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Golant to Receive GSA’s 2012 Richard Kalish Innovative Publication Award

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For Immediate Release
August 14, 2012

Contact: Todd Kluss
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(202) 587-2839

Golant to Receive GSA’s 2012 Richard Kalish Innovative Publication Award

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) — the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — has chosen Stephen M. Golant, PhD, of the University of Florida, as the 2012 recipient of the Richard Kalish Innovative Publication Award.

This distinguished honor recognizes insightful and innovative publications on aging and life course development in the behavioral and social sciences. It is underwritten by the Baywood Publishing Company and named after social psychologist Richard Kalish, PhD. Any empirical or conceptual publication that represents state-of-the-art thinking in aging and life course development is eligible for the award, provided it is in English and was published in the last three years.

The award presentation will take place at GSA’s 65th Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 14 to 18 in San Diego. This conference is organized to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers, educators, and practitioners who specialize in the study of the aging process. Visit www.geron.org/annualmeeting for further details.

Golant is a professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Florida. His primary research interests include the housing, care, mobility, community, and transportation needs of the older adult population. He is a GSA fellow, which represents the Society’s highest class of membership.

He was chosen to receive the Kalish Award for his article, “The Quest for Residential Normalcy by Older Adults: Relocation but One Pathway,” which appeared in the Journal of Aging Studies, (Volume 25, Number 3, Pages 193 to 205). This paper proposes an emotion-based theoretical model to judge whether older adults are occupying residential environments that are congruent with their needs and goals. It offers a highly original and far-reaching theoretical formulation that furthers understanding of how aging persons optimize the fit between themselves and their physical and social environments.

Golant’s model equates this individual-environment fittingness, or “residential normalcy,” with older persons having favorable or positive emotion-based residential experiences that have relevance to them. He theorizes that older adults are in their residential comfort zones when they experience overall pleasurable, hassle-free, and memorable feelings about where they live; and in their residential mastery zones when they occupy places in which they feel overall competent and in control. Older persons often find that their residential and care environments have become emotional battlefields because although they are in their comfort zones, they are out of their mastery zones, or vice versa. When older persons are out of either of these experiential zones, Golant also theorizes that they initiate accommodative (mind strategies) and/or assimilative (action strategies) forms of coping to achieve residential normalcy. He says that distinguishing these constructs becomes critical as individuals increasingly judge residential settings not just for their home-like qualities, but also for their ability to provide long-term care.

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The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,400+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational branch, the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education.

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