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THEORIES OF AGING

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THEORIES OF AGING Based on information in: Madison, H.E. (2002). Theories of Aging . In Lueckenotte, A.G. (ed), Gerontologic Nursing. St. Louis: Mosby. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: THEORIES OF AGING


1
THEORIES OF AGING
  • Based on information in Madison, H.E.
    (2002).Theories of Aging. In Lueckenotte, A.G.
    (ed), Gerontologic Nursing. St. Louis Mosby.

2
  • Theories of Aging
  • attempt to explain the phenomenon of aging as it
    occurs over the lifespan
  • aging is viewed as a total process that begins at
    conception
  • senescence a change in the behavior of an
    organism with age leading to a decreased power of
    survival and adjustment

3
Theories of Aging Types
  • Biologic
  • Sociologic
  • Psychologic
  • Moral/Spiritual

4
Biologic Theories
  • Concerned with answering basic questions
    regarding the physiological processes that occur
    in all living organisms as they chronologically
    age

5
Foci of Biologic Theories
  • Explanations of
  • 1) deleterious effects leading to decreasing
    function of the organism
  • 2) gradually occurring age-related changes that
    are progressive over time
  • 3) intrinsic changes that can affect all member
    of a species because of chronologic age

6
  • ALSO
  • all organs in any one organism do not age at the
    same rate
  • any single organ does not necessarily age at the
    same rate in difference individuals of the same
    species

7
Biologic Theories Divisions
  • Stochastic Explain aging as events that occur
    randomly and accumulate over time
  • Nonstochastic View aging as certain
    predetermined, timed phenomena

8
  • Stochastic Theories
  • Error Theory Free Radical Theory
  • Cross-Linkage Theory
  • Wear Tear Theory

9
Error Theory
  • Originally proposed in 1963
  • Basis 1)errors can occur in the transcription in
    any step of the protein synthesis of DNA
  • 2) error causes the reproduction of an enzyme or
    protein that is not an exact copy
  • 3) As transcription errors to occur, the end
    product would not even resemble the original
    cell, thereby compromising its functional ability

10
Error, contd
  • More recently the theory has not been supported
    by research
  • not all aged cells contain altered or
    misspecified proteins
  • nor is aging automatically or necessarily
    accelerated if misspecified proteins or enzymes
    are introduced into a cell

11
Free Radical Theory
  • Free radicals are byproducts of metabolism--can
    increase as a result of environmental pollutants
  • When they accumulate, they damage cell membrane,
    decreasing its efficiency
  • The body produces antioxidants that scavenge the
    free radicals

12
Free Rads, contd
  • In animal studies, administration of antioxidants
    postpones the appearance of diseases such as
    cardiovascular disease and CA
  • Free radicals are also implicated in the
    development of plaques associated with Alzheimers

13
Cross-Linkage Theory
  • Some proteins in the body become cross-linked,
    thereby not allowing for normal metabolic
    activities
  • Waste products accumulate
  • Result tissues do not function at optimal
    efficiency

14
C-L Theory, contd
  • Some research supports a combination of exercise
    and dietary restrictions in helping to inhibit
    the cross-linkage process

15
Wear Tear Theory
  • Proposed first in 1882
  • Cells simply wear out over time because of
    continued use--rather like a machine
  • Would seem to be refuted by the fact that
    exercise in OAs actually makes them MORE
    functional, not less

16
  • Nonstochastic Theories
  • Programmed Theory
  • Immunity Theory

17
Programmed (Hayflick Limit) Theory
  • Based on lab experiments on fetal fibroblastic
    cells and their reproductive capabilities in 1961
  • Cells can only reproduce themselves a limited
    number of times.
  • Life expectancies are seen as preprogrammed
    within a species-specific range

18
Immunity Theory
  • Immunosenescence Age-related functional
    diminution of the immune system
  • Lower rate of T-lymphocyte (killer cells)
    proliferation in response to a stimulus
  • therefore a decrease in the bodys defense
    against foreign pathogens

19
Immunity, contd
  • Change include a decrease in humoral immune
    response, often predisposing older adults to
  • 1)decreased resistance to a tumor cell challenge
    and the development of cancer
  • 2) decreased ability to initiate the immune
    process and mobilize defenses in aggressively
    attaching pathogens
  • 3) increased susceptibility to auto-immune
    diseases

20
EMERGING THEORIES OF AGING
  • Neuroendocrine Control (Pacemaker) Theory
  • Metabolic Theory/Caloric Restriction
  • DNA-Related Research

21
Neuroendocrine Control
  • examines the interrelated role of the
    neurologic and endocrine systems over the
    life-span of an individual. (p. 24)
  • there is a decline, or even cessation, in many of
    the components of the neuroendocrine system over
    the lifespan

22
Neuro, contd
  • Research has shown
  • 1) the female reproductive system is controlled
    by the hypothalamus. What are the mechanisms
    that trigger changes?
  • 2) adrenal glands DHEA hormone
  • 3) melatonin (from pineal gland)--a regulator of
    biologic rhythms and a powerful antioxidant.
    Declines sharply from just after puberty

23
Metobolic Theory of Aging (Caloric Restriction)
  • proposes that all organisms have a finite
    amount of metabolic lifetime and that organisms
    with a higher metabolic rate have a shorter
    lifespan. (p. 24)
  • Rodent-based research has demonstrated that
    caloric restriction increases the lifespan and
    delays the onset of age-dependent diseases

24
DNA-Related Research
  • Major Developments
  • Mapping the human genome (there may be as many
    as 200 genes responsible for contolling aging in
    humans)
  • Discovery of telomeres

25
SOCIOLOGIC THEORIES OF AGING
  • Disengagement Theory
  • Activity/Developmental Task Theory
  • Continuity Theory
  • Age Stratification Theory
  • Person-Environment Fit Theory

26
  • Changing FOCUS of Sociological considerations of
    aging
  • 60s focus on losses and adaptation to them
  • 70s broader global, societal, and structural
    factors influencing lives of OAs
  • 80s-90s exploration of interrelationships
    between OAs and their physical, political,
    environmental socioeconomic mileau

27
Disengagement Theory
  • Cumming Henry--1961
  • Aging seen as a developmental task in and of
    itself, with its own norms appropriate patterns
    of behavior
  • appropriate behavior patterns involved a mutual
    agreement between OAs and society on a
    reciprocal withdrawal.
  • No longer supported

28
Activity Theory (Developmental Task Theory)
  • Havighurst, Neugarten, Tobin 1963
  • Activity is viewed by this theory as necessary
    to maintain a persons life satisfaction and a
    positive self-concept. (p.27)

29
Activity, contd
  • Theory based on assumptions
  • 1) its better to be active than inactive
  • 2) it is better to be happy than unhappy
  • 3) an older individual is the best judge of his
    or her own success in achieving the first two
    assumptions

30
Continuity Theory
  • How a person has been throughout life is how that
    person will continue through the remainder of
    life
  • Old age is not a separate phase of life, but
    rather a continuation and thus an integral
    component

31
Age Stratification Theory
  • Riley--1985
  • Society consists of groups of cohorts that age
    collectively
  • The people Roles in these cohorts change
    influence each other, as does society at large
  • Thus, there is a high degree of interdependence
    between older adults society

32
Person-Environment Fit Theory
  • Lawton, 1982
  • Individuals have personal competencies that
    assist in dealing with the environment
  • ego strength
  • level of motor skills
  • individual biologic health
  • cognitive sensory-perceptual capacities

33
P-E Fit, contd
  • As a person ages, there may be changes in
    competencies these changes alter the ability to
    interrelate with the environment
  • Significant implications in a society that is
    characterized by constantly changing technology

34
PSYCHOLOGIC THEORIES OF AGING
  • Maslows Hierarchy of Human Needs
  • Jungs Theory of Individualism
  • Eriksons Eight Stages of Life
  • Pecks Expansion of Eriksons Theory
  • Selective Optimization with Compensation

35
Maslows Hierarchy of Human Needs
  • Maslow--1954
  • each individual has an innate internal
    hierarchy of needs that motivates all human
    behaviors. (p. 29
  • depicted as a pyramid the ideal is to achieve
    self-actualization, having met all the lower
    level needs successful

36
  • Maslows fully developed, self-actualized person
    displays high levels of all of the following
    characteristics perception of reality
    acceptance of self, others, and nature
    spontaneity problem-solving ability
    self-direction detachment and the desire for
    primacy freshness of peak experiences
    identification with other human beings.

37
  • satisfying and changing relationships with other
    people a democratic character structure
    creativity and a sense of values.
  • Only about 1 of us are truly ideal
    self-actualized persons

38
Jungs Theory of Individualism
  • Carl Jung--1960
  • origins are Freudian
  • Self-realization is the goal of personality
    development
  • as individual ages, each is capable of
    transforming into a more spiritual being

39
Eriksons Eight Stages of Life
  • 1993
  • Stages throughout the life course. Each
    represents a crisis to be resolved.
  • For OAs
  • 40 to 65 (middle adulthood) generativity versus
    self-absorption or stagnation
  • 65 to death (older adulthood) ego integrity
    versus despair

40
Erikson, contd
  • Self-absorbed adults will be preoccupied with
    their personal well-being and material gains.
    Preoccupation with self leads to stagnation of
    life
  • Unsuccessful resolution of the last crisis may
    result in a sense of despair in which individuals
    view life as a series of misfortunes,
    disappointments, and failures. (p.30)

41
Pecks Expansion of Eriksons Theory
  • Eriksons last two stages are expanded to 7
  • The final three of the developmental tasks for
    old age
  • ego differentiation versus work role
    preoccupation
  • body transcendence versus body preoccupation
  • ego transcendence versus ego preoccupation

42
Selective Optimization with Compensation
  • Baltes--1987
  • Individuals develop strategies to manage losses
    of function that occur over time

43
Selective Optimization, contd
  • 3 Interacting Elements
  • selection increasing restriction of ones life
    to fewer domains of functioning
  • optimization people engage in behaviors to
    enrich their lives
  • compensationdeveloping suitable, alternative
    adaptations

44
THE END!
  • Thanks for hanging in there!
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