Aging term papers


What is Aging?

Aging refers to the genetically determined and environmentally influenced process of growing older or maturing.  Aging is closely related to life expectancy and life span.  Both the average life span and the average life expectancy have grown dramatically in the last century in the Western world.  Life span refers to the greatest age reached by a member of a population and average life span refers to the greatest average age of members of a population.  Life expectancy, on the other hand, which refers to the maximum number of years an individual can expect to live, is based on the average life span.

Theories on Aging

There are a number of different theories about aging and these theories have been advanced through the scientific study of aging, gerontology.  Gerontology studies the biological, physiological, psychological, and sociological aspects of aging.  Some of the different theories about aging include  DNA and genetic theories, the neuroendocrine theory, the free radical theory, and the mitochondrial decline theory.  However, this list is by no means exhaustive and there are many theories that attempt to explain the reasons for, and the process of aging.

People interested in studying about old age and the aging process, enter the field of gerontology, which examines research and theory on aging.  As people's life expectancies increase and the world population ages, gerontology has attracted greater interest as a discipline.

Important Issues to Consider

Other important issues about aging to consider are attitudes about aging and how they've changed over time, stereotypes about aging, efforts at anti-aging, financial, social, and health concerns for the aging, philosophies about aging and gender differences in aging. 

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