker

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  • Psychology
  • Organizational Psychology
  • Psychological Assessment and Testing


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This chapter covers a variety of topics related to research methods for studying aging workers. After a review of concepts from life span developmental psychology, the authors explain how Schaie’s (1965) general developmental model can be used to examine the effects of age, cohort, time period, and seniority on workplace behavior. A number of specific research designs are described, including conventional and sequential methods, along with various analytical techniques that contribute to the study of work and aging. Special attention is given to strategies for avoiding problems associated with measurement issues and potential threats to the validity of research findings when planning and conducting a study of aging issues in the workplace. Finally, future directions for research that incorporate experience sampling designs and developmental behavior genetics are presented.

Keywords: aging; measurement; research methods; seniority; sequential designs; tenure

Article.  14114 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology ; Psychological Assessment and Testing

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