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The Handbook of Knowledge-Based Coaching: FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE by Diane Brennan, Leni Wildflower

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ACTIVITY

Early theories of aging focused on what was seen as a withdrawal from social engagement. Cumming and Henry (1961) considered this process of “disengagement” inevitable. Some contemporary thinking, such as an approach called “activity theory” (Adams & Sanders, 2010), challenges this view. There is a contrasting concern about the “busy ethic” (Ekerdt, 2010), which can lead some people to become more active to compensate for losses, such as retirement or layoff from a job. In some instances, becoming “busy” leads to other challenges that come from avoiding the feelings that may be part of a natural grieving process—after loss of a spouse or partner, for example. But for some older adults, curtailing activities and social contacts is seen ...

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