The biological theories are related to aging done physiologically. They include the following theories:
- Genetic - the belief that individuals are genetically programmed for a certain life expectancy
- Cross-linking - the division of cells in a person's body is changed by radiation and chemical influences. This is detrimental to normal cellular division.
- Evolutionary - based on the theories of natural selection and mutation of different species throughout time
- Free radical and lipofuscin - These theories are based on the damage done to healthy cells by free radicals (molecules created during oxygen metabolism that have extra electrical charge) and lipofuscin (a by-product of oxidation)
- Autoimmune reactions - reduced ability to fight disease as immunity decreases with age
- Wear and tear - simply the overuse and repetition injury sustained by the body over a lifetime
- Stress - proposal that increased physical and psychological stress over years reduces lifespan
- Biogerontology - the relationship of organisms and disease processes to the aging of the body
- Neuroendocrine and neurochemical - the thought that certain hormones and chemical imbalances promote aging
- Radiation - the possibility that the accumulation of radiation mutates cells and decreases lifespan
- Nutrition - a discussion surrounding how poor intake and obesity may decrease the lifespan
- Environmental - the effect pollutants and chemicals have on our bodies aging process. Examples include smoking, lead, arsenic, and pesticides
Write a short response reflecting on the patterns of aging in your family and whether you have influence over those patterns.
This category is split into psychological and sociological theories of aging. Psychological theories look at the way individuals adapt mentally and behaviorally as they age. Sociological theories study the impact society has on the individual as they age and vice versa.
- Disengagement - this theory proposes the split of the adult from societal roles as they age. It is important that older adults do this for transfer of power to the next generation, but there are people who believe it is important that older generations stay engaged.
- Activity - Insists that individuals stay engaged in society and their communities for as long as possible to avoid some of the detrimental effects of decreased physical and mental activity.
- Continuity - This theory indicates that individuals have a predisposition toward living a certain lifestyle and influencing society in a certain way for their entire lives.
- Developmental tasks - the theorists we have looked at in class already are part of the group that feels individuals have stages and levels of mastery that are necessary for completion of each life stage.
- Gerotranscendence - this theory proposes that individuals move from a concrete, materialistic, and rational state to a more transcendent and abstract state.
What activities do you see in your community that both engage and influence disengagement of older adults?
Indicate whether the statements below are true or false
- Activity and stress are examples of biological theories
- Disengagement and developmental tasks are examples of psychosocial theories
- Nutrition and autoimmune are examples of biological theories