Social reinforcement of activity and problem-solving training in the treatment of depressed institutionalized elderly patients

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Richard A. Hussian (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
P. Scott Lawrence

Abstract: Recently, interest has developed in the physiology, cognitive processes, perception, and sensation of the aged population. The experimentally sound and internally valid studies almost universally support the thesis that there are age differences on selected tasks. These differences are in the direction of decreased performance and function in senescence (e.g., Birren, Butler, Greenhouse, Sokoloff, & Yarrow, 1963; Sinex, 1975; Spencer & Dorr, 1975; Strehler, 1976). Modifications of the experimental procedures, however, reduced or removed the observed age differences. For instance, initial discrimination learning may be facilitated in the elderly by the use of positive reinforcement for faster responding (Jarvik & Cohen, 1973). Also, when the allotted response time is increased (Arenberg, 1973) or the anticipation interval is lengthened (Monge & Hultsch, 1971) age differences decrease on learning tasks. On complex learning tasks, performance improves when an instructional set is induced (Birkhill & Schaie, 1975). Even decrements in physiological indices are less drastic than previously thought when the physical condition factor is controlled (Birren et al., 1963).

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1978
Depression in old age $x Treatment
Institutional care $x Psychological aspects

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