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Chapter 13 Physical and Cognitive Development in Middle Adulthood.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 13 Physical and Cognitive Development in Middle Adulthood."— Presentation transcript:

1 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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