Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Disengagement theory defines the aging process as a period of mutual separation between the old and the young. The theory predicts that the social order requires a transformation among those advancing into old age, from a state of active involvement in society to one of steady withdrawal. It suggests that the elderly desire both psychological and social separation from the young, and this comes at a time in their lives when societies tend to devalue the importance of their contributions. As a result, those advancing into old age tend to seek isolation at the same time in which ...