Theories of ageing

Emily Lewis-smith

Theories of ageing

Sociology/physiology

The disengagement theory, which was developed by Cummings and Henry in 1950's. They said "ageing is an inevitable, mutual withdrawal or disengagement resulting in decreased interactions between the ageing individual and others in the social system, to who they belong too"


It also is about older adults and sociability, preoccupation within what older people do as a job/career. Which society promotes tranquility and reduces death.


It however is about the natural and acceptable for adults to withdraw from society.

The disengagement theory argues that the elderly become more disengage from their previous social roles, when they were younger. This is because they realise they are going to die in the near future.

Disengagement theory is also the first theories of ageing, which is developed by social scientist.


The activity theory

It was developed by Robert Havighurst in the 1960's. He supports the maintenance of regular activity's, roles and social pursuits. An individual who achieves the optimal age are those who stay active and have a good social life. As roles change throughout a persons life, the individual finds it hard to sustain an active life within there roles.


The activity theory claims that having a good mental health and physical life style, they are normally much happier.


Social creation of dependency

It was made by Sandra Ball-Rokeach and Melvin Defleur in 1976, this theory is apart of the communication section. It is mixed with both perspectives of psychology from social categories with the theory. It covers approaches of different elements of use and gratifications, they research the types of media effects.

The dependency theory is a theory of how developing and developed nations interact.


Contextualize philosophy is incorporated into this theory, which features within traditional concerns with the media messages and their effects on their audience.


Continuity theory

It was formed by Robert Havighurt and other people in relation to the disengagement theory, which is about people having basic personality's, attitudes and behaviors throughout there life time and what looking at how old they are.


This theory is of normal ageing about older people will usually maintain the same activity's, same behaviors and same relationships/friendships as they get older, as they did when they were younger.


Erik Erikson integrity/ despair

Is coming to terms about life, the view of larger humanity, despair is making a wrong decision, no time to change, being anger and self contempt. It goes up in steps from trust/mistrust, shame and doubt, confusion, intimacy, stagnation and finally integrity and despair.


Which integrity/ despair is the eight and last stage of Erikson's theory of the psychological development. This stage occurs during late adulthood from the age of 65 years old. During this time people look back at their life and reflect on how they used to live and what they used to do. This then results in them feeling fulfillment about there life, that they have lived a good life or they feel like that they regret something they did or regret a lot of things. This makes them feel despair over a life misspent.


Which those who have thought they have achieved everything in there life and has been successful. They will then feel integrity towards there past way of life. But those who feel unsuccessful, they may feel they have wasted their life and might feel despair.


Pecks theory

Ego differences/ work role preoccupations, the ego differences is feeling complete, whole and satisfied with there lifetime achievements.

Having serenity and contentment, It is associated with physiology maturity.

There is three stages of the pecks theory, ego differences/ work role preoccupations, body transcendence/ body preoccupations and ego transcendence/ ego preoccupations.


However, this theory is concerned with the value of a persons place within a job role. They prevent feelings of uselessness and a loss of integrity that can occur during retirement. Family, friends and the community within important events.


Body transcendence/ body preoccupation

The individual enjoys life to the fullest despair even with small physical problems. They must be beyond physical ageing and appreciate satisfactions in other areas. They emphasis other abilities- cognitive and social skills within physical areas.


Ego transcendence/ ego preoccupations

Devoted energies of the welfare of peoples future, avoid being overly concerned with them self. They know that death is a natural thing and will happen at some point. They stay active and continue to work and make there life a better place. Is kind to there family and helps others.


Disposable soma theory

Thomas Kirkwood- 1977, his idea was about organisms, that they only have a limited amount of energy between reproduction activities and the maintenance of the non-reproductive organism soma. However, ageing is the result of the persons natural progress of degrading, in result to this is the damage that can be repaired by organisms at the expense of the reproduction effort.

This theory has different approaches when having to deal with the natural progress of ageing. And having to repair any damage. It says that the relationship between the reproductive system and lifespan, try and avoid conflict with each other.


The genetically programmed theory

This theory talks about how to ageing and death they are not an result to wear or tear or damage to the body. But it is programmed to age and die.

This theory is about ageing and it's essentials of the biology in people, and that ageing is programmed in our body systems. There are three main systems linked with ageing- endocrine system, immune system and our genres. These systems change all the time in our bodies and they change the signs and symptoms of ageing.


Gender differences

It assess a persons health and there behavior with the baseline of different health conditions in predicting health problems or having a risk of dying. It also shows the different ways people can be affected by ageing and how it affects people differently between men and women.


Health/health problems affect men or women differently because they both have some different cells and hormones in there body.

Women have better verbal memory and men have done better in spatial and motor tasks. In looking at how different genders react to certain things show how me and women are different in different ways.

Ageing affects both genders, in some ways better than others.