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Coping with Aging

Richard S. Lazarus Bernice N. Lazarus


Coping with Aging Z

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Coping with Aging Z
Richard S. Lazarus

Bernice N. Lazarus


Oxford University Press, Inc., publishes works that further Oxford University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education. Oxford New YorkAuckland Cape Town Dar es Salaam Hong Kong Karachi Kuala Lumpur Madrid Melbourne Mexico City Nairobi New Delhi Shanghai Taipei Toronto With offices in Argentina Austria Brazil Chile Czech Republic France Greece Guatemala Hungary Italy Japan Poland Portugal Singapore South Korea Switzerland Thailand Turkey Ukraine Vietnam


2006 by Oxford University Press, Inc.

Published by OxfordUniversity Press, Inc. 198 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016 Oxford is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of Oxford UniversityPress. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Lazarus, Richard S. Coping with aging / Richard S. Lazarus and Bernice N. Lazarus. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN-13 978-0 -19-517302-4 ISBN 0 -19 -517302-3 1. Older people. 2. Adjustment (Psychology) in old age. 3. Aging—Psychological aspects. I. Lazarus, Bernice N. II. Title. HQ1061.L39 2004 305.26 —dc22 20040097341 3 5 7 9 8 6 4 2 Printed in the United States of America on acid-free paper

To R.S.L., my knight on a white horse —B.N.L.

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Foreword Z

This book is historic. It represents the last publication of its senior author, Richard S. Lazarus, who died of one of the environmental hazards he spoke of in this book—a bathroom fall. It also marks theculmination of a remarkable career of creative contribution to behavioral science. I witnessed the conceptualization, gestation, and birth of this work. In a modern-day variant of Tuesdays with Morrie, Professor Lazarus and I would have an extended lunch every Tuesday, sharing braised Chinese fish—a dish he relished but to which his wife, Bernice, was allergic. During those unforgettable meetings, we woulddiscuss intellectual issues, university politics, and, above all, our personal aspirations. Professor Lazarus was one of the giants of twentieth century psychology. He was a giant precisely because he did not fall victim to allegiance with preexisting theoretical movements. He stood for himself and his ideas. He studied emotion when emotion was (rather surprisingly) considered an unsuitable areaof investigation for psychology. He argued for the importance of cognition in emotion at a time when psychologists believed that what mattered was behavior and association of behavior with rewards and punishments. He studied the unconscious when it was considered a ridiculous assertion, beyond the realm of proof. He helped open the fields of stress and coping and health psychology, both of whichare now considered critical subareas of behavioral science. And he added simple but convincing clarity to our understanding of the nature of emotion. In 1991, he was awarded the Distinguished Scientific Contribution to Psychology Award by the American Psychological Association in recognition of his creativity and the courage of his convictions. But despite this and other awards, Professor Lazarusrevealed a longing in our Tuesday meals—a longing that led to the writing of this book. He felt dissatisfied with his treatment of emotional development in his classic book

Emotion and Adaptation (1991). He felt he had not done justice to the nature of emotion in the human infant and toddler, and he almost entirely left out treatment of emotion at the other end of the spectrum, in aging. He felt...
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