THEORISTS OF AGEING
As people get older, they are affected by life factors such as the death of a loved one or development of an illness. The effect of these life factors varies depending on the individual’s attitudes and beliefs. For example, someone with a positive outlook on life will maintain this attitude despite having serious physical health problems; while someone with a negative outlook on life will be depressed. However, different theorists have ideas on how people react to effects of ageing. THE SOCIAL DISENGAGEMENT THEORY
This theory states that older people need to withdraw from social contact with other people because of their reduced physical and the loss of social opportunities. It was developed by Cummings and Henry, two theorists. Cummings (1975) stated that as people get older, they experience a lesser need to meet the expectations of others and so, it was more natural for them to disengage from people. This theory has been accepted and supported by other theorists like Bromley (1974), who said that ‘although people try to fight the process of disengagement, it is bound to happen because as people get older they lose some of their physical and mental energy’. The ‘springboard’ view of life is a theory that when people are born, they only have to look forward to growing up; later on in life, they reach their full potential. But when they get older, they lose some of that potential and it’s all downhill from there. The theory of disengagement collaborates with this theory because they both suggest that withdrawing from social activities is an inevitable part of the biological decline which is part of the natural ageing process. However, this is not always the same for everyone because people age differently. Many theorists and researchers today do not accept Cummings and Henry’s theory of disengagement because when it was introduced in 1961, there were no text messaging or internet and most people did not have access to a phone or a car. This...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document