Lifespan psychology module 8.3 - 2010

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  • . The caregiver may not be in good health either. In most cases, the caregiver is the wife.
  • Lifespan psychology module 8.3 - 2010

    1. 1. Chapter 8: Late Adulthood Module 8.3 Social and Personality Development in Late Adulthood
    2. 2. Continuity and Change in Personality <ul><li>Fundamental continuity to personality </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Despite this general stability of basic personality traits, there is still the possibility of change over time. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Profound social environmental changes throughout adulthood may produce fluctuations and changes in personality </li></ul><ul><li>Some discontinuities in development </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What is important to a person at age 80 is not necessarily the same as what was important at age 40. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Discontinuities of Development: What Do Theorists Say? <ul><li>Changes in personality occur as a result of new challenges in later adulthood. </li></ul><ul><li>Erik Erikson </li></ul><ul><li>Robert Peck </li></ul><ul><li>Daniel Levinson </li></ul><ul><li>Bernice Neugarten </li></ul>
    4. 4. Erikson - Ego-Integrity vs. Despair <ul><li>Process of looking back over one's life, evaluating it, and coming to terms with it </li></ul><ul><li>Stage begins when the individual experiences a sense of mortality. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This may be in response to retirement, the death of a spouse or close friends, or may simply result from changing social roles. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No matter what the cause, this sense of mortality precipitates the final life crisis. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The final life crisis manifests itself as a review of the individual’s life-career. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Individuals review their life-career to determine if it was a success or failure. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reminiscence or introspection is most productive when experienced with significant others. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Outcome of this life-career reminiscence can be either positive or negative. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Comes when people feel they have realized and fulfilled the possibilities that have come their way </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Despair </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Occurs when people feel dissatisfied with their life, and experience gloom, unhappiness, depression, anger, or the feeling that they have failed </li></ul></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Robert Peck Three major developmental tasks or challenges <ul><li>First task in old age is that people must redefine themselves in ways that do not relate to their work-roles or occupations. People must adjust their values to place less emphasis on themselves as workers or professionals and more on attributes that don’t involve work, such as being a grandparent or a gardener. </li></ul><ul><li>In second major developmental task in late adulthood, elderly individuals can undergo significant changes in their physical capabilities as a result of aging. In the body transcendence versus body preoccupation stage, people must learn to cope with and move beyond those physical changes (transcendence). </li></ul><ul><li>In third developmental task, elderly people must come to grips with their coming death and understand that although death is inevitable, and probably not too far off, they have made contributions to society. If people in late adulthood see these contributions, they will experience ego transcendence. If not, they may become preoccupied with the question of whether their lives had value and worth to society. </li></ul>
    6. 6. Daniel Levinson - Transition stage <ul><li>People come to view themselves as entering late adulthood—or, ultimately, as being “old.” Knowing full well what society’s stereotypes about elderly individuals are, and how negative they can be, people struggle with the notion that they are now in this category. </li></ul><ul><li>According to Levinson, with age people come to realize that they are no longer on the center stage of life, but are increasingly playing bit parts. This loss of power, respect, and authority may be difficult for individuals accustomed to having control in their lives. </li></ul><ul><li>On the other hand, people in late adulthood can serve as resources to younger individuals, and they may find themselves regarded as “venerated elders” whose advice is sought and relied upon. Furthermore, old age can bring with it a new freedom to do things for the simple sake of the enjoyment and pleasure they bring, rather than because they are obligations. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Bernice Neugarten Four different personality types in people in their 70s <ul><li>Disintegrated and disorganized personalities. Some people are unable to accept aging, and they experience despair as they get older. They are often found in nursing homes or are hospitalized. </li></ul><ul><li>Passive-dependent personalities. Others become fearful with age—fear of falling ill, fear of the future, fear of their own inability to cope. They are so fearful that they may seek out help from family and care providers, even when they don’t need it. </li></ul><ul><li>Defended personalities. Others respond to the fear of aging in a quite different manner. They try to stop it in its tracks. They may attempt to act young, exercising vigorously, and engaging in youthful activities. Unfortunately, they may set up unrealistic expectations for themselves and run the risk of feeling disappointed as a result. </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated personalities. The most successful individuals cope comfortably with aging. They accept becoming older and maintain a sense of self dignity. </li></ul><ul><li>Neugarten found that the majority of the people she studied fell into the final category. They acknowledged aging and were able to look back at their lives and gaze into the future with acceptance. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Life Review and Reminiscence <ul><li>Common Theme of Personality Development </li></ul><ul><li>Triggered by increasingly obvious prospect of one’s death </li></ul><ul><li>Provides better understanding of past </li></ul><ul><li>Resolves lingering problems and conflicts </li></ul><ul><li>Leads to sense of sharing, mutuality, and feeling of interconnectedness with others </li></ul>
    9. 9. Age Stratification Approaches to Late Adulthood <ul><li>Age stratification theories suggest that economic resources, power, and privilege are distributed unequally among people at different stages of the life course. Such inequality is particularly pronounced during late adulthood. </li></ul><ul><li>Age stratification theories help explain why aging is viewed more positively in less industrialized societies. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Age Stratification <ul><li>Power and prestige for elderly have eroded in industrialized societies </li></ul><ul><li>Rapidly changing technology causes older adults to be seen as lacking important skills </li></ul><ul><li>Older adults are seen as non-productive members of society and in some cases simply irrelevant </li></ul>
    11. 11. Wisdom <ul><li>Wisdom —expert knowledge in the practical aspects of life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflects accumulation of knowledge, experience, and contemplation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wisdom is not the same as intelligence: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>While knowledge that is derived from intelligence is related to the here-and-now, wisdom is a more timeless quality. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>While intelligence may permit a person to think logically and systematically, wisdom provides an understanding of human behavior. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Successful Aging <ul><ul><li>Disengagement theory suggests that successful aging is characterized by gradual withdrawal. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Activity theory argues that successful aging occurs when people maintain their engagement with the world. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Continuity theory takes a compromise position, suggesting that what is important is maintaining a desired level of involvement. </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Disengagement Theory <ul><ul><li>On a physical level, elderly people have lower energy levels and tend to slow down progressively. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychologically, they begin to withdraw from others, showing less interest in the world around them and spending more time looking inward. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On a social level, they engage in less interaction with others, in terms of both day-to-day, face-to-face encounters and participation in society as a whole. Older adults also become less involved and invested in the lives of others. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Outcomes of disengagement are largely positive: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>According to this view, the gradual withdrawal of people in late adulthood permits them to become more reflective about their own lives and less constrained by social roles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>People can become more discerning in their social relationships, focusing on those who best meet their needs. Disengagement can be liberating. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Decreased emotional investment in others can be viewed as beneficial. By investing less emotional energy in their social relationships with others, people in late adulthood are better able to adjust to the increasing frequency of serious illness and death among their peers. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Activity Theory <ul><li>Activity theory suggests that successful aging occurs when people maintain the interests and activities they pursued during middle age and resist any decrease in the amount and type of social interaction they have with others. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Specific nature and quality of the activities in which people engage are likely to be more critical than the mere quantity or frequency of their activities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some people view the ability to moderate their pace as one of the bounties of late adulthood. For them, a relatively inactive, and perhaps even solitary, existence is welcomed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Happiness and satisfaction from high level of involvement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adaptation to inevitable changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Continuing/replacing previous activities </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Continuity Theory: A Compromise <ul><li>Continuity theory suggests that people simply need to maintain their desired level of involvement in society in order to maximize their sense of well-being and self-esteem. </li></ul><ul><li>Highly active and social people will be happiest if they largely remain so. Those more retiring individuals, who enjoy solitude and solitary interests, will be happiest if they are free to pursue that level of sociability. </li></ul><ul><li>Old age can influence their happiness and satisfaction. Those who view late adulthood in terms of positive are apt to perceive themselves in a more positive light than those who view old age in a more pessimistic and unfavorable way. </li></ul><ul><li>Good physical and mental health is important in determining overall sense of well-being </li></ul>
    16. 16. Living Circumstances <ul><li>Although it is true that some people finish their lives in nursing homes, they are a tiny minority—only 5 percent. Most people live out their entire lives in home environments, typically in the company of at least one other family member. </li></ul><ul><li>People over 65 represent a quarter of America’s 9.6 million single-person households. Roughly two-thirds of people over the age of 65 live with other members of the family. In most cases they live with spouses. Some older adults live with their siblings, and others live in multigenerational settings with their children, grandchildren, and even occasionally great-grandchildren. </li></ul><ul><li>The consequences of living with a family member are quite varied, depending on the nature of the setting. </li></ul><ul><li>For married couples, living with a spouse represents continuity with earlier life. On the other hand, for people who move in with their children, the adjustment to life in a multigenerational setting can be jarring. Not only is there a potential loss of independence and privacy, but older adults may feel uncomfortable with the way their children are raising their grandchildren. </li></ul><ul><li>Living in extended families is more typical than for other groups. </li></ul>
    17. 17. Living Circumstances <ul><li>Continuing care: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All the residents are of retirement age or older; fairly homogeneous in terms of religious, racial, and ethnic backgrounds, and they are often organized by private or religious organizations; tend to be relatively well-off financially. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Continuing-care communities are making efforts to raise the level of diversity; attempting to increase opportunities for intergenerational interaction by establishing day care centers on the premises and developing programs that involve younger populations. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Adult day-care facilities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Elderly individuals receive care only during the day, but spend nights and weekends in their own homes. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Skilled-nursing facilities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide full-time nursing care for people who have chronic illnesses or are recovering from a temporary medical condition. </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Living in Nursing Homes <ul><li>Greater the extent of nursing home care = greater adjustment required of residents </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of independence brought about by institutional life may lead to difficulties </li></ul><ul><li>Elderly people are as susceptible to society’s stereotypes about nursing homes </li></ul>
    19. 19. Institutionalism and Learned Helplessness <ul><li>Institutionalism , a psychological state in which people develop apathy, indifference, and a lack of caring about themselves. </li></ul><ul><li>Institutionalism is brought about, in part, by a sense of learned helplessness, a belief that one has no control over one’s environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of helplessness brought about by institutionalism can literally have deadly consequences. </li></ul>
    20. 20. Economics of Late Adulthood <ul><li>People who were well-off in young adulthood remain so in late adulthood </li></ul><ul><li>Those who were poor remain poor in late adulthood </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Overall, 10 percent of people age 65 and older live in poverty, a proportion that is quite close to that for people less than age 65. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There are significant differences in gender and racial groups. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Women are almost twice as likely as men to be living in poverty. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Of those elderly women living alone, around one-fourth live on incomes below the poverty line. A married woman may also slip into poverty if she becomes widowed, for she may have used up savings to pay for her husband’s final illness, and the husband’s pension may cease with his death. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Older Women and Poverty
    22. 22. Racial and Marital Variables <ul><li>Eight percent of whites in late adulthood live below the poverty level </li></ul><ul><li>Nineteen percent of Hispanics and 24 percent of African Americans live below the poverty level </li></ul><ul><li>Women who are divorced and African-American, aged 65 to 74, had a poverty rate of 47 percent </li></ul>
    23. 23. Financial Vulnerability in Older Adulthood <ul><li>Reliance on a fixed income for support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Security benefits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pensions, and savings, rarely keeps up with inflation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rising cost of health care </li></ul>
    24. 24. The Cost of Staying Well <ul><li>Elderly face rising health costs </li></ul><ul><li>Average older person spends 20 percent of his or her income on health care costs </li></ul><ul><li>Nursing homes can cost $30,000 to $40,000 a year </li></ul>
    25. 25. Work and Retirement <ul><li>When to retire is a major decision faced by the majority of people in late adulthood. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Typical retirement age is moving downward to age 60. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Security and pensions allow people to retire earlier. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A disincentive is built into Social Security by having workers taxed at higher rates on both Social Security and earnings. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many people continue to work full- or part-time for some part of late adulthood. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mandatory retirement is illegal (since the 1970s) with the exception of certain public safety jobs such as police, firefighters, prison guards, and pilots. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The retirement decision is based on a number of factors. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workers may be burned out after working all their lives. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jobs can be frustrating and tension-filled. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health may decline. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incentives are offered by their company to retire early. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Desire to travel and see more of family. </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. Retirement <ul><li>Just as important to prepare psychologically for retirement as it is to prepare financially. Some important considerations include the climate at work and the opportunities for future growth in one’s career, relationships with family members, and community ties and activities. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s important for older adults to keep in mind that they don’t just retire from work, but they also retire to a new lifestyle. </li></ul><ul><li>Planning for what that lifestyle will be like—whether it will include part-time work, volunteer work, travel, or other activities, for example—can make a difference in adjustment to retirement. </li></ul>
    27. 27. Combating Age Discrimination <ul><li>Little evidence to support idea that older workers’ ability to perform jobs declines. </li></ul><ul><li>In many fields, such as art, literature, science, politics, or even entertainment, it is easy to find examples of people who have made some of their greatest contributions during late adulthood. </li></ul><ul><li>Even in those few professions that were specifically exempted from laws prohibiting mandatory retirement ages—those involving public safety—the evidence does not support the notion that workers should be retired at an arbitrary age. </li></ul>
    28. 28. Combating Age Discrimination <ul><li>Some employers… </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage older workers to leave their jobs in order to replace them with younger employees whose salaries will be considerably lower </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Believe older workers are not up to demands of the job or are less willing to adapt to a changing workplace </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Legislation that was passed in the late 1970s, in which mandatory retirement ages were made illegal in almost every profession. Part of broader Legislation that makes age discrimination illegal, these laws gave most workers the opportunity either to remain in jobs they held previously or to begin working in entirely different fields. </li></ul><ul><li>Market forces may help reduce its severity. As baby boomers retire and the workforce drastically shrinks, companies may begin to offer incentives to older adults to either remain in the workforce or to return to it after they have retired. </li></ul>
    29. 29. Retirement <ul><li>Retirement decision based on </li></ul><ul><li>variety of factors </li></ul><ul><li>Burnout </li></ul><ul><li>Health concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Employer incentives </li></ul><ul><li>Desire to travel, study, or spend more time with family </li></ul>
    30. 30. Retirement <ul><li>According to Atchley, people pass through stages in the process of retirement: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>At first there is a honeymoon period , in which former workers engage in a variety of activities, such as travel, that were previously hindered by full-time work. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dsenchantment may occur when retirees conclude that retirement is not all they thought it would be. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reorientation is the stage where retirees reconsider their options and become engaged in new, more fulfilling activities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A retirement routine stage occurs when retirees come to grips with the realities of retirement and feel fulfilled in this new phase of life. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The final stage is the process of termination where the retiree either goes back to work or health deteriorates so badly that the person can no longer function independently. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not everyone passes through each stage and the sequence is not universal. </li></ul>
    31. 31. Marriage in Later Years <ul><li>It’s a man’s world—at least when it comes to marriage after the age of 65. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The proportion of men who are married is far greater than that of women. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One reason for this disparity is that 70 percent of women outlive their husbands by at least a few years. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Because there are fewer men available (many have died), these women are unlikely to remarry. </li></ul></ul>
    32. 32. Marriage in Later Years
    33. 33. Marriage in Later Years <ul><li>Stress of retirement or old age may change relationship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two percent of divorces in the U. S. involve women over 60 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Husband may be abusive or alcoholic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Husband may find a younger woman </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Divorce is harder on women than men </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Five percent of the elderly never married and late adulthood brings fewer changes to their lives </li></ul></ul>
    34. 34. Marriage in Later Years <ul><li>Couples spend more time together. </li></ul><ul><li>Provides an opportunity for sharing household chores. </li></ul><ul><li>Men become more affiliative and less competitive and women become more assertive and autonomous. </li></ul><ul><li>Shifts in health mean that in late adulthood men and women may have to care for an ill spouse. </li></ul><ul><li>May provide closeness and a sense of fulfillment </li></ul>
    35. 35. Caring for an Aging Spouse <ul><li>Wide variety of reactions, both positive and negative: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Feel great frustration and even despair </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>View caring for an ailing and dying spouse in more positive light, regarding it in part as a final opportunity to demonstrate love and devotion </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Feel quite satisfied as a result of fulfilling what they see as their responsibility to their spouse </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find initial experience emotionally distressful but distress declines as they successfully adapt to stress of care giving </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>In most cases, caregiver is wife: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Just under three-quarters of people who provide care to a spouse are women. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Part of the reason is demographic: Men tend to die earlier than women, and consequently they contract the diseases leading to death earlier than women. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A second reason, though, relates to society’s traditional gender roles, which view women as “natural” caregivers. As a consequence, health care providers may be more likely to suggest that a wife care for her husband than that a husband care for his wife. </li></ul></ul>
    36. 36. Death of Spouse <ul><li>Few events are more painful than death of spouse: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No longer part of a couple </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must deal with profound grief </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No one to share life with and social life often changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Economic changes often occur </li></ul></ul>
    37. 37. Social Networks of Late Adulthood
    38. 38. Social Networks of Late Adulthood <ul><li>Elderly people enjoy friends as much as younger people do, and friendships play an important role in the lives of those in late adulthood. </li></ul><ul><li>Time spent with friends is often valued more highly during late adulthood than time spent with family, and friends are often seen as more important providers of support than family members. </li></ul><ul><li>Around a third of older persons report that they made a new friend within the past year, and many older adults engage in significant interaction. </li></ul>
    39. 39. Why do friends matter? <ul><li>Friendships in late adulthood: </li></ul><ul><li>Allow older adults more control about whom to include in a friendship </li></ul><ul><li>May be more flexible </li></ul><ul><li>Relate to increasing likelihood, over time, that one will be without marital partner </li></ul><ul><li>Because late adulthood may bring with it a gradual loss of control in other areas, such as in one’s health, the ability to maintain friendships may take on more importance than in other stages of life. </li></ul>
    40. 40. Social Support <ul><li>Social support is assistance and comfort supplied by another person or a network of caring, interested people </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Important for successful aging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sympathy and empathy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can help furnish material support such as solve problems, give a ride, or fix broken things </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dogs can be especially good at providing social support </li></ul></ul>
    41. 41. Social Support <ul><li>Benefits for recipient </li></ul><ul><li>Sympathetic ear and sounding board for one’s concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Unmatched degree of understanding and a pool of helpful suggestions from like other </li></ul><ul><li>Material support </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits for Provider </li></ul><ul><li>Experience feelings of usefulness and heightened self-esteem </li></ul>
    42. 42. Family Relationships <ul><li>Connections important </li></ul><ul><li>Siblings, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren provide an important source of comfort to adults in last years of their lives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Siblings are important because of shared life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Children often most important </li></ul></ul>
    43. 43. Developmental Stake <ul><li>Parents see their children as perpetuating their beliefs, values, and standards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most parents and children remain close </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>75 percent of children live within a 30-mile drive to their parents </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Daughters tend to be in more frequent contact than sons </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mothers tend to be the recipient of communication more than fathers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Children may turn to their elderly parents for advice, information, and monetary help </li></ul></ul></ul>
    44. 44. Grandparents <ul><li>Not all grandparents are equally involved with their grandchildren </li></ul><ul><li>Gender differences in behaviors and reactions of grandparents and grandchildren </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnic differences in grandparenting </li></ul>
    45. 45. Grandparents <ul><li>Grandmothers tend to be more involved with their grandchildren than grandfathers; similarly, there are gender differences in the feelings grandchildren have toward their grandparents. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most young adult grandchildren feel closer to their grandmothers than to their grandfathers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most express a preference for their maternal grandmothers over their paternal grandmothers. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>African American grandparents tend to be more involved with their grandchildren than white grandparents, and African American grandchildren often feel closer to their grandparents. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Moreover, grandfathers seem to play a more central role in the lives of African American children than in the lives of white children. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The reason for these racial differences probably stems in large measure from the higher proportion of multigenerational families among African Americans than among whites. In such families, grandparents usually play a central role in childrearing. </li></ul></ul>
    46. 46. Great-Grandparents <ul><li>Great-grandparents: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Play less of a role in the lives of both white and African American grandchildren </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Close relationships tend to occur only when the great-grandparents and great-grandchildren live relatively near one another </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Even though most great-grandparents may not have close relationships with their great-grandchildren, they still profit emotionally from the mere fact that they have great-grandchildren. </li></ul></ul>

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