Data Sources for Studying Aging

  • Markus H. Schafer
  • Kenneth F. Ferraro
Part of the International Handbooks of Population book series (IHOP, volume 1)

The demographic study of aging in comparative context covers wide intellectual and disciplinary ground. Aging involves social, behavioral and biological processes; thus, scholars studying aging investigate issues ranging from genetic contributions to chronic disease susceptibility (Olshansky et al. 2005) to the effects of economic growth on elders’ living arrangements (McGarry and Schoeni 2000). Aging involves many multifaceted processes that have implications at the microlevel for the analysis of individual lives and at the macrolevel for the analysis of population and historical change.


Luxembourg Income Study Swedish Twin Registry Centenarian Study Malaysian Family Life Survey World Health Organization Collaborative Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aboderin I (2004) Decline in material family support for older people in urban Ghana, Africa: Understanding processes and causes of change. J Gerontol Soc Sci 59B:S128–S137Google Scholar
  2. Alwin DF, Campbell RT (2001) Quantitative approaches: Longitudinal methods in the study of human development and aging. In: Binstock RH, George LK (eds) Handbook of aging and the social sciences Academic Press, San Diego, pp 22–43Google Scholar
  3. Ajrouch KJ (2005) Arab American elders: Network structure, perceptions of relationship quality, and discrimination. Res Hum Dev 2(4):213–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Andrews GR (1993) World Health Organization Collaborative Study on Social and Health Aspects of Aging in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, and Tunisia, 1991 [Data file]. Available from Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research Web site,
  5. Andrews G, Clark M, Luszcz M (2002) Successful aging in the Australian longitudinal study of aging: Applying the MacAr-thur model cross-nationally. J Soc Issues 58(4):749–765CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Andrews GR, Myers GC (1999) Australian [Adelaide] Longitudinal Study of Aging, Wave 6: [1999–2000] [Data file]. Available from Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research Web site,
  7. Antonucci TC, Jackson JS (1990) The role of reciprocity in social support. In: Sarason IG, Sarason BR, Pierce GR (eds) Social support: An international view, Wiley, New York, pp 173–198Google Scholar
  8. Antonucci TC, Okorodudu C, Akiyama H (2002) Well-being among older adults on different continents. J Soc Issues 58(4):617–626CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Avlund K, Lund R, Holstein BE, Due P, Sakira-Rantala R, Heik-kinen R (2004) The impact of structural and functional characteristics of social relations as determinants of functional decline. J Gerontol Soc Sci 59B:S44–S51Google Scholar
  10. Borsch-Supan A, Hank K, Jurges H (2005) A new comprehensive and international view on ageing: Introducing the “Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe.” Eur J Ageing 2:245–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brady D (2004) Reconsidering the divergence between elderly, child, and overall poverty. Res Aging 26:487–510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Burkhauser RV, Giles P, Lillard DR, Schwarze J (2005) Until death do us part: An analysis of the economic well-being of widows in four countries. J Gerontol: Soc Sci 60: S238–S246Google Scholar
  13. Carolina Population Center, Research Projects, Programs, and CPC-Sponsored Datasets (2006, August 28) China Health and Nutrition Survey. Retrieved November 27, 2006, from
  14. Council of European Social Science Data Archives. (n.d.) Retrieved November 27, 2006 from
  15. Crimmins EM, Seeman T (2001) Integrating biology into demographic research on health and aging (with a focus on the MacArthur Study of Successful Aging). In: Finch CE, Vaupel JW (eds) Cells and surveys: Should biological measures be included in social science research. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, pp 9–41Google Scholar
  16. Davey A, Femia EF, Zarit SF, Shea DG, Sundström G, Berg S et al (2005) Life on the edge: Patterns of formal and informal help to older adults in the United States and Sweden. J Gerontol Soc Sci 58:S314–S322Google Scholar
  17. de Jong Gierveld J, Perlman D (2006) Long-standing nonkin relationships of older adults in the Netherlands and the United States. Res Aging 28(6):730–748CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Doak CM, Adair LS, Monteiro C, Popkin BM (2000) Overweight and underweight coexist within households in Brazil, China and Russia. J Nutr 130(12):2965–2971Google Scholar
  19. Du S, Mroz TA, Zhai F, Popkin BM (2004) Rapid income growth adversely affects diet quality in China – particularly for the poor! Soc Sci Med 59(7):1505–1515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Edwards RD, Tuljapurkar S (2005) Inequality in life spans and a new perspective on mortality convergence across industrialized countries. Popul Dev Rev 31(4):645–674CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Elder GH, Jr, Pavalko EK, Clipp EC (1993) Working with archival data: Studying lives. Sage, Newbury Park, CAGoogle Scholar
  22. Erlangsen A, Bille-Brahe U, Jeune B (2003) Differences in suicide between the old and the oldest old. J Gerontol Soc Sci 60:S281–S288Google Scholar
  23. Ferraro KF (2003) NACDA: Reflections from a resident scientist. ICPSR Bull 23:3–6Google Scholar
  24. Ferraro KF, Kelley-Moore JA (2003) A half century of longitudinal methods in social gerontology: Evidence of change in the Journal. J Gerontol Soc Sci 58B:S264–S270Google Scholar
  25. Harkness J, Van De Vijver FJR, Mohler PPH (eds) (2003) Cross-cultural survey methods. Wiley, Hoboken, NJGoogle Scholar
  26. Hermans HJM, Kempen JG (1998) Moving cultures: The perilous problems of cultural dichotomies in a globalizing society. Am Psychol 53(10):1111–1120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hugo GM (2006) Immigration to global change in Asia: A review. Geogr Res 44(2):155–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. International Society for Twin Studies (2006, March 27) Links to Related Topics. Retrieved November 27, 2006 from
  29. Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) (n.d.). National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging. Retrieved November 27, 2006 from
  30. Jackson JS (2002) Conceptual and methodological linkages in cross-cultural groups and cross-national aging research. J Soc Issues 58(4):825–835CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Jackson JS, Antonucci TC (1994) Survey methodology in life-span human development research. In. Cohen SH, Reese HW (eds) Life-span developmental psychology: Methodological interventions, Erlbaum Associates, New York, pp 65–94Google Scholar
  32. Karlamangla AS, Singer BH, McEwan BS, Rowe JW, See-man TE (2002) Allostatic load as a predictor of functional decline: MacArthur studies of successful aging. J Clin Epidemiol 55:696–710CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kim S, Symons M, Popkin BM (2004) Contrasting socioeconomic profiles related to healthier lifestyles in China and the United States. Am J Epidemiol 159(2):184–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. King R, Warnes AM, Williams AM (1998) International retirement migration in Europe. Int J Popul Geogr 4(2):91–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lichtenstein P, DeFaire U, Floderus B, Svartengren M, Sved-berg P, Pedersen NL (2002) The Swedish twin registry: A unique resource for clinical, epidemiological, and genetic studies. J Intern Med 252:184–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lindau S, Gavrilova N (eds) (2006) Proceedings of the 2005 Chicago workshop on biomarkers in population-based aging research. NORC – University of Chicago Center on Demography and Economics of Aging. Chicago, ILGoogle Scholar
  37. Lobmayer P, Wilkinson R (2000) Income, inequality and mortality in 14 developed countries. Sociol Health and Illn 22:401–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Longino CF (2003) Why we are suddenly interested in the life course. J Gerontol: Soc Sci 58B:S326Google Scholar
  39. Maddox GL (1997) Research as a public enterprise: Social science data on ageing in the public domain. Ageing Soc 17:323–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Markides KS, Liang J, Jackson JS (1990) Race, ethnicity, and aging: Conceptual and methodological issues. In. Binstock RH, George LK (eds) Handbook of aging and the social sciences, Academic Press, New York, pp 112–129Google Scholar
  41. Markides KS, Rudkin L, Angel RJ, Espino DV (1997) Race, ethnicity, and aging: Conceptual and methodological issues. In: Martin LG, Soldo B (eds) Racial and ethnic differences in the health of older Americans, National Academy Press, Washington, DC, pp 285–300Google Scholar
  42. McGarry K, Schoeni RF (2000) Social security, economic growth and the rise in elderly widow’s independence in the twentieth century. Demography 37:221–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. McKee M (2001) The health consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union. In: Leon D, Walt G (eds) Poverty, inequality, and health: An international perspective, Oxford, New York, pp 17–36Google Scholar
  44. Meinow B, Kareholt I, Parker MG, Thorslund M (2004) The effect of the duration of follow-up in mortality analysis: The temporal pattern of different predictors. J Gerontol Soc Sci 59B:S181–S189Google Scholar
  45. Mesle F, Vallin J (2006) Diverging trends in female old-age mortality: The United States and the Netherlands versus France and Japan. Popul Dev Rev 32(1):123–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Myers GC (2000) Comparative ageing research: Demographic and social survey strategies. In: Bengtson VL, Kim KD, Myers GC, Eun KS, (eds) Aging in east and west families, states, and the elderly, Springer, New York, pp 243–259Google Scholar
  47. National Institute on Aging, Behavioral and Social Research Program (2006, July) Publicly available databases for aging-related secondary analyses in the behavioral and social sciences. Retrieved November 27, 2006, from
  48. National Organization for Research at the University of Chicago, Chicago Core on Biomarkers in Population-Based Aging Research (2005) Studies collecting biomarkers in population settings. Retrieved November 27, 2006 from
  49. Nolte MA, Keller JJ (2001) Access to restricted data in a controlled environment: The Michigan Center on the Demography of Aging Data Enclave. Presented at “Enhancing Researcher Access to Confidential Data: Five Case Studies,” Joint Statistical Meetings, Atlanta, Georgia, 8 AugustGoogle Scholar
  50. Olshansky SJ, Grant M, Brody J, Carnes BA (2005) Biode-mographic perspectives for epidemiologists. Emerging themes in epidemiology, 2, []
  51. Rahman MO, Barsky AJ (2003) Self-reported health among older Bangladeshis: How good a health indicator is it? Ger-ontologist 43:856–863Google Scholar
  52. Rahman MO, Liu J (2000) Gender differences in functioning for older adults in rural Bangladesh. The impact of differential reporting? J Gerontol: Med Sci 55M:M28–M33Google Scholar
  53. Raymo JM, Liang J, Sugisawa H, Kobayashi E, Sugihara Y (2004) Work at older ages in Japan: Variation by gender and employment status. J Gerontol Soc Sci 59B:S154–S163Google Scholar
  54. Rogers A, Raymer J (2001) Immigration and the regional demographics of the elderly population in the United States. J Gerontol Soc Sci 56B(1):S44–S55Google Scholar
  55. Seeman T, Glei D, Goldman N, Weinstein M, Singer B, Lin Y (2004) Social relationships and allostatic load in Taiwanese elderly and near elderly. Soc Sci Med 59:2245–2247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Seplaki CL, Goldman N, Weinstein M, Lin Y (2006) Measurement of cumulative physiological dysregulation in an older population. Demography 43:165–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Shaver S (1998) Universality or selectivity in income support to older people? A comparative assessment of the issues. J Soc Policy 27:231–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Sprott RL (1999) Biomarkers of aging. J Gerontol Biol Sci 54A:B464–B465Google Scholar
  59. Su Y, Ferraro KF (1997) Social relations and health assessments among older people: Do the effects of integration and social contributions vary cross-culturally? J Gerontol Soc Sci 52B: S27–S36Google Scholar
  60. Timmaeus IM, Jasseh M (2004) Adult mortality in sub-Saha-ran Africa: Evidence from demographic and health surveys. Demography 41(4):757–772CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. University of Michigan Center on Demography of Aging, Aging AIDS Net (2006) Research network on HIV/AIDS and the elderly. Retrieved November 27, 2006 from
  62. University of Michigan Population Studies Center, Rapid Demographic Change and the Welfare of the Elderly (2006) Survey data. Retrieved November 27, 2006 from
  63. U.S. Census Bureau (2006, November 22) International Data Base (IDB). Retrieved November 27, 2006, from
  64. USC/UCLA Center on Biodemography and Population Health, Network on Measurement of Biological Risk (2005) Major studies using biomarkers. Retrieved November 27, 2006 from
  65. Warnes AM (2001) The international dispersal of pensioners from affluent countries. Int J Popul Geogr 7(5):373–388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Weinstein M, Goldman N (2000) Social Environment and Bio-markers of Aging Study (SEBAS) in Taiwan, 2000. [Data file]. Available from Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research Web site,
  67. Wilson C (2001) On the scale of global demographic convergence 1950–2000. Popul Dev Rev 27:155–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Wong R, Pelaez M, Palloni A, Markides K (2006) Survey data for the study of aging in Latin America and the Caribbean. J Aging Health 18:157–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. World Health Organization, Older Adult Health and Aging in Africa (2003, August 20) Directory on Research on Older Adult Health and Ageing in Africa: 1995-2003. Retrieved November 27, 2006, from
  70. Yount KM (2005) The patriarchal bargain and intergenerational coresidence in Egypt. Sociol Q 46:137–164Google Scholar
  71. Yount KM, Agree EM (2004) The power of older women and men in Egyptian and Tunisian families. J Marriage Fam 66:126–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Yount KM, Agree EM (2005) Differences in disability among older women and men in Egypt and Tunisia. Demography 42:169–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Zentralarchiv fuer Empirische Sozialforschung and Zentrum fuer Umfragen, Methoden und Analysen (ZUMA) (1998) German Social Survey (ALLBUS) Cumulative File, 1980– 1996 [Data file]. Available from Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research Web site,

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Markus H. Schafer
    • 1
  • Kenneth F. Ferraro
    • 2
  1. 1.Center on Aging and the Life CoursePurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

Personalised recommendations