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    Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study (Hardback) By (author) George E. Vaillant

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    DescriptionAt a time when many people around the world are living into their tenth decade, the longest longitudinal study of human development ever undertaken offers some welcome news for the new old age: our lives continue to evolve in our later years, and often become more fulfilling than before. Begun in 1938, the Grant Study of Adult Development charted the physical and emotional health of over 200 men, starting with their undergraduate days. The now-classic Adaptation to Life reported on the men's lives up to age 55 and helped us understand adult maturation. Now George Vaillant follows the men into their nineties, documenting for the first time what it is like to flourish far beyond conventional retirement. Reporting on all aspects of male life, including relationships, politics and religion, coping strategies, and alcohol use (its abuse being by far the greatest disruptor of health and happiness for the study's subjects), Triumphs of Experience shares a number of surprising findings. For example, the people who do well in old age did not necessarily do so well in midlife, and vice versa. While the study confirms that recovery from a lousy childhood is possible, memories of a happy childhood are a lifelong source of strength. Marriages bring much more contentment after age 70, and physical aging after 80 is determined less by heredity than by habits formed prior to age 50. The credit for growing old with grace and vitality, it seems, goes more to ourselves than to our stellar genetic makeup.


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  • Full bibliographic data for Triumphs of Experience

    Title
    Triumphs of Experience
    Subtitle
    The Men of the Harvard Grant Study
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) George E. Vaillant
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 480
    Width: 140 mm
    Height: 210 mm
    Thickness: 33 mm
    Weight: 717 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780674059825
    ISBN 10: 0674059824
    Classifications

    BIC E4L: PSY
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC subject category V2: PDX
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S2.3
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    BIC subject category V2: JMC
    B&T General Subject: 750
    Ingram Subject Code: PS
    Libri: I-PS
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 16100
    BISAC V2.8: SCI034000
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 52
    BIC subject category V2: JMB
    BISAC V2.8: PSY030000
    LC subject heading:
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    B&T Approval Code: A64520000, A31604600
    BISAC V2.8: SOC018000, PSY043000
    DC22: 305.310973
    BIC subject category V2: JMD
    BISAC V2.8: SOC013000
    B&T Approval Code: A11443020
    LC subject heading: ,
    DC23: 305.310973
    LC classification: HQ1090.3 .V35 2012
    LC subject heading: , ,
    Illustrations note
    5 figures
    Publisher
    HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
    Imprint name
    The Belknap Press
    Publication date
    30 October 2012
    Publication City/Country
    Cambridge, Mass.
    Author Information
    George E. Vaillant is Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
    Review quote
    A fascinating account of the 268 individuals selected for the Harvard Study of Adult Development... Vaillant has done a wonderful job summarizing the study, discussing its major findings, and communicating his enthusiasm for every aspect of the project, which became his life's work starting in 1966. The study has been investigating what makes a successful and healthy life. Initially, this meant looking for potential officer material for the military. Vaillant established what he called 'the Decathlon of Flourishing-a set of ten accomplishments in late life that covered many different facets of success.' With humor and intriguing insights, the author shows how progress in health studies and the passage of time contributed to the constant 'back and forth between nature and nurture.' During Vaillant's tenure, human maturation and resilience became the focus, and now biology is reasserting itself in the form of DNA studies and fMRI imaging, the seeds for future research. The author considers the study's greatest contributions to be a demonstration that human growth continues long after adolescence, the world's longest and most thorough study of alcoholism, and its identification and charting of involuntary coping mechanisms. Inspiring when reporting these successes, his personal approach to discovery repeatedly draws readers in as he leads up to the account of his realization that the true value of a human life can only be fully understood in terms of the cumulative record of the entire life span. Joyful reading about a groundbreaking study and its participants. Kirkus Reviews (starred review) 20120901