OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

OSU personality, aging research earns honor

11/02/2005

CORVALLIS, Ore. - A comprehensive view of personality and aging has earned an Oregon State University researcher honors from the Gerontological Society of America. Karen Hooker, an OSU professor of human development and family science, will receive the society's Richard Kalish Innovative Publication Award "recognizing insightful and innovative publications on aging that represent state-of-the-art thinking on life course development."

Hooker, director of OSU's College of Health and Human Sciences Gerontology Program and Center for Healthy Aging Research, co-authored "Personality Reconsidered: A New Agenda for Aging Research" with Dan McAdams, professor of psychology and human development and social policy at Northwestern University. The article appeared in a 2003 issue of the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences.

"The manuscript was published in one of the top journals of gerontology and laid out what in all likelihood will set the research agenda concerning personality changes that may or may not occur as a function of aging and will have an impact on the field," said Joe Hendricks, gerontologist and dean of OSU's University Honors College The article by Hooker and McAdams presents a more comprehensive, developmental view of personality in adulthood. Their model shows the relevance of personality in understanding optimal aging.

The emerging model, called the six-foci model of personality, encourages researchers to look at traits as only one aspect of the personality system, along with goals, life stories, and processes that drive development of these different aspects of personality.

Hooker and McAdams will receive their Kalish Awards at the Gerontological Society's annual conference in Orlando, Fla. on Nov. 20. Founded in 1945, the society is the nation's oldest and largest multidisciplinary scientific organization devoted to the advancement of gerontological research. The Society's membership includes more than 5,000 researchers, educators, practitioners, and other professionals in the field of aging.