The Theories Of Ageing:

Theories Of Ageing, Dementia Task 3B, Ammaarah Sheikh

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  • Disengagement theory

Cummings and Henry's (late 1950's) Disengagement theory suggest that "ageing is an inevitable mutual withdrawal or disengagement, resulting in decreased interaction between the ageing person and others in the social system he belongs to". The theory suggests that it is natural and acceptable for older adults to isolate from society. [1]

  • Activity theory

Robert Havighurst theory claims to support the maintenance of regular activities, roles and social pursuits. He suggest that those who achieve their optimal age are those who stay active. In addition he states that as roles change, the individual finds substitue for these roles. [2]

  • Social creation of dependency

Sandra Ball-Rokeach and Melvin DeFleur (1967) originally projected the theory combined from the communication discipline. Their theory tie up with perspectives from psychology along with the social category theory. Contextualist philosophy is combined into the theory, which also contains traditional concerns with the content of media messages and their effects on viewers. Research produced by this model is usually more descriptive than explanatory or predictive. [2]

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  • Disposable soma theory

Thomas Kirkwood (1977) theory was that organisms only have a limited amount of energy that has to be split between reproductive activities and the maintenance of the non-reproductive features of the organism. His theory chains the apparent declining power of natural collection after breeding age is reached with growth of damage, and suggests a relationship between reproduction and lifespan while excluding conflict with traditional evolutionary theory. [2]

  • Genetically programmed theory

This theory, ageing and death are not a result of wear and tear or exposure, but are a programmed and are natural which is a necessary part of genetics. [2]

  • Gender differences

Gender differences assess the relative significance of health behaviour and standard health conditions in predicting the risk of dying, and how their effects change between elderly men and women. [2]


[Picture 1] - Accessed 05/06/15

[Picture 2] - Accessed 05/06/15

[1] - Accessed 05/06/15

[2] Dementia & Elderly Care Power point presentation - Accessed 05/06/15