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PSYC 2314 Lifespan Development

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1 PSYC 2314 Lifespan Development
Chapter 20 Middle Adulthood: Biosocial Development

2 Physical Changes in Middle Adulthood
Graying and thinning of the hair Drying and wrinkling of the skin Change in body shape Loss in height Change in body shape as pockets of fat settle on the upper arms, buttocks, and other parts of the body; loss in height as back muscles, connecting tissues, and bones lose strength; and an increased likelihood of being overweight. With the exception of excessive weight gain, these changes generally have no significant health consequences. The overall impact of changes in appearance on the individual, however, depends, in large measure on his or her attitude toward aging. In Western cultures, the loss of a youthful appearance can be very distressing.

3 Sense Organs Hearing Environmentally caused
Men are more likely to developed hearing loss Genetic Age Men begin to show hearing loss at age 30, women at around 50. Men lose hearing twice as fast as women. Some age-related hearing loss is the result of prolonged exposure to noise.

4 Sense Organs Vision Farsightedness and astigmatism
Depth perception, eye-muscle resilience, color sensitivity and adaptation to darkness Glaucoma Visual acuity shows great variation from one person to another across adulthood; after puberty, it is influenced more by hereditary factors than by aging. Due to the fact that the corneas of their eyes are too curved, people who need glasses before age 20 tend simply to be nearsighted. In contrast, older adults tend to be farsighted, due to the fact that their corneas are too flat. Middle-aged adults seem to adjust to changes in vision without major difficulties, as evidenced by the fact that serious accidents, either in a fall or while driving, are more common in late adolescence or late adulthood than in middle adulthood. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness by age 70 in the US, Canada, and Great Britain, esp. among people of African descent, becomes increasingly common after age 40.

5 Vital Body Systems Immune system is actually stronger. However, recovery takes longer. Autoimmune disease—when the immune system mistakes the person’s own body cells for foreign invaders and attacks them (rheumatoid arthritis or lupus). Specific immunity from past diseases has accumulated, making most viruses, flu, and even the common cold less likely.

6 Health Habits Smoking A risk factor for many diseases.
Nonsmokers have a 30% higher risk of lung cancer if they are married to smokers than if they are married to nonsmokers. All smoking diseases are dose- and duration-sensitive. Diseases: cancer of the lung, bladder, kidney, mouth and stomach as well as heart disease, stroke, pneumonia, and emphysema.

7 Health Habits Alcohol Moderate use may lower the risk of heart disease
Heavy use is the main cause of cirrhosis of the liver Puts stress on the heart and stomach Destroys brain cell Hastens calcium loss associated with osteoporosis A risk factor in many forms of cancer Lower the risk of heart disease bcs it increases the blood’s supply of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), a protein that aids in reducing cholesterol. Alcohol abuse, however, is responsible for 5% of total mortality in the US. Global disease burden

8 Health Habits Nutrition
Strongly related to the onset and progress of heart disease and cancer. A high-fat, low-fiber diet promotes the development of heart disease and several types of cancer.

9 Health Habits Weight Overweight is present in 2 out of every 3 middle-aged residents of the US. Obesity is a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. It is also a contributing factor for arthritis. Overweight = BMI of 25 to 30 Obesity = BMI of 30 or more

10 Health Habits Vigorous exercise for at least 30 minutes daily:
Increases heart and lung capacity and metabolism Lowers blood pressure Reduces the ratio of body fat to body weight Enhances cognitive functioning through improved blood circulation Improves self-image and general sense of well-being Adults who exercise have much lower rates of serious illness and death than do sedentary individuals.

11 Variations in Health Four distinct measures of health
Mortality Morbidity Disability Vitality Quality-adjusted life years (QUALYs): calculates how many years of full vitality are lost as a result of a particular disease or disability. Mortality: death as measured by the number of deaths each year per 1,000 individuals. Morbidity: disease as measured by the rate of diseases of all kinds in a given population. Disability: a persons’ inability to perform normal activities Vitality: how healthy and energetic an individual actually feels. QUALYs: if a person dies prematurely, before the average expected life span, then a certain numbers of years are completely lost. Example, a young man is statistically expected to live to be 80 but is shot and killed at 20, then 60 QUALYs are lost. If a 20 is shot and disabled—perhaps brain injured but not killed, then each year might be judged to provide only 1/3 of the expected quality of life, and thus 40 QUALYs would be lost by 80.

12 Ethnicity and Health Mortality
African Americans die at twice the rate of European Americans, who themselves die at twice the rate of Asian Americans. Native Americans have about 20% higher death rate and Hispanic Americans a 20% lower rate than the overall average Morbidity and disability follow the same ethnic patterns. In all minority groups, the illness and death rates among recent immigrants, who tend to be hardier, have better health habits, be more optimistic, and have stronger family support, are lower than among long-time US residents.

13 Beyond Black and White Group differences in health are often misattributed to genes and ancestry: Current education SES Pressures and opportunities provided by the larger society Ethnic health differences are influenced less by genes than by factors related to education, income, and racism. Example, study found that the incidence of breast cancer in middle-aged African American women is less than in European American women, but their rate of mortality from the disease is higher.

14 Gender Differences Mortality Morbidity and disability
Middle-aged men are twice as likely to die of any cause and three times as likely to die of heart disease. Men are more likely to smoke, drink, be overweight, repress emotions, and ignore their medical symptoms. Morbidity and disability Women have higher rates than men.

15 Sexual Reproductive System
Sexual responses gradually become slower and less distinct Reproduction less likely Attitudes are more important than biology in assessing the impact of these changes.

16 The Climacteric Climacteric: various biological and psychological changes that accompany menopause: Variations in the timing of a woman’s menstrual cycle Hot flashes and cold sweats Drier skin Loss of breast tissue, bone calcium At an average age of 51, women usu. reach menopause, as ovulation and menstruation stop and the production of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone drops significantly.

17 HRT Hormone Replacement Therapy
Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, tooth loss, and hip fractures. Long-term consequences are not yet known, however, may increase the risk of some forms of cancer, particularly breast cancer.

18 Psychological Impact of Menopause
Historical changes have meant that the end of childbearing is now determined less by age than by personal factors, such as the number of children a couple already has or the couple’s financial status. The end of childbearing thus represents a conscious decision and makes menopause—the time when sexual activity is no longer accompanied by fear of pregnancy—a liberating and welcomed event. Menopause may signal an increase in sexual activity and enjoyment.

19 Sexual Expression Sexual activities usually declines in terms of frequency of intercourse and orgasm. Sexual stimulation, esp. in men, takes longer and needs to be more direct A reduction in the intensity of orgasmic reactions and less vigorous contractions and ejaculations. Changes in women’s orgasmic ability are not measured as easily, but research suggested that there is no significant change in a woman’s eroticism from early adulthood through middle age. For middle-aged and older adults, present enjoyment of and interest in sex is much more strongly correlated with past enjoyment and interest than with other variables.

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