Theories regarding aging are centered on a basic attempt to better understand the physical, social, and psychological effects that occur during the process of aging. Better understanding and knowledge of this process leads to the development of various ways by which the experience of this process can be improved and enhanced. Based on these varied approaches, various psychosocial, physical, and biological theories of aging have been proposed.
Here, we'll focus on the psychosocial aspect of aging, and in particular, on the theory of continuity. Other theories in this aspect are the activity theory and the disengagement theory. The disengagement theory proposes that, as people grow older, they gain a sense of impending death, and this sense causes them to retreat away from society and disengage themselves. This occurs with the aim of allowing the social groups of senior citizens to get accustomed to their inevitable absence. In contrast to this, the activity theory suggests that, engaging in mental and physical tasks increases the happiness and mental satisfaction of older adults, allowing them to accept the idea of their inevitable death more easily. Social engagement also works to increase life longevity.
On the other hand, the third theory, i.e., the continuity theory, suggests that, most aging adults tend to maintain their activities, behavior, personality, and relationships as they did during their earlier years. This theory is explained below.
Activity Theory of Aging Essay
4128 WordsMay 4th, 201017 Pages
RUNNING HEAD: ACTIVITY THEORY
Activity Theory of Aging
Long Island University-C.W. Post Campus
Jennifer L. Bifulco
Throughout this semester we have come across many psychological and social theories. From Vaillant’s aging well, to Erikson’s life stages, to Leont’ev’s activity theory, there is a lot to learn and to understand. For the purpose of this paper, I am going to focus on the Activity Theory of aging. After some thorough research on this topic I was able to come up with some great information about this theory that I will incorporate into this paper and make you understand the theory that way that I understand it. Activity Theory (AT) was initially developed by Leont’ev during the twentieth century in the former…show more content…
The third principle is mediation. The Activity Theory states that human activity is mediated by tools. Tools are created during the development of the activity itself and they carry a certain culture. Tool use influences the nature of external behavior and also the mental functioning of each person. The fourth principle is the hierarchical structure of activity. The hierarchy has three levels; activity, action, and operation. Figure 1. Below shows Leont’ev’s structure of human activity. Activities can be broken down into goal-directed actions that have to be undertaken in order to satisfy the object. Actions are conscious and happen automatically. The Activity Theory maintains the elements of the activity. The elements are not fixed but they can change as conditions change. The last principle is development. In Activity Theory, development is not only an object of study, it is also a research method. Research methods in AT is not comprised of actual lab experiments, but the experience of active participation and the monitoring of developmental changes of the study participants. All of the five principles should be looked at as a whole system, because they are associated with various aspects of the whole activity.
ACTIVITY --------( MOTIVE
ACTION --------( GOAL
OPERATION --------( CONDITIONS
Fig. 1 The Structure of Human Activity
An activity is started by a motive such as a need or a drive. An activity is made up of