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The study of adult development has encompassed decades of examining various traits of adult men through their lives.
The Study of Adult Development is the longest longitudinal study of adult life ever conducted. For 68 years, two groups of men have been studied from adolescence into late life to identify the predictors of healthy aging. This study has allowed us to examine the psychological traits, social factors, and biological processes that characterize adolescents and forty-year-olds who evolve into vigorous and engaged octogenarians.
The study has created an unprecedented database of life histories with which to view the dynamic character of the aging process. A map of Boston neighborhoods in which Glueck Study men grew up.
Our ParticipantsThe two groups that make up the Study are very different.
Learning About Our Participants
Thanks to a grant from the W. T. Grant Foundation, the Study of Adult Development has undertaken a large and important archiving project, which began in 2010. As you may know, Mr. W. T. Grant was the first person to support the Grant Study research project at Harvard University Health Services in 1938 with a $60,000 grant. Here we are—75 years later—again the grateful recipients of the W. T. Grant Foundation’s generosity.
With the rich data collected from two important longitudinal studies of human development: The Grant Study (Harvard men) and The Glueck Study (Inner City men) the Study determined it was crucial to convert the collected data set into an electronic format available to Study staff, and eventually to researchers and scholars of human development.
With the help of college interns seeking degrees in archiving, publishing, or library science, and employing the services of DataBank IMX, a company specializing in document imaging, we have successfully completed the digital conversion of the entire Grant Study records. We are currently working on the Glueck Study archiving project.
Original Study records, which date back to 1939, were, of course, handwritten! Later documents were hand-typed until computers became available. Technology has now evolved to enable the Study staff to search, manage, and store these irreplaceable records on a secure server at MGH, which our staff can easily access from their secure computers in our lab.
This priceless study of lives will be preserved well into the future.
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