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Wellbeing: A Complete Reference Guide, Volume VI, Interventions and Policies to Enhance Wellbeing by Felicia Huppert, Cary Cooper

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Chapter 8

The Experience Corps®

Intergenerational Interventions to Enhance Wellbeing Among Retired People

George W. Rebok, Michelle C. Carlson, Kevin D. Frick, Katherine D. Giuriceo

Johns Hopkins University, U.S.A.

Tara L. Gruenewald

University of Southern California, U.S.A.

Sylvia McGill

Retired, Greater Homewood Community Corporation, U.S.A.

Jeanine M. Parisi

Johns Hopkins University, U.S.A.

William A. Romani

AARP Experience Corps, U.S.A.

Teresa E. Seeman

UCLA, U.S.A.

Elizabeth K. Tanner

Johns Hopkins University, U.S.A.

Linda P. Fried

Columbia University, U.S.A.

Introduction

With a rapidly aging population, current estimates suggest that a greater number of men and women are spending approximately one third of their lives post retirement (Freedman, 1999). For instance, the median age of retirement for male workers in the United States has decreased from age 66 in 1960 to age 63 in 2008 (Munnell & Sass, 2008). During the same time period, life expectancy increased; U.S. men in 2008 could expect to live 5 additional years compared to men in 1960 (Munnell & Sass, 2008). From a public health perspective, there is mounting interest in providing meaningful roles and opportunities for older adults to spend their years in retirement (Fried, Freedman, Endres, & Wasik, 1997). As emphasized by Riley, Kahn, and Foner (1994), there currently exists a “structural lag” in society, as evidenced by the failure of “the role structures of society to keep pace with the changes in the way people ...

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