Theories of Ageing

Disengagement Theory and Genetically Programmed Theory

Disengagement Theory

This is the process of individual's withdrawing themselves from prior social interactions due to age. It suggests that mutual social withdrawal benefits both individuals and society meaning that society also disengages them due to their age. It is argued that this is because people learn their limitations with age and make way for the new and younger generations to fill their roles. The decreased level of involvement in society takes place in four different levels. The first is the number of people the individual socializes with will decrease. The second is the frequency the individual socializes with the remaining individuals will decrease. Thirdly, de to the altered status the individual holds, the type of interaction they have with them will change. Finally, as the style and frequency of the interaction they have will decrease and so the older adult will become increasingly preoccupied with their situation and withdraw themselves.

Genetically Programmed Theory

This theory proposes that ageing is programmed into individuals genes. It suggests that cells are designed to only divide a certain number of times. The functional changes of the cells then changes and affects the ageing in them and so also the organism