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See detailMemory in old age – A life-span perspective
Ferring, Dieter UL

in Wagoner, Brady (Ed.) Oxford Handbook of Culture and Memory (in press)

In this chapter, memory is considered from a life-span perspective combining a geropsychological as well as a life-span developmental view. Characteristics of such a view are This chapter focusses memory ... [more ▼]

In this chapter, memory is considered from a life-span perspective combining a geropsychological as well as a life-span developmental view. Characteristics of such a view are This chapter focusses memory under the perspective of human ageing. It starts with a conception of ageing that highlights the interplay of genetics, life styles and culture as fundamental dynamics underlying the ageing process as well as it’s impact on memory functioning. A second section focuses the context of ontogenesis and describes central concepts of memory structure and functioning in a life span perspective underlining the adaptive function of memory use. Building on this, a third section elaborates the dynamic interplay and the role of memory in the self-regulation of the ageing self. The last section puts memory in the context of two aspects of culture differing between assistive culture providing knowledge and technology resources and culture as representing symbolic resources that help in the collective and individual construction of meaning. [less ▲]

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See detailCultures of care in aging
Boll, Thomas UL; Ferring, Dieter UL; Valsiner, Jaan

Book published by Information Age Publishing (in press)

Care for elderly persons has many facets and is influenced by many factors of the care-dependent person, the care giver(s) and the micro-, and macro-social context. A co-operation of multiple disciplines ... [more ▼]

Care for elderly persons has many facets and is influenced by many factors of the care-dependent person, the care giver(s) and the micro-, and macro-social context. A co-operation of multiple disciplines is required to better understand phenomena of elder care and to act adequately in this field. This is even more urgent given the increasing population aging and the impending gaps between demand and supply of care. The present book provides a first substantive integration of knowledge from geropsychology, other gerosciences, and cultural psychologies to reach these goals —through a multi-disciplinary and international cast of authors. Macro-social context—including demographic, historical, political, normative, and other cultural factors—turned out to open and limit the available options for individual care giving and receipt and shapes how these issues are experienced by the participants in elder care. Elder care is shown to be far more complex than previously thought, because its consequences extend beyond single care givers to multigenerational caring families. Thinking, feeling and acting in relation to care dependency, caregiving and care receipt emerged as being influenced by multiple individual and social level factors. Future issues of elder care are seen as being shaped to a large extent by macro level factors such as population aging, social trends in job and family life, and development of assistive technologies. All this has far reaching implications for ensuring quality of care and the life quality on part of care recipients and care providers and for the coherence of social communities. [less ▲]

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See detailThe experience of ageing: Views from without and within
Ferring, Dieter UL

in Rosa, Alberto; Valsiner, Jaan (Eds.) The Cambridge handbook of socio-cultural psychology (in press)

This chapter contrasts two different views on ageing. An external “view from without” starts in a first step with the description of phenomena associated with human ageing including the notions of death ... [more ▼]

This chapter contrasts two different views on ageing. An external “view from without” starts in a first step with the description of phenomena associated with human ageing including the notions of death and dying. This is followed by presenting an overview of central and mostly psychological models and theories about human ageing. Here, life span conceptions as well as theories on self-regulation of the ageing self are described and discussed. Furthermore, a specific focus is put on the differing qualifications that the term ageing has received in diverse theoretical models. The internal “view from within” finally starts with three case stories presenting excerpts of individual biographic narratives that highlight the importance of life events and adaptive processes within the family in the subjective construction of the self and the life course. The conclusion elaborates a person-centred approach in the study of human ageing taking into account that both family and culture interact in forming development in general as well as life in advancing age in particular. [less ▲]

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See detailEnlarging the frame: Issues of inclusion and mental health in an ageing society
Ferring, Dieter UL; Murdock, Elke UL

in Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities (in press)

This contribution frames the notions of inclusion and mental health by describing trends in European societies at the social and economic level that will have direct consequences for a participative civil ... [more ▼]

This contribution frames the notions of inclusion and mental health by describing trends in European societies at the social and economic level that will have direct consequences for a participative civil society and social cohesion. Starting point is the observation that the world faces challenges at the start of the 21st century that are new and unprecedented in its history. The four global forces that break all the trends known so far in human history include urbanization, accelerating technological development, greater global connections, and population ageing. The authors first describe the scale of population ageing, as ageing populations characterize several developed economies. In a second step, they highlight some consequences of population ageing for social welfare and in a third part they elaborate on the notion of justice and inclusion in rapidly changing societies. [less ▲]

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See detailCare in aging: Cross-fertilization within and between Geropsychology, other gerosciences, and Cultural Psychology
Boll, Thomas UL; Ferring, Dieter UL; Valsiner, Jaan

in Boll, Thomas; Ferring, Dieter; Valsiner, Jaan (Eds.) Cultures of care in aging (in press)

Care for elderly persons is multifaceted and embedded in a rich socio-ecological context of individual, micro-, and macro-social factors. This complexity requires multidisciplinary perspectives to better ... [more ▼]

Care for elderly persons is multifaceted and embedded in a rich socio-ecological context of individual, micro-, and macro-social factors. This complexity requires multidisciplinary perspectives to better understand phenomena of elder care and to act successfully in this field. In the final chapter of a multidisciplinary book with contributions from geropsychology, other gerosciences, and cultural psychology the editors draw conclusions about major topics, new insights, and further implications for research and practice. The conclusions refer to four domains. First, the macro-social context—including demographic, historical, political, normative, and other cultural factors—opens and limits the available options for individual care giving and receipt and shapes how these issues are experienced by the participants. Second, elder care at the individual and family level is far more complex than previously thought, due to differentiated individual and social care preferences and due to consequences extending beyond single caregivers to multigenerational caring families. Third, processes involved in formal and informal care turned out to be rather differentiated: Understanding, emotional responding, motivation and acting towards suffering, care dependency and caregiver burden are influenced by multiple individual and social level factors. Fourth, future issues of elder care are shaped by macro level factors such as population aging, social trends in job and family life, and technological developments with implications for ensuring care quality, care staff, culturally sensitive care, and assistive technologies. Cultural psychology emerged as a valuable partner of the gerosciences by contributing essentially to a deeper understanding of the aforementioned issues. [less ▲]

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See detailCulture in the Act of Caring: Bringing Geropsychology, other gerosciences, and Cultural Psychology together
Boll, Thomas UL; Ferring, Dieter UL; Valsiner, Jaan

in Boll, Thomas; Ferring, Dieter; Valsiner, Jaan (Eds.) Cultures of care in aging (in press)

In the introduction of a multidisciplinary book on the role of culture in elder care the editors set the stage for a substantive integration of contributions from geropsychology, other gerosciences, and ... [more ▼]

In the introduction of a multidisciplinary book on the role of culture in elder care the editors set the stage for a substantive integration of contributions from geropsychology, other gerosciences, and cultural psychology. The authors present arguments for a life-span developmental perspective on care for the elderly and extend this to geropsychology as subsection of life-span developmental psychology. They further emphasize that these disciplines consider to some extent the role of cultural and other contextual factors and that other gerosciences specialized on historical, political, health-and nursing-related aspects of elder care can further supplement this effort. Then three major streams of cultural psychology are mentioned which are particularly relevant to topics of caring: Dialogical Self Theory, Theory of Social Representations, and Cultural Psychology of Semiotic Dynamics. The authors conclude that an increasing population aging and growing gaps between demand and supply of care create a serious practical need for an integration of geropsychology, other gerosciences, and cultural psychologies to achieve a better understanding of the individual, interpersonal, and macro social processes involved in elder care. [less ▲]

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See detailScientific and legal concepts of care dependency: Role for understanding, emotional responding, and acting in the field of elder care
Boll, Thomas UL; Ferring, Dieter UL

in Boll, Thomas; Ferring, Dieter; Valsiner, Jaan (Eds.) Cultures of care in aging (in press)

In this chapter, we analyze scientific and legal concepts of care dependency and explore their roles for understanding, emotional responding, and acting of various participants in the field of elder care ... [more ▼]

In this chapter, we analyze scientific and legal concepts of care dependency and explore their roles for understanding, emotional responding, and acting of various participants in the field of elder care. First, two comprehensive concepts from the nursing sciences are contrasted. Then we compare a scientific and two legal concepts (restrictive vs. inclusive) of care dependency from the German long-term care (LTC) system, the last of which regulate older persons´ access to LTC benefits. Here, we consider their different implications for the risk of unmet psychological, social, and temporary care needs. Next, we examine the theoretical and methodological roles of different care dependency concepts for assessment as well as the analysis of prevalence, antecedents, consequences, and the management of care dependency. Following this, we explore possible functions of care dependency concepts as cognitive mediators of various agents’ activities related to elder care, which opens new topics for further research. Among these, we include the ascription of care dependency by various actors, older people´s self-presentation, and family carers´ presentation and LTC administrators´ evaluation of an older person´s care dependency. Further issues addressed are the education of professional care workers and professionals´ provision of elder care. Here, special attention is devoted to the implications of a shift from a restrictive to a more inclusive legal concept of care dependency as recently happened in Germany. Finally, we discuss the implications of inclusive legal concepts of care dependency for the improvement of elder care quality [less ▲]

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See detailEarly reading of preschool children in Serbia: A longitudinal study
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Ferring, Dieter UL; Merrell, Christine et al

in Journal of Research in Reading (2018)

It is necessary to identify predictors of early reading, foundation of children’s school success. No study in Serbia has investigated this before. The purpose of our study was to identify predictors of ... [more ▼]

It is necessary to identify predictors of early reading, foundation of children’s school success. No study in Serbia has investigated this before. The purpose of our study was to identify predictors of early reading and explore correlates of preschool children in Serbia. Children (N=159) age 5-8 were assessed three times over 14 months by an adaptive test, Performance Indicators in Primary School (PIPS). Reading at Time 3 was predicted by gender and mathematics and not by vocabulary and phonological awareness from Time 1. Older children performed higher than younger in vocabulary, phonological awareness, reading and mathematics at Time 1 only. Girls scored higher than boys and Romani scored the lowest in reading at all times. This study offers important information on early reading of an under researched population. Attrition of the sample limits the findings. [less ▲]

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See detailSocio-emotional skills and behaviour of preschool children in Serbia: A longitudinal study
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Ferring, Dieter UL; Merrell, Christine et al

in European Early Childhood Education Research Journal (2018)

Children’s socio-emotional skills are important for understanding their own and other’s behaviours and interactions. No study in Serbia has investigated this before. The purpose of the study was to ... [more ▼]

Children’s socio-emotional skills are important for understanding their own and other’s behaviours and interactions. No study in Serbia has investigated this before. The purpose of the study was to explore the links between early socio-emotional skills, behaviour and cognitive development of preschool children in Serbia over time.Children (N=159) age 5-8 were rated by the teachers on their socio-emotional skills and behaviour and they were tested three times over 14 months in literacy and mathematics. All the outcomes were from Time 3 and the predictors from Time 1. Children’s socio-emotional skills and behaviour were associated with gender and mathematics. Mathematics was associated with children’s social skills and literacy. Literacy was associated with adjustment, gender and mathematics. Girls were rated more positively than boys and Roma children were rated significantly lower than their peers at all times. There were no age and programme attendance differences.This study offers the first insight on the relation between socio-emotional skills, behaviour and mathematics and literacy performance of an under researched population. This is important for the development and evaluation of intervention programmes. Attrition of the sample limits the findings. [less ▲]

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See detailChanging (multi-)cultural contexts through the lense of the receiving society
Murdock, Elke UL; Albert, Isabelle UL; Ferring, Dieter UL

in 9th European IACCP Conference - Program and the book of abstracts (2017, July 17)

Using the natural laboratory of Luxembourg with a foreign population of 47% as case study example, we outline the diversification of diversity. The immigrant population is increasingly heterogeneous in ... [more ▼]

Using the natural laboratory of Luxembourg with a foreign population of 47% as case study example, we outline the diversification of diversity. The immigrant population is increasingly heterogeneous in terms of countries of origin, length of stay/ generation status, economic participation and acculturation choices. Who is a Luxembourger is increasingly difficult to define and minority or majority becomes ever more fluid. Empirical findings concerning the attitude of the receiving society towards multiculturalism will be presented including implications for national identification. We aim to shed light on inter-individual differences in terms of views on immigration among the receiving society, also taking into consideration regional demographic differences. We draw on two different samples, one from the center of Luxembourg (N = 507), where the native population is in the minority and a more regionally diversified sample (N = 238). Similarities and differences will be highlighted and implications discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailRisk, safety and assistive technology in the context of ageing-in-place
Lamotte, Mathilde UL; Ferring, Dieter UL; Tournier, Isabelle UL

Scientific Conference (2017, July 06)

When speaking about ageing in place, risk of accidents and subsequent injuries is an important part of individual worries, and risk avoidance or risk minimisation are main concerns of older people and ... [more ▼]

When speaking about ageing in place, risk of accidents and subsequent injuries is an important part of individual worries, and risk avoidance or risk minimisation are main concerns of older people and their caregivers. Findings show that older people are more at risk of unintended injuries than younger people (i.e. falls, foodborne diseases). Moreover, individual concerns and associated worries to avoid specific risks may even lead to the decision to move to an institution. In this context it is important to consider that being “as safe as possible” with respect to objective parameters does not necessarily indicate the subjective feeling of being safe. The feeling of safety and the objective degree of safety are not linearly related in a way that increasing one factor will increase the other and conversely. Furthermore, some factors that can contribute to objectively enhance safety may even lead to greater feeling of unsafety. Our review aims to investigate the relationship between objective and subjective safety in the context of ageing in place as well as the underlying mechanisms that help to explain the different links between objective and subjective safety. A further goal is offer a heuristic model presenting factors that may help to enhance older people’s consciousness of safety and thus quality of life. These include individual as well as social and macro-social factors. This paper focusses individual factors and will especially highlight the role of older people’s daily routines and their impact on technology acceptance. [less ▲]

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See detailSelf-care Assistive Technologies: A systematic review of studies on efficiency and factors influencing their use
Abrilahij, Afsaneh UL; Boll, Thomas UL; Ferring, Dieter UL

Scientific Conference (2017, July 05)

A gradual decline in functional and mental capacity, as well as a growing risk of care dependency constitute major concerns of life in old age. These are expected to become more urgent in the future ... [more ▼]

A gradual decline in functional and mental capacity, as well as a growing risk of care dependency constitute major concerns of life in old age. These are expected to become more urgent in the future, because the old-age dependency ratio in the EU is projected to nearly double until 2060 due to demographic change. On the other side, there is a strong desire to maintain the autonomy of older people as long as possible. In reaction to this, there have been strong health and social policy recommendations across Europe to develop and promote the use of assistive technologies (ATs). Whereas systematic reviews already exist for several kinds of ATs, reviews about self-care ATs are still missing. Based on a systematic literature search in PsycINFO, MEDLINE, and Google Scholar databases 203 papers were identified of which 13 were included according to our selection criteria. The methodological quality of all the reviewed studies is evaluated. We reviewed findings on objective and subjective indicators of independent living as efficiency criteria as well as evidence about facilitating and inhibiting factors in the use of these technologies. Self-care ATs turned out to be efficient, with respect to care hours, independence level, and self-reported satisfaction. The actual use of these ATs was influenced by diverse personal, contextual, and device aspects. Lack of randomized control trial studies and the need for a further research about ATs in the diverse subdomains of self-care activities is revealed. Based on the findings of the current study, we generate recommendations for future research. [less ▲]

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See detailContributors to well-being and stress in parents of children with autism spectrum disorder
Pinto Costa, Andreia UL; Steffgen, Georges UL; Ferring, Dieter UL

in Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders (2017)

Background: Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) present more well-being and stress problems than parents of typically developing (TD) children. However not all parents present these ... [more ▼]

Background: Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) present more well-being and stress problems than parents of typically developing (TD) children. However not all parents present these problems. These problems can be due to a dynamic interaction between environmental antecedents, person antecedents, and mediating processes. Understanding how these factors separately contribute to explain parents’ well-being and stress can have implications for intervention programs. The aim of this study was to explain parents’ subjective well-being and physiological stress by considering whether they had a child with ASD or not and their child’s negativity (environmental antecedents), their perception of their child’s problems (person antecedents), and their use of reappraisal (mediating processes). Method: Thirty-seven parents of children with ASD and 41 parents of TD children reported their subjective well-being and their physiological stress was assessed. Additionally, children’s negativity was observed, parents rated their perception of their child’s problems (autistic traits, emotion regulation ability, and lability/negativity), and parents reported their use of reappraisal. Results: Compared to parents of TD children, parents of children with ASD reported having lower subjective well-being and had increased physiological stress. Parents’ perceptions of children’s lability/negativity and parents’ use of reappraisal were better predictors of parents’ subjective well-being than ASD and parents’ perceptions of children’s lability/negativity contributed to parents’ physiological stress as much as ASD. Conclusions: Prevention and intervention programs targeting parental well-being and stress will benefit from working with parents at the level of perceptual constructs and reappraisal ability. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Family in us: Family history, family identity and self-reproductive adaptive behavior
Ferring, Dieter UL

in Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science (2017), 51

This contribution is an essay about the notion of family identity reflecting shared significant experiences within a family system originating a set of signs used in social communication within and ... [more ▼]

This contribution is an essay about the notion of family identity reflecting shared significant experiences within a family system originating a set of signs used in social communication within and between families. Significant experiences are considered as experiences of events that have an immediate impact on the adaptation of the family in a given socio-ecological and cultural context at a given historical time. It is assumed that family history is stored in a shared “family memory” holding both implicit and explicit knowledge and exerting an influence on the behavior of each family member. This is described as transgenerational family memory being constituted of a system of meaningful signs. The crucial dimension underlying the logic of this essay are the ideas of adaptation as well as self-reproduction of systems. [less ▲]

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See detailNormative und nicht-normative Übergänge und Lebensereignisse im Lebenslauf und ihre Bedeutung für die Anpassung im Alter
Ferring, Dieter UL

in Psychotherapie im Alter (2017), 14(2), 131-145

The paper (in German) proposes a systematic of transitions and events within the life course and describes their significance for adaptive processes in old age. Moreover, the importance of cognitive ... [more ▼]

The paper (in German) proposes a systematic of transitions and events within the life course and describes their significance for adaptive processes in old age. Moreover, the importance of cognitive evaluation as well as representation of such events for self-regulation are elaborated. A systemic approach is proposed to highlight the significance of family values for individual perception and evaluation processes. The potential applications for counselling and therapy such an approach may provide are outlined in the conclusion. [less ▲]

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See detailGains and losses of caring for an older relative and the indication for geropsychological intervention
Ferring, Dieter UL; Boll, Thomas UL

Scientific Conference (2017)

Caring for a close person involves and impacts several aspects and domains of personal life. A scenario that is often sketched here indicates that caring is physically exhausting, demanding time, leaving ... [more ▼]

Caring for a close person involves and impacts several aspects and domains of personal life. A scenario that is often sketched here indicates that caring is physically exhausting, demanding time, leaving no time for leisure, and excluding the carer from further social activities. In this view, caring is strain as it is clearly described by the concept of caregiver burden, and a risk for the psychological and/or physical health of family carers. But caring may also have another side of positive gratification and of fulfilment. To care for another person may represent a meaningful work for both the cared for and the caring person that may also go along with recognition and positive feedback from others. This is the starting point of the present study that addressed a sample of 151 informal carers (n = 111 female) with a mean age of 58 years (SD=14 years) with self-report questionnaire. The measure offered in a first part positive (n=35) and negative aspects (n=23) of caring for a close person and subjects had to rate how much they agree that these aspects are present in their own care giving relationship. Moreover, life satisfaction as well as positive and negative affect were assessed in a second part. Multivariate analyses by factor as well as cluster analyses showed different profiles of gains and losses that were systematically linked to indicators of subjective well-being. Findings will be discussed with respect to their implications for psychosocial intervention in the field of informal care. [less ▲]

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See detailAutobiographical Memory, Self-regulation and Well-Being
Ferring, Dieter UL; Tournier, Isabelle UL

in Robinson, Michael; Eid, Michael (Eds.) The Happy Mind: Cognitive Contributions to Well-Being (2017)

The aim of this chapter is to highlight how autobiographical memory (AM) is related to well-being being selectively used for adaptive self-regulation and serving different goals in different life phases ... [more ▼]

The aim of this chapter is to highlight how autobiographical memory (AM) is related to well-being being selectively used for adaptive self-regulation and serving different goals in different life phases. A structural view of AM is presented in a first section with a description of theories related to the self-regulation aspects of AM. These aspects are illustrated in a second section by phenomena related to AM: The reminiscence bump, the negativity/positivity effects, and the self-enhancement function linked to positive memories. The third and last section deals with AM-related therapeutic interventions that serve to improve or maintain personal meaning and SWB. [less ▲]

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See detailFacing the challenges of ageing populations – Contributions from Geropsychology –
Ferring, Dieter UL

Scientific Conference (2017)

Human ageing represents one of the major challenges of Europe in the upcoming decades given that nine of the 10 oldest world populations are from Europe. This has and will have evident consequences at all ... [more ▼]

Human ageing represents one of the major challenges of Europe in the upcoming decades given that nine of the 10 oldest world populations are from Europe. This has and will have evident consequences at all levels of the socio-ecological context. It is thus a challenge for Psychology and especially Geropsychology to provide sound research-based knowledge about processes of human ageing as well as expertise about training, education and interventions that will help to promote quality of living and subjective well-being both at the individual and the social level. The symposium follows this notion and scholars from eight European countries will report on new developments in theory and research across the various geropsychology domains that will help to tackle the challenge of ageing. In a first part on “Cognitive decline, aging, and mental health”, the symposium will address clinical aspects of ageing. Di Nuovo (Italy) presents findings on interventions enhancing quality of life of elderly persons with mental deterioration or Mild Cognitive Impairment. R. Drăghici will report on the diagnostic use of drawings by elderly persons with neurocognitive disorders. Stepankova, Kopecek, and Schmand (Czech Republic) focus on positive aspects of ageing presenting findings on cognitive superageing. Gatterer, and Blokesch, (Austria) present the theoretical rationale underlying schematherapy use in older adults. The second part of the symposium addresses “Quality of life, aging, and health behaviour” and presents findings on personal and contextual factors that have an impact on these criteria. Fernández-Ballesteros, Angeles Molina and Sánchez Izquierdo (Spain) report findings on contextual influences in social images about ageing, testing predictions of the Stereotype Content Model. Lang and Damm (Germany) present theory and research findings on perceiving future time and its impact on preparing for old age. Despot Lucanin, Lucanin, Bjelajac and Delale (Croatia) present findings on the predictive contributions of psychosocial factors to life satisfaction in old adults. Finally, Ferring and Boll (Luxembourg) give insights into perceived gains and losses when caring for an older relative and their implications for psychosocial intervention. [less ▲]

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