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Life Span DevelopmentSpring 2010<br />PHYSICAL AND COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT IN MIDDLE ADULTHOOD<br />Chapter 15<br />SOCIAL A...
Physical and Cognitive Development in Middle Adulthood<br />40-65 years of age<br />Adults during this phase become increa...
Height, Weight and Strength<br />Age 20 = Maximum height; Age 55 = “settling”<br />Approximately age 55 – bones attached t...
Height, Weight and Strength<br />Percentage of body fat tends to grow, even for those who have been slim all their lives<b...
Sex in Middle Adulthood<br />Although the frequency of sexual intercourse decreases with age, sexual activities remain a v...
FEMALE CLIMACTERIC<br />Starting about age 45, women enter a period known as the FEMALE CLIMACTERIC, the transition from b...
Side effects<br />It was thought that about 10 percent of women had psychological problems associated with menopause.<br /...
MALE CLIMACTERIC<br />Men experience some changes during middle age that are collectively referred to as the MALE CLIMACTE...
Coronary Heart Disease<br />Linking Health and Personality<br />More men die in middle age of diseases of the heart and ci...
Cancer<br />Cancer is the second leading cause of death in middle age.<br />Many forms of cancer respond well to treatment...
Psychological factors<br />Increasing evidence suggests that cancer is also related to psychological factors:<br />The dea...
Social and Personality Development in Middle Adulthood<br />“Midlife crisis”?<br />Typically defined as Unhappiness with l...
Crisis Models<br />Stage theorists suggest that our development occurs in a series of stages with a task or challenge at d...
Erikson’s stage<br />Generativity vs. Stagnation<br />The crisis at this stage of life (middle adulthood) is whether the p...
Family Evolutions<br />Empty Nest Syndrome: This refers to parents’ feelings of unhappiness, worry, loneliness and depress...
Benefits to having an “empty nest”?<br />More time for community or recreational activities<br />Opportunities for mothers...
“Boomerang Children”<br />Definition – Young adults who return, after leaving the home for some period, to live in the hom...
The “Sandwich Generation”<br />While children are leaving the nest (or possibly returning), many middle-aged adults are fa...
Job Burnout/ Switching Careers<br />For many people, middle-adulthood is a time of occupational success – many workers ach...
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Chapters 15 and 16 life span development

  1. 1. Life Span DevelopmentSpring 2010<br />PHYSICAL AND COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT IN MIDDLE ADULTHOOD<br />Chapter 15<br />SOCIAL AND PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT IN MIDDLE ADULTHOOD<br />Chapter 16<br />
  2. 2. Physical and Cognitive Development in Middle Adulthood<br />40-65 years of age<br />Adults during this phase become increasingly aware of the gradual change in their bodies<br />Some changes naturally occurring due to the aging process<br />Other changes due to the result of lifestyle choices:<br />Diet<br />Exercise<br />Smoking<br />Alcohol use<br />Drug abuse<br />
  3. 3. Height, Weight and Strength<br />Age 20 = Maximum height; Age 55 = “settling”<br />Approximately age 55 – bones attached to the spinal column become less dense<br />Loss of height very slow<br />Men – average of a 1-in decline over the rest of the life span<br />Women – average of a 2-in decline<br />Greater decline in women since they are more prone to osteoporosis – a condition in which the bones become brittle, fragile, and thin. This is often caused by a lack of calcium in the diet.<br />
  4. 4. Height, Weight and Strength<br />Percentage of body fat tends to grow, even for those who have been slim all their lives<br />Due to both decline in height and lifestyle choices <br />Strength begins to decline also<br />By age 60, typical adult has lost 10% of their strength<br />Those who exercise regularly are likely to feel stronger<br />
  5. 5. Sex in Middle Adulthood<br />Although the frequency of sexual intercourse decreases with age, sexual activities remain a vital part of most middle-aged adults’ lives.<br />With children grown and away from home, middle-aged adults have more freedom.<br />With menopause, women no longer need to practice birth control.<br />Men typically need more time to get an erection.<br />The volume of fluid in ejaculation declines.<br />The production of testosterone also declines.<br />In women, the walls of the vagina become less elastic and thinner and the vagina shrinks, potentially making intercourse painful.<br />
  6. 6. FEMALE CLIMACTERIC<br />Starting about age 45, women enter a period known as the FEMALE CLIMACTERIC, the transition from being able to bear children to being unable to do so.<br />This period lasts about 15 to 20 years.<br />The most notable sign is MENOPAUSE, the cessation of menstruation.<br />The process may begin as early as age 40 or as late as age 60.<br />The production of estrogen and progesterone drop<br />Symptoms such as "hot flashes," headaches, feeling dizzy, heart palpitations, and aching joints are common during menopause.<br />Half of women report no symptoms at all.<br />
  7. 7. Side effects<br />It was thought that about 10 percent of women had psychological problems associated with menopause.<br />Depression<br />Anxiety<br />crying spells<br />lack of concentration<br />irritability<br />
  8. 8. MALE CLIMACTERIC<br />Men experience some changes during middle age that are collectively referred to as the MALE CLIMACTERIC, the period of physical and psychological change relating to the male reproductive system that occurs during late middle age.<br />The most common is the enlargement of the prostate gland.<br />By age 40, 10 percent of men have enlarged prostates.<br />Symptoms are problems with urination, including difficulty starting to urinate and frequent need to urinate during the night.<br />Men still produce sperm and can father children through middle age.<br />
  9. 9. Coronary Heart Disease<br />Linking Health and Personality<br />More men die in middle age of diseases of the heart and circulatory system than any other cause.<br />Both genetic and experiential characteristics are involved<br />Heart disease runs in families.<br />Men are more likely to suffer than women, and risks increase with age.<br />There are several environmental and behavioral factors.<br />cigarette smoking<br />high fat and cholesterol in diet<br />lack of physical exercise<br />
  10. 10. Cancer<br />Cancer is the second leading cause of death in middle age.<br />Many forms of cancer respond well to treatment.<br />40 percent are still alive 5 years after diagnosis.<br />Cancer is associated with several risk factors.<br />Genetics (family history of cancer) raises the risk.<br />Poor nutrition, smoking, alcohol use, exposure to sunlight, exposure to radiation, and exposure to occupational hazards such as certain chemicals raise the risk<br />Treatment of cancer can take a variety of forms.<br />Radiation therapy involves the use of radiation to destroy a tumor.<br />Chemotherapy involves the controlled ingestion of toxic substances meant to poison the tumor.<br />Surgery may be used to remove the tumor.<br />Early diagnosis is crucial.<br />Mammography, a weak X-ray, is used to detect breast cancer.<br />Women over 50 should routinely have one.<br />Younger women have denser breasts and the problem of false positives increases.<br />
  11. 11. Psychological factors<br />Increasing evidence suggests that cancer is also related to psychological factors:<br />The death rate of women with breast cancer was much lower for those who had a "fighting spirit" or those who denied they had the disease.<br />People with close family ties are less likely to develop cancer<br />Cancer patients who are habitually optimistic report less physical and psychological distress.<br />Participating in group therapy reduces anxiety and pain and increases survival rates.<br />A positive psychological outlook may be related to a tendency to adhere to a strict treatment regimen.<br />A positive psychological outlook may boost the body's immune system<br />
  12. 12. Social and Personality Development in Middle Adulthood<br />“Midlife crisis”?<br />Typically defined as Unhappiness with life and the lifestyle that may have provided them with happiness for many years. <br />Boredom with people and things that may have been of interest to them before. <br />Feeling a need for adventure and change. <br />Confusion about who they are and where they are going. <br />Doubt that they ever loved their spouse and resentment over the marriage. <br />A desire for a new and passionate, intimate relationship.<br />So - Time to quit your job, divorce your spouse and buy a new red sports car?<br />The midlife transition (“crisis”) is now typically viewed as a normal part of life<br />
  13. 13. Crisis Models<br />Stage theorists suggest that our development occurs in a series of stages with a task or challenge at during each phase<br />Normative-crisis models view personality development in terms of universal stages tied to a sequence of age-related crises.<br />Erikson’s psychosocial theory predicts that a crisis occurs at each of these stages<br />Others view the normative-crisis model as outdated. Due to shifting of gender roles, and the variation in timing of life-events, may developmentalists support life events models of development which is based on timing of events rather than age per se. <br />Death of a parent<br />Children leaving home<br />
  14. 14. Erikson’s stage<br />Generativity vs. Stagnation<br />The crisis at this stage of life (middle adulthood) is whether the person has achieved generativity through making personal contributions to family, community, work, and society, or whether they have stagnated<br />Generativity implies playing a role on guiding and encouraging future generations, whether this is through parenting, mentoring, working with youth, or making community contributions<br />Simply focusing on oneself is viewed as limited in terms of fulfillment<br />
  15. 15. Family Evolutions<br />Empty Nest Syndrome: This refers to parents’ feelings of unhappiness, worry, loneliness and depression resulting from their children’s departure from the home<br />Adjustment period for many<br />This period of transition may be more difficult for women stayed home with their children and do not have a career<br />It is quite normal to have a little weep now and again – or even go into the absent child's bedroom and sit there for a bit in an attempt to feel closer to him or her.<br />In some rare cases, parents experience these symptoms:<br />You feel your useful life has ended.<br />You are crying excessively.<br />You're so sad you don't want to mix with friends or go to work.<br />
  16. 16. Benefits to having an “empty nest”?<br />More time for community or recreational activities<br />Opportunities for mothers to get a job or go back to school<br />Feeling of liberation (less responsibility)<br />Spouses have more time for one another<br />House stays neater<br />Concept of “empty nest syndrome” arose when children grew up and left the home for good<br />More often in recent generations, the empty nest becomes “replenished” with what is now referred to as “boomerang children”<br />
  17. 17. “Boomerang Children”<br />Definition – Young adults who return, after leaving the home for some period, to live in the homes of their middle-aged parents<br />Various reasons for this…<br />Many reasons economic<br />Difficulty finding a job after college <br />Job does not pay enough to support living independently<br />Return to the home after separation/ divorce<br />Parent’s reaction to this?<br />Financial burden<br />Parental sympathy?<br />Mother vs. father<br />
  18. 18. The “Sandwich Generation”<br />While children are leaving the nest (or possibly returning), many middle-aged adults are facing the challenge of caring for their own aging parents<br />“Sandwich generation” refers to middle-aged adults who are squeezed between the needs of both their children and their aging parents<br />Two trends contribute to this phenomenon:<br />Men and women marrying and having children later<br />People living longer<br />
  19. 19. Job Burnout/ Switching Careers<br />For many people, middle-adulthood is a time of occupational success – many workers achieve a high level of productivity, success and earning power.<br />For others, work becomes increasingly stressful<br />Dissatisfaction with working conditions<br />Frustration/ weariness with job<br />Feeling of dread associated with going to work<br />Job burnout – people experiencing dissatisfaction, disillusionment, frustration, and weariness from their jobs<br />Employers may begin to feel indifference or lack of concern about their job performance<br />Many people switching careers at mid-life point<br />New career path<br />After loss of job<br />Making a fresh start<br />Many middle adults (typically women) start a career or return to a career after having a raising children<br />
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