Contemporary Theories of Aging

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1.Stability Template Model
Based on theories presented by Freud and other psychoanalysts •Individuals do not change once they become adults
Is an individual’s identity is stable over time, he or she will react to stress and life’s events in a consistent manner •Erikson describes the take during midlife as generativity versus despair; establishing and guiding the next generation •Erikson describes the task during later life as integrity versus despair; people reviewing their lives to assess whether they have become who they wanted to be

2.Orderly Change Model
Is a stage theory
The individual’s identity is formed early in life but changes through interaction with the environment •Adults in midlife examine their current life and may make a new life based on changing circumstances (Levinson)

3.Theory of Random Change
Fate or non-normative events cause change in identity because of how individuals adapt to their new roles •Social change affects the behavior of a cohort (known as the cohort effect) •Individuals change over time in response to biological, cultural, psychological and sociological factors •Patterns or behaviors exist because cohorts are exposed to similar experiences •It is possible to predict the behavior of future generations

Social Construction Theory
Is related to symbolic interactionism
Actions and feelings of individuals have no intrinsic meaning of their own, but are given meaning based on expectations of society •People choose to act in a certain way based on personal interpretations of a situation •The Empty Nest Syndrome was identities as a crisis in the 1960s, but is not longer identified as one in the 1990s. (The way in which women interpret the situation has changed.)

The Seasons of Life
Coming stages in life are defined according o the expectations of society as to when events should occur •The seasons are defined but the...
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