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Aging Theories

Theory of AgingTypeDefinitionAdditional Info
Free radical theory Biological Free radicals damage cell membranes/DNA replication; interfere with cell diffusion/transport; may cause pathologic changes free radicals are highly reactive/toxic forms of O2 produced by cell mitochondria
Cell mutation Biological errors in protein (DNA/RNA) synthesis lead to abnormal proteins and aging changes aka intrinsic mutagenesis
Hormonal theory Biological decrease in neurons & associated hormones leads to aging changes decrease in protective hormones/increase in stress hormones
Immunity theory Biological Steady decrease in immune responses throughout adulthood thymus size & bone marrow cell efficiency both decrease
Environmental toxin (aka stochastic/non-genetic theory) Environmental Aging caused by accumulated toxins from environment (ultraviolet, cross-linking agents, toxic chemicals, radiation, viruses) Can result in errors in protein synthesis, DNA synthesis and genetic sequences, cross-linkage of molecules, mutations
Stress Theory Psychological imbalances in homeostasis lead to changes in chemical and structural composition linked to hormonal theory
Erickson's Bipolar Theory of Lifespan Development Psychological individual either views life with satisfaction, optimism, growth or with fear of death, regret, and disappointment Integrity v. despair
Activity theory Sociological (life experiences/lifestyles influence aging) older adults who are socially active adjust better to aging allows for continuation of roles that promote positive self-image/satisfaction
Disengagement theory Sociological individual distances him/herself or withdraws from society decrease in social roles leads to further isolation and dissatisfaction
Dependency Sociological increased reliance on others for physical and emotional needs increased focus on self
Integrated Model Integrated aging is a complex, multifactorial phenomenon affected by some or all of the factors described in other theories Aging is not adequately explained by one theory
Genetic Biological Aging is intrinsic to organism. Genes are programmed to modulate aging changes & rate of progression. Individuals vary in the expression of aging
Doubling/biologic clock Biological cellular deterioration due to limits of cell replication aka Hayflick limit theory
Created by: GooseB on 2010-03-05



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