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  • © 2007

Women over 50

Psychological Perspectives

  • Only scholarly book to offer scientific approach on women in this age range

  • Emphasizes the contextual differences of women in this generation compared to previous ones

  • Highlights the benefits and challenges that women experience as they pass the age of 50

  • Feminist scholars cover a wide range of aspects of women's lives

  • Provides various perspectives on the meanings, experiences, coping strategies, and issues that women face in midlife

Buying options

eBook USD 39.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-0-387-46341-4
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

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Table of contents (11 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages I-XIII
  2. Introduction

    • Varda Muhlbauer, Joan C. Chrisler
    Pages 1-5
  3. Body Image Issues of Women Over 50

    • Joan C. Chrisler
    Pages 6-25
  4. Living Longer, Healthier Lives

    • Susan D. Lonborg, Cheryl B. Travis
    Pages 53-78
  5. Contemporary Midlife Grandparenthood

    • Liat Kulik
    Pages 131-146
  6. Women Over 50: Caregiving Issues

    • Rosalie J. Ackerman, Martha E. Banks
    Pages 147-163
  7. Empowerment: A Prime Time for Women Over 50

    • Florence L. Denmark, Maria D. Klara
    Pages 182-203
  8. Back Matter

    Pages 204-207

About this book

A woman’s middle age had traditionally been regarded as a time of loss and decline. But in the wake of the women's movement and other societal and cultural events, a profound shift has taken place. Far from being marginalized, midlife women stand at the forefront of a great transformation of cultural perceptions and attitudes. They are rejecting stereotypes, embracing new opportunities, and forming what this important book terms "a new collective middle-aged identity."

Women over 50: Psychological Perspectives analyzes the challenges, benefits, coping strategies, problems, and accomplishments associated with the midlife experience. Ten chapters present the state of research (and correct longstanding myths) regarding significant aspects of middle-aged women's lives:

  • Mind-body: illness, body image, exercise
  • Love, romance, and sexuality
  • Friendship and support systems
  • "The sandwich generation"
  • Re-creating the role of grandmothers
  • Retirement and financial stability
  • Using personal empowerment to empower others
  • Quality of life and future directions

Women over 50 bridges a major knowledge gap in the feminist-psychology literature, making it an essential resource for clinicians and advanced students. It balances optimism and realism about older women’s lives—and younger women’s futures.


  • Gender
  • Sex
  • Stereotyp
  • age
  • aging
  • baby boomer
  • feminist
  • gendered-age identity
  • menopause
  • midlife
  • sexuality
  • stability
  • sexual behaviour


From the reviews:

"Women of any age will benefit from this research-based and very readable volume. A particular strength lies in its repositioning the focus of women in their later years from loss, disability, and decline to challenge, resilience, and empowerment."
- Judith Worell, Dept. Educational and Counseling Psychology, University of Kentucky

"Finally a book about women at midlife that is scientifically grounded, broad in its choice of topics, and a pleasure to read! Women over 50: Psychological Perspectives, a book edited by Varda Muhlbauer and Joan Chrisler, addresses a range of issues – from friendship to health to work—encountered by women who are in their middle years in industrialized societies. A key contribution of this edited book is that mid-life issues are examined in historical and social context. An exciting aspect of this book is that it translates scientific information into practical recommendations. I highly recommend it for both graduate students and professionals. Researchers, teachers and clinicians interested in midlife will find it a useful resource."
- Silvia Sara Canetto, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Colorado State University

"Women over 50: Psychological Perspectives, edited by Varda Muhlbauer and Joan Chrisler, is an engrossing book that addresses a long-standing need in the literature on women. The book moves away from the traditional way of viewing older women, which is concerned with deficits. Instead, it focuses on ways in which older women are living longer and healthier lives which are both personally and professionally fulfilling. The book is a must-read for researchers and clinicians and will serve to stimulate research and theory on women over 50. In-depth reviews of research in areas that have received relatively little attention in the literature shed new light on issues, such as, women's body image, exercise and leisure activities, sex at midlife, women's friendships, work, and retirement."
- Gwendolyn L. Gerber, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

"Muhlbauer and Chrisler have put together a readable volume on the importance of the societal impact on the aging population. … Implicit to the material this book presents is the necessity to explore change and empowerment. … Though intended primarily as a textbook, this volume will be at home in a library’s circulating collection. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students through professionals." (G. M. Greenberg, Choice, Vol. 45 (1), 2007)

"Women over 50 is a welcome addition to the literature on mature women. ... This book describes the lives of women over 50 in a matter-of-fact manner and with the same language life would be described at any other age, that is, as having good points and bad points, external constraints and developmental issues. It is a practical book, providing real insight into the quality of experience during this stage of life,including some distinctly nitty-gritty details." (P. Derry, Sex Roles)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Kiryat Yitzhak Rabin, Netanya Academic College, Netanya, Israel

    Varda Muhlbauer

  • Department of Psychology, Connecticut College, New London, USA

    Joan C. Chrisler

About the editors

Joan C. Chrisler is Professor of Psychology at Connecticut College, where she teaches courses on the psychology of women and health psychology. She has published dozens of journal articles and book chapters on women's health and embodiment, and she is particularly known for her work on menstruation and menopause, autoimmune disorders, body image, weight, and eating disorders. She has served as Editor of Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, and among her previous books are From Menarche to Menopause: The Female Body in Feminist Therapy, Lectures on the Psychology of Women, and Arming Athena: Career Strategies for Women in Academe.

Varda Muhlbauer is a senior Lecturer in the Department of Management and Business Administration at the Academic College of Netanya, Israel. She has worked extensively over many years in teaching, researching, and consulting regarding women's issues from a feminist perspective. She was among the initiators of a pioneering center in Israel that conducted programs designed to advance women in the workplace and to aid women in distress. The center was based on principles of feminist social psychology and utilized cognitive-behavioral interventions.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook USD 39.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-0-387-46341-4
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)