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Charles to receive GSA's 2011 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 Susan Charles, PhD, of the University of California, Irvine, as the 2011 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 64th Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 18 to 22 in Boston, MA. This conference is organized to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers, educators, and practitioners who specialize in the study of the aging process. Visit for further details.

Charles is an associate professor of psychology and social behavior at the University of California, Irvine. Her research examines emotional processes across the adult life span. She explores how affective experience varies across the life course, and how differences in affective experience may be related to differences in cognitive and health-related processes. She also is interested in the interplay between health and emotion, including the relationship between physical health factors and emotional processes, and how these relationships may vary as a function of age.

She was chosen to receive the Kalish Award for her article, "Strength and Vulnerability Integration: A Model of Emotional Well-Being Across Adulthood." This paper presents a strong and well-articulated theory with numerous empirical examples for how and why emotional well-being changes across adulthood. The publication introduces the Strength and Vulnerability Integration (SAVI) model, which posits that to the extent that older adults manage to organize their daily lives in a way that exposes them to few or short-lived negative events, they can deploy effective emotion regulation strategies that function to preserve their well-being. In contrast, the SAVI model also posits that to the extent that older adults encounter persistent or recurring negative events in the course of their daily lives, they are likely to experience elevated and sustained physiological arousal and to have difficulty preserving positive affect and emotional equilibrium. Examples of such long-lasting negative events would include dealing with a serious illness, caring for a chronically ill family, or the death of a spouse. The SAVI model accordingly identifies circumstances in which older adults' emotion regulation strategies are likely to be uniquely effective in sustaining well-being, as well as circumstances in which prolonged exposure to negative events and physiological susceptibility to stress jointly impose limits on the effectiveness of older adults' emotion regulation strategies.


Contact: Todd Kluss
The Gerontological Society of America

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