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  2. 2.  INTRODUCTION  ADOLESCENCE ◦ Physical development ◦ Cognitive development ◦ Social and emotional development  EARLY ADULTHOOD ◦ Physical development ◦ Cognitive development ◦ Social and emotional development  MIDDLE ADULTHOOD ◦ Physical development ◦ Cognitive development ◦ Social and emotional development  LATE ADULTHOOD ◦ Physical development ◦ Cognitive development ◦ Social and emotional development  SUMMARY
  3. 3.  Development is a lifelong affair, which does not stop when we reach adulthood.  Try this thought experiment. Whatever your current age, imagine yourself ten years from now.
  4. 4. You in 10 years  Will you have changed physically?  Will you have attained any goals?  Will your cognitive and occupational skills have changed?  Will you be richer or poorer?  Will you have gained/retained/replaced a partner?  Will you have had children/seen existing children grow up and leave home?  Would you expect other people to regard and treat you differently from the ways they do now?
  5. 5.  Consider You in 20 years …  Or 30 years …  It soon becomes clear when we contemplate our own futures that change is inevitable.
  6. 6.  But to what extent is development in adulthood due to intrinsic, fundamental changes in the organism, to accumulating experiences in complex environments or to social and community pressures to adapt?  Is change continuous and gradual, or is it marked by major transitions?  You will notice that these are similar issues to those questions we considered with regard to childhood development.
  7. 7.  We here follow developments beyond childhood, beginning with adolescence and then moving into the phases of adulthood – early, middle and late.  Although there are many aspects to development during adolescence and adulthood, and wide individual variation in circumstances and achievements, the core issues again concern development from the physical, cognitive and social perspectives.
  8. 8. Adolescence  It is difficult to decide exactly when adolescence begins or ends, as both boundaries are subject to individual variation.  Is a person an adolescent when he or she reaches a particular age – say, the teens?  And when is adolescence complete – at the end of the teens, at 21, or later?
  9. 9.  For these reasons, psychologists working on adolescence tend to define the period broadly, as a time of transition between childhood and adulthood, acknowledging that the timing and pace of development is subject to considerable variation.
  10. 10. Physical development  Through most of childhood, people grow at a fairly steady pace – about 5–10 cm and 2–3 kg per annum.  But with the beginnings of adolescence, most individuals undergo another radical change, often called a growth spurt.  In girls, this typically occurs at around age 10 to 13; in boys, it occurs between 12 and 15. Growth is quite rapid compared to earlier in the lifespan – a girl may add around 9 kg in a year, and boys around 11 kg.
  11. 11. Secondary sexual characteristics  A particularly important physical change during puberty is the emergence of secondary sexual characteristics.  Young people are now heading towards their mature size and form, but the pace of development varies markedly across individuals.
  12. 12. During puberty, secondary sexual characteristics, such as facial hair in males, begin to emerge. (Fig. 10.1)
  13. 13.  These developmental changes are important from a psychological perspective, because they affect the young person’s sense of self and relations with others.
  14. 14. The effects of individual variation  Variations in the pace of development lead to complex outcomes.  In some respects, those who mature early tend to have an advantage in that they are seen – and treated – as more adult-like.  Some young people, especially males, gain from this, developing greater popularity and confidence that can endure into adult life.
  15. 15.  In contrast, late maturers may experience some insecurities as they compare themselves with their peers who are ahead of them in the prized achievement of growing up.  But there can be drawbacks to early maturation, too.
  16. 16. Cognitive development  Less immediately visible is an intellectual growth spurt during this period.  The young person is becoming capable of thinking about the world, and dealing with the challenges it presents in new and more powerful ways.
  17. 17. The period of formal operations  This is the last of Piaget’s stages of intellectual development, when thought is no longer considered to be dependent on concrete operations tied to immediately present objects and actions, but is based on reasoning about abstract propositions and the evaluation of alternative possible outcomes.
  18. 18.  In one of Piaget’s tasks, participants were presented with a set of pendulums, with objects of different weights suspended from strings of different lengths.  The task was to determine what influences the speed with which the pendulum swings: is it the weight of the object, the length of the string, the height from which the object is dropped, the speed with which it is pushed, or some combination of factors?
  19. 19. Materials for the pendulum task. (Fig. 10.2)
  20. 20.  Children still in the concrete operational stage set about the task rather haphazardly.  They tried guessing and random combinations of actions but were unable to isolate the effects of a single factor.  Adolescents (aged 14–15) who had reached formal operations worked in a much more systematic fashion.
  21. 21.  In these (and many other) tasks, formal operational thinkers demonstrate not simply that they are systematic and able to keep track of their attempts, but that they are able to formulate abstract hypotheses about possible outcomes.  They are able to conceive of different propositions about the same set of factors, and to work out means of testing them to achieve a resolution.
  22. 22. Piaget challenged  These findings lead many researchers to favour domain specific models of cognitive development in adolescence.  According to such models, developmental progress depends at least in part on the cognitive opportunities, tasks and challenges to which adolescents are exposed.
  23. 23.  Alternative accounts of adolescent reasoning have been advanced more recently, drawing upon information-processing theories, and arguing that what really underpins development in adolescence is not so much changes in formal logical skills as changes in processing capacity or efficiency – such as improved memory skills or attention span.  These capacities may also be linked to ongoing neural developments.
  24. 24. Social development  The adolescent’s social world is changing fast.  The changes reflect biological and cognitive developments, as well as new opportunities and the impact of other people’s expectations.
  25. 25. Gender and sexual development  During adolescence, gender becomes of much more central importance for most individuals.  Biological changes occurring during adolescence make gender all the more salient – to the adolescent and to others.
  26. 26.  During childhood, cross-sex interests are tolerated to some extent.  But in adolescence, parents and peers tend to provide stronger messages about acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.  A number of factors bear on young people’s sexual development during adolescence; e.g. increased hormonal levels are associated with heightened interest in sex in both boys and girls.
  27. 27. Adolescents become interested in adult appearance. There is a narrowing of gender ‘pathways’ and an increased interest in sex. (Fig. 10.3)
  28. 28. The importance of peers  There is no doubt that peers are very important to adolescents.  During this phase of the lifespan, people spend increasing amounts of time in the company of their peers and increasingly focus on peer relations as crucial to their sense of identity.
  29. 29.  Adolescents choose their friends, and they themselves report that, although they are subjected to peer pressures sometimes, they do not generally experience this as a major influence on their behaviour or as something that they find particularly difficult to handle.  Furthermore, perceived peer influence tends to vary across different domains of life.
  30. 30.  Rather than peers providing the antithesis of parental influences, research suggests that the relationship is more complex.  In early adolescence, some patterns of adolescent behaviour (such as drug use) tend to show a greater association with parental than peer practices.  Whereas older adolescents perceive peer influence in matters of drug use as greater than parental influence.
  31. 31. Parents are often the earliest models for smoking and, more surprisingly, they are often the first to offer adolescents the opportunity to try cigarettes for themselves. (Fig. 10.4)
  32. 32.  However, evidence suggests that an adolescent’s choice of peers is itself influenced by his parents (i.e. the parents encourage or discourage particular friendships).  So peers are important, but not omnipotent.  ‘Common sense’ does not always provide a reliable foundation for evidence-based psychological analysis (see table 10.1).
  33. 33. Myths and realities of adolescence. (Table 10.1) Myth Adolescence is a period of storm and stress There is a huge ‘generation gap’ between adolescents and their parents Adolescents are dominated by peer pressure Reality Only a minority of adolescents experience serious psychological disturbances Most adolescents continue to value their parents as companions and as sources of advice Adolescents tend not to rate peer pressure as a major problem and feel able to resist it
  34. 34. Myths and realities of adolescence (continued). (Table 10.1) Myth Adolescents are dominated by television viewing Adolescents are irresponsible Reality Adolescents spend less time in front of the television than other age groups Many adolescents undertake substantial responsibilities at home, at school and at work
  35. 35. Myths and realities of adolescence (continued). (Table 10.1) Myth Adolescents are reckless drug takers Adolescents are all the same Reality Most adolescents experiment with legal and illegal drugs, but for the majority this is a short-lived experimentation that does not lead to dependency This is patently not true: adolescence covers a large developmental period, and there are enormous individual differences among people in this age group as in others
  36. 36. Early adulthood  It makes sense to divide adulthood into three broad phases: early (from approximately 18 to 40 years of age), middle (41–65), and late (66+).  By the time we reach early adulthood, we have spent a long time developing.  Just as it is difficult to determine precisely when adolescence begins and ends, determining exactly when adulthood commences proves elusive.
  37. 37. Physical development  Early adulthood is, for most people, the time of peak physical capacity.  The body reaches full height by the late teens, and physical strength increases into the late 20s and early 30s.  Manual agility and coordination, and sensory capacities such as vision and hearing, are also at their peak.
  38. 38.  But change is imminent, even in these basic capacities.  Some decline in the perception of high- pitched tones is found by the late 20s (Whitbourne, 2001), and manual dexterity begins to reduce in the mid 30s.  But in general, people in early adulthood feel robust and energetic.
  39. 39.  On the other hand, people in this age group are also legally able to use damaging substances, such as alcohol and tobacco, and many can obtain access to illegal stimulants or narcotics.  And young adults have increasing responsibility for organizing their own eating habits and exercise regimes.  Not surprisingly, the health status and prospects of young adults are dependent more than ever before on their own behavioural choices…
  40. 40. Cognitive development  Although there are wide individual differences in attainment, most young adults are able to deal with cognitive tasks in a more abstract way than before, and to attain solutions to problems by comparing possible explanations.  Does this mean that cognitive development has reached a plateau? Many investigators of adult cognition think not.
  41. 41. Riegel’s theory of postformal thought  Riegel (1975) proposed that adult experiences expose us to a new level of cognitive challenge – the discovery of dialectical (opposing) forces.  In other words, we find that many aspects of our environment can manifest contradictory features.  This is especially so in the human environment; for example, someone we love can be warm and generous at times, but on other occasions the same person can be self-centred and aloof. Are they generous or selfish, affectionate or remote?
  42. 42.  Riegel argued that achieving the intellectual ability to deal with the contradictions that confront us in our everyday life requires progress to a fifth stage of reasoning – the stage of dialectical operations, now more commonly called postformal thought.  Postformal reasoning: a level of thought beyond Piaget’s period of formal operations, characterized by the understanding that there may be multiple perspectives on a problem and that the most appropriate solutions may be context dependent.
  43. 43. Kramer’s three stages  Kramer (1983, 1989) proposed that people progress through three broad stages, each with their own distinctive functional characteristics: ◦ Absolutist ◦ Relativist ◦ Dialectical
  44. 44.  Absolutist reasoning assumes there is always a single, clear answer to a given problem.  In dialectical reasoning, competing positions are integrated and synthesis achieved.  In relativist reasoning, the individual has becomes aware that there are often different perspectives on any given issue, and that the ‘correct’ answer may depend on the context.
  45. 45.  In early adulthood, many people are in the absolutist phase: they are capable of addressing many problems, but they tend to believe that all problems have a correct answer.  People in the relativist stage have become aware that there are often different perspectives on any given issue, and that the ‘correct’ answer may depend on the context.
  46. 46.  Eventually, in the dialectical phase, people become able to integrate competing positions and achieve synthesis.  They can understand why there are diverse views, and they can appreciate that the overall progress and contributions of their chosen discipline derives from efforts to resolve its internal contradictions.
  47. 47. Measuring intelligence  Other approaches to the investigation of intellectual development in adulthood are grounded in the psychometric tradition.  By applying standardized IQ tests, researchers have sought to discover whether there are age- related differences in intelligence during adulthood.
  48. 48.  There are many different ways to measure intelligence.  K. Warner Schaie and his colleagues have conducted major longitudinal studies of the evolution of primary mental abilities among several thousand adult Americans (Schaie, 1995, 2000).  They focused on five primary abilities: ◦ numeric facility ◦ verbal recall ◦ verbal ability ◦ inductive reasoning ◦ spatial orientation
  49. 49. Longitudinal patterns of cognitive abilities. (Fig. 10.5)
  50. 50. Social and emotional development  Young adults face some formidable developmental tasks.  Studying, employment and unemployment each presents its stresses.  At the same time, young adults tend to be finding their way through the world of romance, which can also lead to stress and anguish.  All of this happens alongside changes in relationships with parents, and the increasing expectation that the young person will take responsibility for their own life.
  51. 51. A stage model for personal development  Several different theories have been put forward to account for personal development during early adulthood.  From a psychoanalytic perspective, Erikson (1997) sees the dominant focus of this stage as the development of intimacy – the ability to love and trust another person.
  52. 52.  Levinson (1978) extended some of Erikson’s ideas, but drew also on social psychological theory to explain the relationship between the developing individual and the demands of society.  Levinson emphasized the social role requirements at different life stages, and the interaction between personal growth and relationships.
  53. 53.  Dream: Levinson’s term for an individual’s vision of his life goals, formed around 17 to 22 years of age and contributing to the motivation for subsequent personal development.
  54. 54.  The next sub-stage is the period of entering the adult world (22–28), and is organized around forging a pathway at work and attaining a special personal relationship.  This is followed by the ‘age 30’ transition (28– 33), in which people undergo a moderate degree of self-questioning – reviewing their Dream, the choices they have made and the problems in their lives.  The rest of this decade (33–40) is the ‘settling down’ period, when people have usually found their niche in life and are striving to consolidate their professional and domestic roles – they are basically getting their lives in order.
  55. 55. The period of entering the adult world (22–28) is partly organized around the world of work. (Fig.10.6)
  56. 56. Intimacy – are you secure, anxious or avoidant?  According to developmental models such as Erikson’s and Levinson’s, young adults are developing a sense of personal identity along with a need for closeness to others.  Interestingly, there are strong similarities in the ways people develop early relationships with caregivers during infancy and intimate adult relationships later on.
  57. 57.  Some social psychologists (Mickelson, Kessler & Shaver, 1998; Shaver & Clark, 1996) have argued that the types of attachments we form as adults can be classified using the framework Ainsworth and others developed to account for infant attachments – namely, ‘secure’, ‘anxious/ ambivalent’ and ‘avoidant’.
  58. 58.  ‘Securely’ attached lovers find intimate relationships comfortable and rewarding; they trust their partner and feel confident of his or her commitment.  ‘Anxious/ambivalent’ lovers experience uncertainty in their relationships; sometimes, they fret that their partner does not love them enough and might leave, and they may respond to this anxiety by putting pressure on the partner, running the risk of causing the very outcome they fear.
  59. 59.  ‘Avoidant’ lovers find getting close to others uncomfortable, find it difficult to trust others, and are reluctant to commit themselves fully to a relationship.  Shaver and colleagues found that the proportions of adults who fall into these types is very similar to those of infant attachments.
  60. 60. Middle adulthood  Once again, it is difficult to define this phase of life precisely.  The variety of human life courses means that individuals can be in very different stages of their personal development at the age point (i.e. turning 40) that we have taken as a rough measure of entry to middle age.
  61. 61.  During mid-life, people experience a range of external and internal physical changes.  External changes include the appearance of grey hair and hair thinning, increases in facial wrinkles, and a tendency to put on weight around the waist or lower body.  Internal changes include reductions in the efficiency of the cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems.  There are changes to the sensory capacities, too; e.g. the onset of presbyopia and loss of hearing (particularly sensitivity to higher frequency sounds).
  62. 62. Text as it appears to a middle-aged adult with presbyopia. If you notice an adult at this stage of life holding printed matter further away in order to read it, this is the most likely explanation. (Fig. 10.7)
  63. 63.  This is the time when women experience the menopause – the cessation of menstruation.  Many women suffer some level of physical and psychological discomfort as a result, such as hot flushes, mood changes, loss of libido and insomnia.  But the intensity of these symptoms varies considerably among individuals, and menopausal status is not a strong predictor of psychological distress.
  64. 64.  As at other stages of the lifespan, physical changes are closely interwoven with psychological changes.  Signs of aging prompt many people to review their lives and some begin to feel dissatisfied with their bodies.  But menopausal women who take regular aerobic exercise report more positive moods and less somatic discomfort than non- exercising peers.
  65. 65. Cognitive development  In terms of primary mental abilities, Schaie’s (1995) data depict mid-life as a relatively stable period.  In fact, on most measures, middle-aged adults perform as well as or slightly better than younger adults.
  66. 66. Life skills  On ‘real world’ tests related to practical applications of reasoning, such as how to deal with faulty purchases, flooding in the basement, middle-aged people scored significantly higher than young adults.  In other research, Denney and Pearce (1989) found that the number of solutions people generate in response to everyday practical problems peaks in middle age.
  67. 67. Emotion and clear thinking  Some researchers argue that there is an important reorganization of thinking in middle adulthood, as people achieve an integration of information-processing and emotional self- regulation (Labouvie-Vief, 1999).  Younger participants tend to be swayed by their own emotions in conflict situations, while middle- aged participants appeared to integrate emotional understanding with other problem- solving skills.
  68. 68. Social and emotional development  Each phase of life brings new challenges, and for many people mid-life brings a multiplicity of them – from all quarters.  By this time, people’s histories are very varied.  So can we pin down any particular patterns of social and emotional development associated with middle age?
  69. 69. The ‘mid-life crisis’…  Generativity: the feeling in mid-life that one has made or is making a contribution to the next generation.  A ‘link between the generations’, maintained Erikson, is ‘as indispensable for the renewal of the adult generation’s own life as it is for the next generation’.
  70. 70. Erikson argued for the importance of a ‘link between the generations’, enabling the older generation to contribute skills and knowledge to younger people – a process known as ‘generativity’. (Fig. 10.8)
  71. 71.  Stagnation is the opposing feeling of having achieved relatively little and of having little to offer to the next generation.  Some people in mid-life, for example, conclude that they have not met the family or occupational goals that once motivated them.  Some respond to this sense of ‘standing still’ with a period of self-absorption, and an acute awareness that time is limited.
  72. 72.  Individuals are likely to experience both types of feeling – generativity and stagnation – and the core developmental process of mid-life, according to Erikson, is the resolution of this conflict.  Those who resolve it successfully attain a sense of care (about both the present and the future), and those who fail to do so develop a sense of rejectivity (i.e. they turn away from society and have little interest in contributing to it).
  73. 73.  Levinson (1978) also depicts mid-life as a period of inner conflict.  Levinson found that most of his interviewees next underwent a period of mid-life transition (40–45).  These kinds of reassessment are popularly associated with the notion of the ‘mid-life crisis’.
  74. 74.  But subsequent research shows that it is an oversimplification to assume that everybody undergoes a mid-life crisis. For example: 1. Periods of turbulence and self-doubt can be experienced by adults of most ages, and some individuals – especially those who score highly on measures of neuroticism – may be prone to develop crises at any age.
  75. 75. 2. In larger samples than Levinson’s (1978), only a minority of middle-aged people feel they have experienced a crisis. 3. Substantial proportions of middle-aged people report better mental health and self- esteem during this phase of life than ever before.
  76. 76.  But there is no doubt that there are many pressures on middle-aged people.  Some of these pressures relate to domestic and family life, and others to the world of work.
  77. 77.  For some middle-aged people, usually women, looking after both their own children and their aging parents can cause ‘caregiving pile-up’ – an experience of overload due to too many competing demands.  As in earlier phases of life, the quality of a person’s attachment to his or her partner has important implications for adjustment, personal satisfaction and dealing with life stresses.
  78. 78. Late adulthood  Late adulthood is perhaps the most difficult of all to define precisely – mainly because there is very wide individual variation in the physical, cognitive and social processes of aging.
  79. 79. Physical development  In late adulthood, external physical changes include changes in the skin (wrinkling, loss of elasticity), loss of subcutaneous fat, thinning of the hair, and changes in general posture due to the loss of collagen between the spinal vertebrae.  There are also many internal changes, less apparent to the onlooker but important to the functioning of the aging individual.
  80. 80.  These include changes to the cardiovascular system and loss of cardiac muscle strength, decline in muscle mass and reductions in the efficiency of the respiratory, digestive and urinary systems.  But, although physical change is inevitable, the timing and extent are highly variable (and, to some degree, influenced by the behavioural choices and lifestyle of the individual).
  81. 81.  Physical and sensory capacities, so important in our earliest encounters with the world in infancy, also tend to decline with age.  If perceptual abilities were so vital at the outset of life, what are the psychological consequences of beginning to lose them?  There is a strong connection between sensory functioning and intelligence in old age; and gradual deficits in hearing can affect older people’s ability to process speech in the context of other noise, which in turn affects how easily they interact with other people.
  82. 82.  But, once again, the extent of the impact of biological decline varies from person to person, and is influenced by both the rate of change and the individual’s coping skills (which are, in turn, influenced by personality and social circumstances).
  83. 83. Although physical change with age is inevitable, physical strength and fitness decline less in people who exercise regularly. (Fig. 10.9)
  84. 84. Does intellectual capacity decrease with age?  Schaie’s and other research shows that while there is variation between age groups on some measures of intellectual performance, there is also great variation within groups – and this variation within groups increases with age (figure 10.10).  Older people do tend to perform less well than younger adults on tasks dependent upon reaction time and processing speed.
  85. 85. Variance within age groups on tests of cognitive function. (Fig. 10.10)
  86. 86.  Some researchers have also reported that older adults perform less well on Piagetian- type tasks measuring formal operations.  But these differences do not necessarily support the conclusion that intellectual capacity in the elderly is pervasively inadequate: intelligent behaviour in everyday life typically involves several capacities, and people may be able to compensate for reductions in one ability (such as processing speed) by placing greater weight on another (such as judgments based on experience).
  87. 87. Another myth debunked  Returning to figure 10.5 once more, it is tempting to interpret the declining slope from the 70s to 80s as confirming an inevitable and irreversible decline in performance.  But suppose we intervened by providing training to show (or remind) older people how to perform the kinds of tasks being tested? Schaie and Willis and their colleagues have done exactly this – with impressive results.
  88. 88.  In a number of studies, they have found that older people’s performance can be significantly improved by training, and that these benefits endure.  Even reaction time can be improved in the elderly, as Clark, Lamphear and Riddick (1987) demonstrated by the imaginative technique of training a group of older people on video games.
  89. 89. Social and emotional developments  Theorists such as Erikson (1997) and Levinson (1978) regarded late adulthood as another major stage of adult development.  Erikson again saw the individual as facing a conflict – this time between integrity and despair.  He maintained that as people realize they are coming towards the end of their life, they reminisce about their past and review how they feel about themselves.
  90. 90.  Levinson saw the period from approximately 60 to 65 as the late adult transition, when the individual has to deal with intrinsic changes in capacity and performance, as well as changes in relations with others and in society’s expectations.  All of these changes pose challenges.
  91. 91. Relations with others  As in all other parts of the lifespan, relationships are important to the older person’s adjustment.  For some people, the marital relationship may become more rewarding during old age.  Some research has found that satisfaction with marriage tends to be rated higher in retired people than in middle-aged adults.
  92. 92.  This may be partly because older married people tend to be those whose marriages have been successful (i.e. they have stayed together because they were satisfied with the relationship).  But it could also be because partners now provide each other with a degree of companionship and support that may not always have been so apparent or so appreciated in busier earlier years, when many other types of relationship were competing with the person’s time.
  93. 93. Although there are losses and declines with age, many people respond to them adaptively; indeed, many older people adjust well to the changes associated with ageing, and report high levels of enjoyment of life in their later years. (Fig. 10.11)
  94. 94.  On the other hand, it may be that older people of today grew up in times when marriages were expected to last, and so their more positive ratings may reflect a more traditional determination to ‘see things through’.
  95. 95.  Relationships with grandchildren and siblings can also be very important, as are relations with friends.  Overall, when asked to identify the most important considerations affecting quality of life, older people consistently place personal relationships and social networks high on their lists.
  96. 96. Successful aging  Although there are losses and declines with age, we have already seen that many people respond to them adaptively – one of the remarkable characteristics of human beings throughout the lifespan is our resilience.  What factors promote successful aging?
  97. 97.  Social support and social networks emerge as primary considerations.  Paul and Mary Baltes and their colleagues have investigated the processes of successful aging among participants in the large-scale Berlin Aging Study.  They have proposed a model of ‘selective optimization with compensation’, according to which people face problems associated with aging by finding ways to handle cognitive tasks that minimize their dependency on their declining biological capacities.
  98. 98.  Researchers have also found that older people show evidence of increasingly complex reasoning about interpersonal issues, life planning and moral dilemmas, and they perform better than younger adults with respect to oral narrative production.  The good news for aspirant psychologists is that a professional life involved in cognitively challenging and stimulating work appears to promote the prospects for successful aging.
  99. 99. Summary  The journey from adolescence through adulthood involves many changes and adjustments, and entails considerable individual variation from one person to another.  Psychological development involves physical, sensory, cognitive, social and emotional processes, and the interactions among these. For example, the age at which a person enters puberty can have implications for their personality which can extend all the way through their lives.
  100. 100.  Although adolescence is a time of new discoveries and new attainments, it is by no means the end of development. Indeed, according to some theorists, there are stages of potential adult psychological development which some of us may never attain.  There is some evidence of broad patterns of adult development (perhaps even stages), yet there is also evidence of diversity and the potential to affect our own development by the life choices that we make.
  101. 101.  Some abilities diminish with age, while others increase; successful aging appears to involve skilful re-balancing of the resources and opportunities available to us, such that we learn to make the most of our strengths at the same time as coping with our limitations.