Old Men: An Understudied Population

Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1988, Vol 33(8), 658-659. Reviews the book, Singular Paths: Old Men Living Alone by Robert L. Rubinstein (1986). This book focuses on the largely understudied population of older single men who live alone. The book is based on 47 (mostly lengthy) interviews with men, aged 65 to 90 plus, who live in the Philadelphia area. Older single men are not a uniform group, and this book reflects that diversity. As is reflected by their percentage in the current sample, men who have never married are a relatively rare, one might even say marginal, group. Indeed, an examination of their individual life histories suggests that they are rather atypical, often spending years in close family relationships that somehow interfered with marriage. The chapters in the latter part of the book focus on global issues such as activities, loneliness, and the meaning of being alone. In sum, this book provides the reader with some interesting and informative insights into the often creative coping strategies of older men who live alone. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved)