Classifying the stages of adulthood The longest stage of the human lifespan: – Early adulthood (18 – 39 years) – Middle adulthood (40 – 64 years) – Late adulthood (65 years and over)
Physical development during adulthood Early adulthood: peak physical development has usually been achieved. Good strength and coordination skills, quick reaction times, sexual peak. May include parenthood. Middle adulthood: People are generally in good health. Possibly experiencing: wrinkles, decline in all or some of the 5 senses, reduced organ function. Women may experience menopause.
Late adulthood: usually characterised by a general physical decline: – Wrinkes – Changes in hair colour to grey or white – Reduction in all 5 senses – Slowed reaction times / Limited agility – Difficulties with memory / clarity of thinking – Decline in sexual libido
Social, emotional and intellectual development of adults Social development – Young adults: based around friends and relationships that were established during school, higher education or employment. May include dating and outings with other couples – Middle adults: participation in work-related social activities or activities for parents – Late adults: clubs or social groups become important to avoid loneliness and isolation
Emotional development – Life events and situations can become the cause of emotional stress and anxiety for adults – in some instances causing depression – Emotional health is signified by having coping strategies to deal with and overcome feelings of sadness, anxiety, loneliness and grief – Depression is a very common mental health problem experienced by adults
Intellectual development – Adults are able to think in abstract terms, reason logically, draw conclusions and apply processes to hypothetical situations – Much of the intellectual development of adults is related to attention, perception and memory – Intellectual development can decline with age, but can also increase as intellectual maturity increases
Health status of Australian adults People aged between 25 and 64 years generally enjoy good health Health gradually declines with age The health status of older Australians is considered one of the most significant medical and economical challenges we face Behaviour during younger years has an affect on health in adulthood
The health and mortality of males and females in Australia Men and women have different life expectancies, with men expected to live a few years less than women The leading causes of death in males and females are also different The most common cause of death for adults 25 – 64 years is coronary heart disease for males and breast cancer for females