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PSY 180 - Psychology of Aging - Textbook

Chapter 6: Table of Contents

Chapter 6: Social Engagement in Later Life



Chapter Learning Objectives

  • Examine and define Erikson’s theory of Psychosocial Development and its stages applicable to late adulthood.
  • Examine and define activity theory, disengagement and continuity theory.
  • Identify the main attitudes and beliefs about aging.
  • Examine how the elderly can remain productive in later life by redefining their social roles and activities.
  • Examine whether volunteerism can lead to positive health benefits.
  • Examine the  interventional strategies available for preventing cognitive decline.
  • Understand that role of social engagement in preserving hippocampal function.

Chapter Key Points

  • The main social theories present differing viewpoints about the types of activities the elderly should do during that stage.
  • Because life slows down as wee age this does not mean that we stop developing psychosocially.
  • In old age people face the psychosocial crisis of “integrity vs. despair.”
  • Remaining socially engaged in later life is central to aging well.
  • Volunteering in late life is associated with health benefits such as reduced risk of hypertension, improved self-related health and well-being, delayed physical disability, enhanced cognition, and lower mortality.
  • As the elderly population increases, so too does the need to find interventions for improving age-related cognitive impairment; consequently, social engagement interventions can be useful.
  • Exercise can be a helpful in preserving hippocampal function in old age.