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Which lifestyle do you think is healthiest for aging people—activity, continuity, or disengagement theories? What are the pros and cons of each theory? Find examples of real people who illustrate the theories, either from your own experience or your friends’ relationships with older people. Do your examples show positive or negative aspects of the theory they illustrate?

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Further research

New Dynamics of Aging is a web site produced by an interdisciplinary team at the University of Sheffield. It is supposedly the largest research program on aging in the United Kingdom to date. In studying the experiences of aging and factors that shape aging, including behaviors, biology, health, culture, history, economics, and technology, researchers are promoting healthy aging and helping dispel stereotypes. Learn more by logging onto its web site: (External Link)

References

Abner, Carrie. 2006. “Graying Prisons: States Face Challenges of an Aging Inmate Population.” State News , November/December.

Atchley, R.C. 1971. "Retirement and Leisure Participation: Continuity or Crisis?" The Gerontologist 11:13–17.

Atchley, R.C. 1989. "A Continuity Theory of Normal Aging." The Gerontologist 29:183–190.

Baltes, Paul and Margret Baltes, eds. 1990. Successful Aging: Perspectives from The Behavioral Sciences . New York: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge.

Cowgill, D.O. and L.D. Holmes, eds. 1972. Aging and Modernization . New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.

Crosnoe, Robert and Glen H. Elder. 2002. “Life Course Transitions, the Generational Stake, and Grandparent-Grandchild Relationships.” Journal of Marriage and Family 64(4):1089–1096.

Cumming, Elaine and William Earl Henry. 1961. Growing Old . New York: Basic.

Dowd, James J. 1975. "Aging as Exchange: A Preface to Theory." Journal of Gerontology 30:584–594.

Havinghurst, R.J. 1961. "Successful Aging." The Gerontologist 1:8–13.

Havinghurst, Robert, Bernice Neugarten, and Sheldon Tobin. 1968. “Patterns of Aging.” Pp. 161–172 in Middle Age and Aging , edited by B. Neugarten. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Hothschild, Arlie. 1975. “Disengagement Theory: A Critique and Proposal.” American Sociological Review 40:563–569.

Human Rights Watch. 2012. Old Behind Bars: The Aging Prison Population in the United States. Retrieved February 2, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Leadership Conference. N.d. “Chapter Three: Race, Sentencing and the "Tough Crime" Movement.” Retrieved February 2, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Lemon, B., V. Bengtson, and J. Petersen. 1972. “An Exploration of the Activity Theory of Aging: Activity Types and Life Expectation among In-Movers to a Retirement Community.” Journal of Gerontology 27:511–23.

Riley, Matilda While, Marilyn Johnson, and Anne Foner. 1972. Aging and Society. Volume III, A Sociology of Age Stratification . New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Rose, Arnold. 1960. “The Subculture of the Aging: A Topic for Sociological Research.” The Gerontologist 2:123–127.

Tornstam Lars. 2005. Gerotranscendence: A Developmental Theory of Positive Aging . New York: Springer Publishing Company.

U.S. Census Bureau. 2011. Statistical Abstract 2011: Table 147. Retrieved February 13, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 2012. “The Age Discrimination in Employment Act 1967 (ADEA).” Retrieved January 30, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Warren, Jenifer. 2002. “The Graying of the Prisons.” Los Angeles Times , June 9. Retrieved February 2, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Questions & Answers

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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology. OpenStax CNX. Jun 12, 2012 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11407/1.7
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