Chapter 3 Outline(1).docx - CHAPTER 3 THEORIES OF AGING...

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CHAPTER 3. THEORIES OF AGING CHAPTER OUTLINE I. The Origins of Social Gerontology a. Social gerontology - had its origins among developmental psychologists. Their focus included growth and maturation; however, these areas were expanded to include later maturity. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, an interest in physical decline was joined with concerns about older adults, who suffered disproportionately from poverty and unemployment. This period saw the development of research on the problems of aging. II. Micro Theories of Aging a. Psychosocial Theories 1. Disengagement Theory - Disengagement theory was proposed by Elaine Cumming and William Henry, two University of Chicago researchers. They noted that normal aging involves a natural and mutual withdrawal, or “disengagement,” that results in decreasing social interaction between the aging person and society. Critics of the theory, e.g., the Duke Geriatric Project, have gathered evidence to contradict its core premise. 2. Activity Theory - Activity theory was formalized by Robert Havinghurst. According to this theory, the person who ages optimally manages to stay active and resist the shrinkage of her/his social world. Different researchers have tested the disengagement and activity theories and have reported varying results. The debate between disengagement and activity theories has left a legacy of enduring interest in measuring morale or life satisfaction.
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