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Physical and Cognitive Development in Middle Adulthood

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1 Physical and Cognitive Development in Middle Adulthood
Chapter 13 Physical and Cognitive Development in Middle Adulthood

2 Changing Midlife Today, many 50-year-olds are in better shape, more alert, and more productive than 40-year-olds a generation or two ago Middle age is starting later and lasting longer Jung -- “Midlife is the afternoon of life” Increasing percentage of population is made up of middle-aged and older adults Best-educated and most affluent cohort

3 Defining Middle Adulthood
Middle adulthood -- developmental period beginning about 40 and extending to 60–65 years period of declining physical skills and increasing responsibility shrinking time left in life reach and maintain satisfaction in career individuals make choices

4 Gains and Losses Late midlife may be characterized by the loss of a parent, the last child leaving the home, becoming a grandparent, preparation for retirement, and actual retirement Overall, gains and losses may balance each other in midlife losses may begin to dominate gains for many individuals in late midlife Midlife is characterized by individual variations

5 Physical Changes Some of the visible signs
Skin begins to wrinkle and sag Areas of pigmentation in skin produce age spots Thinning and graying hair Interest in plastic surgery, Botox, weight control, and vitamins may reflect the desire to take control of the aging process

6 Height and Weight Individuals lose height in middle age
Many gain weight body fat makes up 20 percent or more of weight in midlife as compared to 10 percent in adolescence almost 1/3 of adults 40–59 years are classified as obese obesity increases probability of other health issues (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006)

7 Vision and Hearing Accommodation of the eye -- ability to focus and maintain image on the retina declines between 40 and 59 years more need for glasses and/or bifocals Hearing also declines after age 40 sensitivity to pitches decreases men lose sensitivity earlier than women resulting from exposure to occupational noise

8 Cardiovascular System
High blood pressure and cholesterol issues become problematic Women’s blood pressure rises at menopause and typically remains higher than men’s Exercise, weight control, proper dietary patterns can help decrease problems Metabolic syndrome is an increasing problem Characterized by hypertension, obesity, and insulin resistance

9 Lungs Little change in lung capacity through most of middle adulthood
In late 50s, proteins in lung tissue become less elastic, decreasing lung capacity Smokers experience most significant changes lung capacity improves with quitting smoking

10 Sleep Beginning in 40s, more wakeful periods are more frequent, and there is less of the deepest sleep More time lying awake results in feeling less rested Sleep problems are more common for those who use a higher number of prescription and nonprescription medications, are obese, are depressed, or have cardiovascular disease

11 Health habits through the years
What are health habits that can contribute to lower vitality? How is it lowering vitality? Think of a bad health habit that you or someone you know exhibits and think of ways to change or manage the habit to become healthier.

12 Health and Disease Frequency of accidents declines
Individuals are less susceptible to colds and allergies Stress is found to be a factor in disease

13 Chronic Disorders Chronic disorders are rare in early adulthood
Chronic disorders -- slow onset and long duration Stress is found to be a factor in disease Culture affects cardiovascular disease (Hertz, Unger, & Ferrano, 2006)

14 Mortality Rates In middle age, many deaths are caused by a single, readily identifiable cause Leading causes heart disease cancer cardiovascular disease Men have higher mortality rates than women for all of the leading causes of death (National Center for Health Statistics, 2008)

15 Sexuality Climacteric -- midlife transition in which fertility declines Osteoporosis Menopause women’s menstrual periods completely cease side effects of menopause vary cross-cultural studies reveal wide variations

16 Treating Effects of Menopause
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) -- augments declining levels of reproductive hormone production by the ovaries usually estrogen and progestin negative side effects for HRT increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease Decreased use of HRT has shown a related decline in the incidence of breast cancer

17 Hormonal Changes in Middle-Aged Men
Most men do not lose capacity to father children Modest decline in sexual hormone level and activity “Male menopause” probably has less to do with hormonal change than with psychological adjustment to overall decline Testosterone levels decline and can reduce sexual drive Most erectile dysfunctions stem from physiological problems treatment has focused on drug therapy

18 Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence
Crystallized intelligence -- individual’s accumulated information and verbal skills Fluid intelligence -- ability to reason abstractly; begins to decline in middle adulthood When studying intelligence, whether data is collected cross-sectionally or longitudinally makes a difference in results


20 Speed of Information Processing
Perceptual speed begins declining in early adulthood and continues declining in middle age

21 Memory Controversy about whether memory declines in the middle years -- most experts agree there is some decline, at least in late middle age More time is needed to learn new information The slowdown has been linked to working memory -- the mental “workbench” where individuals manipulate and assemble information when making decisions, solving problems, and comprehending written and spoken language Memory decline is more likely to occur when individuals do not use effective memory strategies

22 Expertise Expertise shows up more in middle adulthood
Expertise involves having extensive, highly organized knowledge and understanding of a particular domain result of many years of experience, learning, and effort

23 Work in Midlife Central during the middle years
Reach peak of position and earnings Middle-aged adults may experience age discrimination May have multiple financial burdens Time of evaluation, assessment, rebalance, and reflection

24 Career Challenges and Changes
Globalization of work Developments in information technologies Downsizing of organizations Early retirement Concerns about pensions and health care Some career changes are self-motivated; others are the result of job loss

25 Leisure Leisure -- pleasant times after work when individuals are free to pursue activities and interests of their own choosing midlife changes may produce more time for leisure Adults in midlife need to begin preparing for retirement leisure can be a part of this preparation

26 Religion and Adult Lives
Majority of middle-aged adults profess religious beliefs and consider spirituality a major part of their lives For some, religion is a major influence to some adults but may play little or no role in others’ lives Females show stronger interest and participate more

27 Religion and Health Researchers have found that religious attendance is linked to a reduction of blood pressure and hypertension increased longevity Religion promotes health lifestyle issues social networks coping with stress

28 Meaning in Life Frankl said that the three most distinct human qualities are: Spirituality Freedom Responsibility

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