15-16 middle adulthood


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  • Generativity: adults’ desire to leave legacies of themselves to the next generation Biological generativity Parental generativity Work generativity Cultural generativity For many, middle age is a time for: Declining physical skills and increasing responsibility An awareness of the young-old polarity Transmitting something meaningful to the next generation Reaching and maintaining career satisfaction A reassessment of life’s priorities
  • Lung tissue becomes less elastic at about age 55 Decreases lung’s capacity Nonsmokers have much better lung capacity Wakeful periods become more frequent in the 40’s Less deep sleep (stage 4) Feeling less rested in the morning
  • Chronic Disorders: characterized by a slow onset and a long duration Rare in early adulthood but increase in middle age Men have higher rates of fatal chronic conditions, while women have higher rates of nonfatal chronic conditions
  • Cross-cultural studies show that the menopausal experience varies among women, but it is not generally as negative as it was once thought to be
  • The Seattle Longitudinal Study : study of intellectual abilities in adulthood years Peak performance on vocabulary, verbal memory, inductive reasoning, and spatial orientation was attained in middle age Decline in numerical ability and perceptual speed Declines in memory, word fluency, and perceptual speed in middle adulthood were linked to neuropsychologists’ ratings of individuals’ cognitive impairment in late adulthood Extensive individual differences Speed of information processing declines moderately during middle adulthood Multiple potential causes Memory declines may occur exclusively during the later part of middle age or in late adulthood Memory decline is more likely to occur when individuals do not use effective memory strategies
  • Frankl (1984) emphasized each person’s uniqueness and the finiteness of life Frankl identified the three most distinct human qualities as: Spirituality Freedom Responsibility In middle adulthood, the reality of approaching death often forces people to examine the meaning of their life
  • Adults often experience a peak of personal control and power during middle age Adults’ ability to master their environment, autonomy, and personal relations improve during middle age Adult developmental experts generally agree that midlife crises have been exaggerated In general, stage theories place too much emphasis on crises in development There is often considerable individual variation in the way people experience the stages Individual Variations: Stage theories do not adequately address individual variations in adult development Some individuals may experience a midlife crisis in some contexts of their lives but not others In 1/3 of cases where individuals report experiencing a midlife crisis, the crisis was triggered by life events such as job loss, financial problems, or illness
  • Grandparents who take in grandchildren are in better health, are better educated, are more likely to be working outside the home, and are younger than grandparents who move in with their children Concern over grandparent visitation of children has become more common
  • Middle-aged and older adults typically express a strong feeling of responsibility between generations in their family They share their experiences and transmit values to the younger generation Family members typically maintain considerable contact across generations When conflicts arise, parents most often cite habits and lifestyle choices, while adult children cite communication and interaction styles
  • 15-16 middle adulthood

    1. 1. Life-Span Development Twelfth Edition Chapter 15: Physical and Cognitive Development in Middle Adulthood
    2. 2. Changing Midlife Boundaries of middle age are being pushed upward  More people lead healthier lifestyles; medical discoveries are holding off the aging process  Middle age is starting later and lasting longer  Midlife serves as an important preparation for late adulthood An increasing percentage of the population is made up of middle- aged and older adults  “Rectangularization” of the age distribution
    3. 3. Generativity vs. StagnationErikson’s Generativity vs. Stagnation (40-65): • Generativity: adults’ desire to leave legacies of themselves to the next generation • Stagnation: develops when individuals sense that they have done nothing for the next generation • Research supports Erikson’s theory
    4. 4. Physical ChangesPhysical Changes: Sarcopenia: age-related loss of muscle  Usually gradual; aging rates vary mass and strength, specially common in  Wrinkling and sagging of skin, age the back and legs -- exercise can reduce spots, thinning gray hair, thicker brittle these declines nails, yellowing of teeth Cushions for bone movement become lessHeight tends to shrink in middle age, efficient, often leading to joint stiffnessdue to bone loss in the vertebrae and difficulty in movementMany gain weight, which is a criticalhealth problem in middle adulthood Progressive bone loss
    5. 5. Physical ChangesAbility to focus and maintain an imagedeclines between 40–59 years • Difficulty viewing close objects • Reduced blood supply decreases visual fieldHearing can start to decline by age 40 • Hearing loss occurs in up to 50% of individuals over the age of 50 • High-pitched sounds are typically lost first
    6. 6. PHYSICAL CHANGES• Blood pressure typically rises in the 40’s and 50’s • At menopause, a woman’s blood pressure rises sharply, remaining higher than that of men into the later years• Metabolic Syndrome: a condition characterized by hypertension, obesity, and insulin resistance• Exercise, weight control, and a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help to reduce many cardiovascular problems ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
    7. 7. Health and Disease Frequency of accidents declines Individuals are less susceptible to colds and allergies Stress is a key factor in disease, especially if cumulative Immune system functioning decreases with normal aging Link between stress and cardiovascular disease can be indirect • Stress can lead to unhealthy lifestyle choicesNi-Hon-San Study • Chronic emotional stress is associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, and early death Culture plays an important role in coronary disease • Immigration modifies healthy practices even as genetic predispositions remain constant
    8. 8. MORTALITY RATES Chronic diseases are the main cause of death during middle adulthood  Heart disease  Cancer  Cerebrovascular disease In the 1st half of middle age, cancer claims more lives than heart disease; trend is reversed during the 2nd half of middle age Men have higher mortality rates than women ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
    9. 9. Sexuality Climacteric: the midlife transition in which fertility declines Menopause: time in middle age (late 40’s to early 50’s) when a woman’s menstrual periods completely cease • Perimenopause: transitional period; often takes up to 10 years • Heredity and experience influence the onset of menopause Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is controversial because it has been linked to increased risk of stroke, dementia, and cancer
    10. 10. SEXUALITYHormonal Changes in Men: Most men do not lose the ability to father children Modest decline in sexual hormone level and activity Erectile Dysfunction is common in middle-aged men  May stem from physiological problemsSexual Attitudes and Behavior: Sexual activity occurs less frequently in middle adulthood  Middle-aged men are more interested in sex than middle-aged women Living with a spouse or partner makes all the difference in terms of engaging in sexual activity ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
    11. 11. Cognitive DevelopmentCrystallized Intelligence: an individual’saccumulated information and verbalskills  Continues to increase in middle adulthoodFluid Intelligence: the ability to reasonabstractly  May begin to decline in middle adulthoodSome cognitive functions peak duringmiddle adulthood, while others decline  Depends on how studies are conducted • Cross-sectional studies show more decline than longitudinal studiesStarting in late middle age, more time isneeded to learn new information  Linked to changes in working memory
    12. 12. Religion and Adult Lives  More than 70% of middle-aged adults are religious and consider spirituality a major part of their lives  Role of individual differences  Increase in spirituality tends to occur between late middle adulthood and late adulthood  Women have consistently shown a stronger interest in religion than males  Religious commitment helps to moderate blood pressure and hypertension and is associated with increased longevity
    13. 13. RELIGION AND ADULT LIVESBaumeister has argued that thequest for the meaning of life maybe understood in terms of fourmain needs: • Need for purpose • Need for values • Need for a sense of efficacy • Need for self-worth ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
    14. 14. Life-Span Development Twelfth Edition Chapter 16:Socioemotional Development in Middle Adulthood ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
    15. 15. STAGES OF ADULTHOODHow pervasive are midlife crises?• Vaillant’s “Grant Study”: • The 40’s are a decade of reassessing and recording the truth about the adolescent and adult years • Only a minority of adults experience a midlife crisis • Reports of general well-being and life satisfaction tend to be high during mid-life• Another study found that 26% of adults experienced a midlife crisis • Most attributed this to negative life events rather than aging• Adult developmental experts generally agree that midlife crises have been exaggerated ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
    16. 16. STABILITY AND CHANGE• The Baltimore Study used the big five factors of personality to study 1,000 college-educated persons aged 20 to 96 starting from the 1950s and continuing today: • Considerable stability in the five personality factors • Agreeableness and conscientiousness increased in early and middle adulthood • Neuroticism decreased in early adulthood • Openness to experience increased in adolescence/early adulthood and then decreased in late adulthood ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
    17. 17. STABILITY AND CHANGE• Berkeley Longitudinal Studies: more than 500 children and parents studied in the 1920s through midlife: • No support that personality is characterized by changes or stability from adolescence to midlife • Intellectual orientation, self-confidence, and openness to experience were the more stable traits • Ability to nurture and self-control changed most ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
    18. 18. STABILITY AND CHANGE Vaillant’s Studies: conducted three longitudinal studies from the 1920s through today: • Alcohol abuse and smoking at age 50 was the best predictor of death between ages 75 and 80 • Factors at age 50 which are best predictors of “happy-well” between ages 75 and 80: • Regular exercise and avoiding being overweight • Well-educated and future oriented • Having a stable marriage and good coping skills • Being thankful, forgiving, and empathetic • Being active with other people
    19. 19. Love and MarriageRomantic love is typically strong inearly adulthoodAffectionate love increases duringmiddle adulthoodMost married individuals are satisfiedwith their marriages during midlifeDivorce in midlife can be less intensedue to increased resources and lessenedchild-rearing responsibilities • However, emotional and time commitment to a long-lasting marriage is typically not given up easily • Staying married because of the children is a common reason for waiting to get a divorce
    20. 20. The Empty Nest • Empty Nest Syndrome: a decline in marital satisfaction after the children leave the home • For most parents, marital satisfaction actually increases during the years after child rearing • Refilling of empty nest is becoming a common occurrence • Adult children are returning to live at home for financial reasons • Loss of privacy is a common complaint for both parents and adult children
    21. 21. Grandparenting Many adults become grandparents during middle age • Grandmothers have more contact with grandchildren than grandfathers Three prominent meanings: • Source of biological reward and continuity • Source of emotional self- fulfillment • Remote role The grandparent role and its functions vary among families, ethnic groups, and cultures
    22. 22. GRANDPARENTINGThree Grandparenting Styles: • Fun-seeking style • Distant-figure style • Formal styleAn increasing number of U.S. grandchildren live with their grandparents • 2.3 million in 1980; 6.1 million in 2005 • Most common reasons are divorce, adolescent pregnancies, and parental drug use • Tends to be more stressful for younger grandparents, when grandchildren have physical and psychological problems, and when there is low family cohesion ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
    23. 23. Intergenerational RelationshipsDifferences in gender:• Mothers and daughters have closer relationships during their adult years than mothers and sons, fathers and daughters, and fathers and sons• Married men are more involved with their wives’ families than with their own• Maternal aunts and grandmothers are cited as the most important or loved relative twice as often as their paternal counterparts