Lifelong Resiliency Learning: A Strength-Based Synergy for Gerontological Social Work

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Journal of Gerontological Social Work


The significance of the synergy between promoting resiliency and the strengths-based perspective is well established in gerontological social work. This article reports on qualitative research that suggests another potentially productive synergy, one that can result from the interaction between the capacities for resiliency and lifelong learning. These findings emerged from a qualitative study involving 12 older women (ages 64–72) participating in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Southern Maine. Lifelong learning is defined as a cognitive process by which individuals continue to develop their knowledge, skills and attitudes over their lifetime. The implications of the data are considered from a multidisciplinary perspective that includes gerontological social work, educational gerontology, and adult learning. Specific social work research and practice initiatives that could confirm and operationalize this synergy are suggested.


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