ships among social, psychological, and behavioral variables and between these variables and biological aging functions, should be undertaken Examples include investigation of the relationship between memory function and central nervous system structures such as between the hippocampus and cerebellum (Berger et al., 1986), and research on stress-related environmental, psychological, and hormonal factors that lead to anatomic changes in the brain (see cerebral atrophy following extreme stress: Jensen et al., 1982; Finch, 1987). Special attention should be paid to at-risk populations, such as women, the poor, and minorities, since study of these populations may lead to new understanding of the dynamic interaction between biological and social variables.

The relationship between brain and behavior represents an exciting new research frontier. Basic research is needed to provide a clearer understanding of individual differences in sensory, cognitive, and behavioral aging, particularly as these differences reflect relationships between brain and behavior, environment and behavior, and society and behavior. Clinical research should apply what is known about the modifiability of risk factors, skills, learning, and memory. Despite recognition that the major health problems of older people are chronic, little attention has been paid to behavioral and social interventions to reduce disability and provide new strategies for management. Research should address rehabilitative strategies, evaluate the social and emotional barriers to rehabilitation, and explore issues related to compliance.

Research that addresses issues of change in population, dynamics, and particularly the question of postponed morbidity is a further high priority Descriptive demography, epidemiology, and population estimates are especially important to forecast the number of older people who will be independent or not. New measures are needed to evaluate the sequence of disease and/or disabling impairment and death for individuals and social groups—compared by cohort over time. Research on the postponement of disability and dependence through changes in social context, and through behavioral intervention, must accompany studies of psychosocial predictors of health, longevity, and functional disability in the aged.

Psychological and behavioral variables may not only contribute to biological aging, but may also serve to mirror physiological dysfunction. In developed societies most older people are vigorous and independent, but certain groups of older adults (e.g., women and minorities) are at higher risk for poverty, social isolation, underemployment, inadequate education, illness, and inaccessibility to health

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