First Advisor

Frank F. Miles

Term of Graduation

Spring 1969

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Older people -- Case studies, Older people -- Oregon -- Portland



Physical Description

1 online resource (4, v, 68 pages)


This project studied the consequences of disengagement among elderly people and examined the respondent's opinions about society's responsibility to the aged.

The study population was limited to 48 elderly people, equally divided between men and women, married and unmarried; residing in Northwest Tower, a high-rise public housing facility.

The possible consequences of disengagement which were studied included isolation, depression, frustration, despair, factors preventing satisfaction with present circumstances, desired activities in relation to available activities, and energy and desire relative to activity and responsibility. Finally, opinions were sought about society's responsibility to the elderly.

Six general hypotheses guided the development of the study:

  • The older person experiences progressive disengagement from society resulting in feelings of isolation, depression, frustration, and despair;
  • the aging person is dissatisfied with the degree of this process of social disengagement;
  • the aging person gains satisfaction by participating in activities which lead to individual growth and/or benefit to others;
  • the aging person lacks capacity and/or desire to participate in many activities or to continue the full-time roles of parent, job holder, and citizen;
  • the aging person would like to choose his activities according to his desires and needs;
  • and the aging person will more likely participate in activities if he is able to obtain adequate health care and has financial security.


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A group project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Social Work.

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