Theories of ageing-Charlotte Taylor

A comparison between disengagement and activity theory

activity theory and disengagement theory

The theorist who suggested and developed the activity theory was Robert Havighurst in the 1960s, this theory means that people need to be supported in order to maintain regularly active roles in life and social engagement. For an elderly person having a birthday party this would involve music, food and social engagement with others. In order to then get the elderly person active we could encourage them to organise and host the party. This will require them to write out invitations and invite their friends, staff members and family members.

Disengagement theory-

Engagement means being involved with people and doing activities, disengagement mean to withdraw from involvement in society such as doing activities and communicating with other people. As they get older they may loose contact and friendship with friends however they do remain socially to family.

For and Against outcomes


  • Elderly people may be more happy and more sociable,
  • May have more confidence
  • Maybe be more activate


  • Elderly people may feel lonely
  • May start to get depression because of feeling lonely
  • slower healing