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Life Span Development Adulthood and Aging

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1 Life Span Development Adulthood and Aging
Unit 2, Module 6

2 Early Adulthood Transitions
Erikson’s Stage 6 – Early Adulthood Approximate age 20 – 35 Questions faced in this stage include: Independent living/moving out of parents’ house Getting married Establishing a career Having children

3 Emerging Adulthood Developmental Psychologists propose adding a new stage called emerging adulthood The transition from adolescence to adulthood continues to lengthen Young adults often take longer to establish their independence

4 The Social Clock Society’s commonly accepted judgment about the best timing for certain life events Getting a driver’s license Getting married Living independently Social clocks have different settings in different cultures Changes in culture can alter the social clock within a culture

5 Physical Changes and Transitions
Middle Adulthood: age 36 – 64 More noticeable physical changes Women experience menopause Men experience a decline in testosterone levels The “mid-life crisis” is associated with this stage There is no statistical evidence that “mid-life crisis” occurs as a result of aging

6 The Fear of Aging Why do people fear aging?
Media impact: Older people are often portrayed in negative ways Loss of “attractiveness” “retin-A” generation seeks the quick fix for physical signs of aging Confronting mortality

7 Physical Changes Later Adulthood: age 65 and over
Senses of sight, smell, and hearing usually begin a steep decline after age 65 (see figure 6.1, page 102 in your text) Decreased muscle strength and stamina Immune system weakens Decrease in speed of neural (think brainwave) transmission

8 Compensating for Older Age
Exercise fosters brain cell development, and helps prevent heart disease and obesity Staying mentally active will help brain cell and neural activity Brain cell loss is leading cause of memory loss If you live to be 80, your brain will weigh 5% less than it does now

9 Diseases Related to Aging
Alzheimer’s Disease Brain disorder characterized by progressive and irreversible destruction of brain cells Results in gradual deterioration of memory, reasoning, language and physical functioning Senile Dementia Mental disintegration Can be caused by alcoholism, tumor, stroke, or anything that causes substantial loss of brain cells

10 Age Related Diseases Alzheimer’s has no known cure
Certain medications can slow down the progression of the disease Not every older adult who forgets things has Alzheimer’s Memory loss is a normal part of aging

11 Cognitive Changes and Transitions
Memory: Recall memory decreases in older individuals, but recognition remains relatively stable from age 20 to 60 Recall memory tasks give no clues to “jog” your memory – neutral objects/ideas/concepts Recognition memory tasks involve meaningful objects/ideas/concepts

12 Intelligence Fluid intelligence tends to decrease in later adulthood
Crystallized intelligence tends to increase with age Research indicates that crystallized intelligence remains stable with age

13 Social Changes & Transitions
The two events that most affect our social well-being during early and middle adulthood are: Work or Generativity Love or Intimacy Erikson defines these as being productive (work) and forming close relationships (love)

14 Life’s Commitments Work
Choosing a career is an important and difficult decision Humans have an innate need to be or feel useful Contentment and challenge with one’s career choice are central to happiness

15 Life’s Commitments Love Vital to a happy adulthood
Lasts longer and is more satisfying when it is marked by Intimate self-disclosure (sharing one’s self) Shared emotional support Similar interests and values

16 A Lifetime of Well-Being
Most older, retired people report happiness and satisfaction in their lives The “empty nest” syndrome often results in a renewed sense of freedom Most older individuals experience less emotional conflict than young adults Regrets are often about things they didn’t do as opposed to mistakes they made

17 Ageism The tendency to categorize and judge people on the basis of their chronological age Negative effects of ageism Reduces self-esteem Reduces ability to participate in society Reinforces stereotyping

18 Dying and Death Coping with the loss of a loved one is a challenge that each individual faces at some point in time Individual responses will vary When the death of a loved one is sudden and unexpected, individuals may experience profound grief and depression Depression can last for years

19 Misconceptions of Death
The popular belief that expressing strong grief immediately will lessen grieving period is not supported by evidence “Stages of Grief” There is no evidence to support the idea that we progress through predictable stages

20 Different Perceptions of Death
Death is perceived differently in different cultures In Africa, death is greeted as a way to rejoin ancestors Muslim nations expect outward and obvious expressions of grief over death In the United States attitudes towards death are changing towards acceptance and dignity in death

21 Lessons from Mourners Can we learn from grief?
Proves the importance of : “Tending” relationships Resolving differences Expressing appreciation Avoiding future regrets by keeping our relationships healthy in the present

22 Choices About Death Hospice Care Euthanasia – medically assisted death
Receiving medical attention in the comfort of one’s home Terminal patients can spend their remaining days as pleasantly as possible Maintains human dignity Euthanasia – medically assisted death What is your opinion?

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