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LATE ADULTHOOD: Emotional and social development.

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Presentation on theme: "LATE ADULTHOOD: Emotional and social development."— Presentation transcript:

1 LATE ADULTHOOD: Emotional and social development

2 Social Responses To Aging n Research in major aspects of aging: –Behavior change that prevents damage and maintains health –Psychological health of oldest old –Maximizing and maintaining productivity –Assessing mental health and treating mental disorders

3 False Stereotypes n Old age last stage before death; no one wants to talk about mortality n Old age is undefined: Few rites of passage; not all are married, grandparents or retired n Many types of elders;typical older adult difficult to define

4 Positive and Negative Attitudes n Factors for positive affect –Social relationships –Reading and following news –Extroverted personality –Death of a close friend –Definite beliefs and disbeliefs –Living with other persons

5 Positive and Negative Attitudes n Factors for negative affect: –Neuroticism –Own major illness –Money problems –Living alone


7 Self-Concept and Personality Development n Psychosocial Theories –Eriksons Integrity versus Despair –Individuals recognize that they are reaching the end of life. If they can take satisfaction in having led a successful life they will experience integrity

8 Psychosocial Theories n Pecks Psychosocial Tasks of Later Adulthood –Ego Differentiation Versus Work-Role Preoccupation –Body Transcendence Versus Body Preoccupation –Ego Transcendence Versus Ego Preoccupation

9 Psychosocial Theories n Vaillants Theory of Emotional Health –Emotional health, a sense of resilience –Pragmatism and dependability –Being close to ones siblings

10 A Trait Theory of Aging n Major personality patterns or traits:(Neugarten, Havighurst, Tobin) –Integrated –Armor-defended –Passive-dependent –Disintegrated

11 Other Models of Aging n Theories of psychological/sociological aging –Disengagement Theory of Aging –Activity Theory of Aging –Role Exit Theory of Aging –Social Exchange Theory of Aging –Modernization Theory

12 Selective Optimization with Compensation n Life-span model endorsed by Paul and Margret Baltes. n Older people cope with aging through a strategy that involves focusing on the skills most needed, practicing those skills, and developing ways to compensate for other skills

13 The Third Age n Includes emotional intelligence and wisdom: –Expert knowledge about life in general and good judgment and advice about how to conduct oneself in the face of complex, uncertain circumstances.

14 n Elderly will face increasingly difficult obstacles and become more vulnerable The Fourth Age

15 A Life-Span Model of Developmental Regulation n Schulz and Heckhausen n Control is the central theme for characterizing human development n Primary control: the external world n Secondary control: the self –Elderly able to engage and impact their environment for the longest time: the most successful

16 Impact n The Impact of Personal Control and Choice n A Sense of Purpose n Some of the negative consequences of aging may be retarded, reversed, or possibly prevented by returning to the aged the right to make decisions and a feeling of competence. (Langer and Rodin)

17 Faith and Adjustment to Aging n Widows and widowers with an authentic sense of personal relationship with God cope better with the loss of their spouses than do their nonreligious peers or religious individuals who do not experience an active awareness of the presence of God in their lives. (Rosick)

18 Familial Roles: Continuity and Discontinuity n Love and Marriage –Companionship, respect and the sharing of common interests improve during later adulthood

19 n Problems with retirement issues n Marriage protects people from premature death Previous problems resolved

20 Widows and Widowers n More widows than widowers n Elderly women higher risk to live in poverty n Most not able to afford adequate health care n More likely to experience neglect and elder abuse

21 Remarriage and Singles n Remarriage and the Elderly n Half-million people over 65 remarry each year in the U.S. n Singles have more emotional and physical pathology than marrieds n Elderly singles without spouse or children: poor social network

22 Lesbian and Gay Elderly n Older gays and lesbians have reconstituted families in the form of friendship and support networks

23 Children or Childlessness n Reciprocal intergenerational assistance n 80% of elder care provided by family n Elder value independence and privacy –Intimate distance: living near but not with children

24 Families n Grandparenting and Great-Grandparenting –Grandparents and grandchildren benefit from each others company n Siblings –Closeness grows with age

25 Social and Cultural Support n Friendships n In terms of companionship, friends are more important and satisfying to older people than their offspring

26 n Only 16% of males over 65 are employed today. n The right to work is viewed as an American basic right n Choice to ease to part-time employment rather than full retirement should be an option n Better health and higher socioeconomic status: better adjustment to retirement Retirement/Employment


28 Living Arrangements n Living Alone at Home and Assisted-Living Services n Encourage independent living until health and cognitive problems make it impossible to remain at home safely

29 n Living with Children and Adult Day Care n Long-term care support to adults who live in the community, providing health, and social services in a safe setting during any part of the day Living Arrangements


31 Institutional Care n 1.6 million elderly people in 22,000 nursing homes n Characteristics of institutionalized aged: –Depression –Feelings of helplessness –Accelerated decline n Retirement Communities n Adult Group Homes

32 Elder Abuse n Elder abuse and neglect are both acts of commission and omission that cause unnecessary suffering to older persons n Elder Abuse in the Long-Term Care Community –Patients and families can now file criminal charges against caregivers and facilities

33 Elder Abuse n Legal Definition of Abuse: –Abuse: intentionally inflicting, or allowing someone else to inflict, bodily injury or pain –Psychological abuse: verbal harassment, intimidation, denigration and isolation –Neglect: Failure to provide goods, services or care necessary to maintain health –Exploitation: Taking advantage of an older adult for monetary gain

34 Caregiver Burnout n Strategies: –Join support group –Continue activities you enjoy –Seek professional help –Get more information about burnout –Investigate adult day care options in community

35 Policy Issues and Advocacy n Policy Issues and Advocacy in an Aging Society n Supportive services include: –Information, referral, outreach, case management, escort, transportation –In-home services –Community services –Caregiver services

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