Declining physical skills. Expanding Responsibility. Increasingly conscious of time. Seek to transmit something meaningful to the next generation. Career achievement and satisfaction.
What is the OVERALL definition of Middle Adulthood?
Gains and Losses
What is the physical development of Middle Adulthood?
Visible signs of aging : wrinkles, age spots, gray hair. Height and Weight Changes: Lose up to 2 inches in height (most in women). ----Osteoporosis - severe age-related bone loss affects 40% of postmenopausal women. Higher proportion of body fat. (20% or more) Increasing rate of obesity. (1/3 Middle Aged Adults)
Age-related loss of muscle mass and strength that seems to appear in Middle-Aged Adults
"Old Eyes" - Lens loses ability to adjust to objects at various distances. Difficulty seeing in low light.
"Old Hearing". Adult onset hearing loss. Affects about 50% of individuals over age 50. ( Earlier in men.)
Slow onset and long duration. --rare in early adulthood --increase during middle adulthood --common in late adulthood
Top Chronic Disorders in Middle Adulthood (2)
Arthritis and Hypertension
(Men chronic disorders are more often fatal.)
Buildup of plaque in the arteries.
Heart Attack - and Mortality Rates
blockage of blood flow to the heart. --50% die before receiving treatment. --15% die during treatment -- 10% die later
Cancer - know symptoms, self-exams, regular check-ups and screening, avoid tobacco, sun exposure, pollutants, x-rays, healthy diet.
Midlife transition in which fertility declines.
Climacteric in Females
Middle Adulthood. Dramatic drop in estrogen. (less eggs released by ovaries) Menopause
Transitional climacteric period in women from normal menstrual periods to no periods at all.
Climacteric where women's menstrual periods cease completely. ---side effects vary dramatically from woman to woman. --There are cross-cultural variations. ( Women are more effected by menopause in the Western Culture.)
Climacteric in Males
Erectile Dysfunction - inability to adequately achieve and maintain an erection that results in satisfactory sexual performance. Effects 22% of men over 40. 75% result from physiological issues (smoking, diabetes, cardiovascular disease)
Causes - Unknown. (There is only a slight decrease in testosterone levels but doesn't relate to erectile dysfunction.)
An individual's accumulated information and verbal skills. --Acquired skills --Increases through middle adulthood. John Horn - increasing crystallized intelligence.
Did a cross-sectional design to show that crystallized intelligence increased and fluid intelligence decreases in Middle Adulthood.
But if there was longitudinal data used, instead of showing declines, it shows that people find their peak in Middle Adulthood. May be due to Cohort Effects (different generations of learning)
Ability to reason quickly and think abstractly. --Begins to decline in middle adulthood. (John Horn) --Basic information processing skills.
Of knowledge begins declining in early adulthood and continues declining in middle age.
Causes may occur at different levels: -Cognitive -neuroanatomical (neurons die off) -neurochemical
Compensation for Perceptual Speed Loss in Early Adulthood.
Practice and Experience
Memory in Middle Adulthood
More time is needed to learn new information. Decrease in working memory capacity. Long-term memory is less reliable. Retrieval takes longer.
Mental workbench where individuals manipulate and assemble information.
Compensation for Memory decline in Middle Adulthood
Use effective memory strategies.
Expertise in Middle Adulthood
Involves having extensive, highly organized knowledge and understanding of a particular domain. Requires many years of experience, learning and effort. Occurs more often in middle adulthood.
Creativity in Youth
-Emotional and spontaneous -Focus on finding new knowledge -Self-focused, egocentric goals
Creativity in later life...
- Thoughtful, planned specific skills - Focus on integrated ideas -Other-focused, altruistic goals
Erikson's Psychosocial Theory Stage in Middle Adulthood
Generativity VS Stagnation
Generativity Vs Stagnation
Generativity : the desire to leave a legacy to the next generation. Stagnation: a sense of self-absorption that develops when individuals feel they've done little or nothing for the next generation.
Having Generativity in Middle Adulthood relates to
- High levels of self-esteem. - A way to achieve a sense of immortality - Focus on the continuation and improvement of society
To have Generativity, you need to focus your attention outward. If focused inward, you are in stagnation. (Give other than take.)
Four types of Generativity (Erikson)
Biological, Parental, Work, Cultural
Stressful, psychologically painful period triggered by review and re-evaluation of one's life, brought on by awareness of mortality. (inwardly focused - stagnated)
Studied the Midlife Crisis. --Interviewed 40 middle-aged men. --Had inevitable, overt crisis between age 45-50 --70 - 80% found transition painful -- Develop more realistic goals & self-image
Criticisms of Midlife Crisis ( Daniel Levinson )
Participants are NOT a representative sample. --Mostly white, well-educated, middle/upper class men. --Survived depression & WWII
Crisis may be due to Cohort Effects -- Midlife is just another transition, not a crisis
1000 college educated adults from 20-96 Cross-sequential study
Personality in Middle Adulthood
Seems fairly set by age 30. Little change in personality traits over time. Personality is most stable in midlife.
Cumulative Personality Model
With time and age, people become more adept at interacting with the environment in a way that promotes personality stability. --Traits become more stable but are never fixed --As we age, stability outweighs change.
Marriage Satisfaction is U-shaped --- Increases in Middle Adulthood?
--Parenting is very stressful, causing conflict --The most turbulent marriages have divorce -- Greater financial security --More time for shared activities
Divorce - Differences in women and men
women initiate 66% of midlife divorces; men initiate 41%
Empty Nest Syndrome
The common belief that marital and life satisfaction decreases after children leave the home
Satisfaction increases after adult children depart.
Revolving Door Syndrome
Adult children may return to their parents' home after completing education, while establishing a career, or during times of financial/marital difficulties
Middle Aged Adults with Parents Alive
41% have both parents alive 77% have no parents alive
The Sandwich Generation
--Middle-aged adults often feel "sandwiched" between competing need of adult children and aging parents with limited support.
--Caring for elderly parents often viewed as nonnormative Torn between love and resentment
Grandparenting Styles in Middle Adulthood
Companionate Remote Involved
Companionate Grandparenting Style in Middle Adulthood
Frequent, casual relationship
Remote Grandparenting Style in Middle Adulthood
Infrequent, largely symbolic relationship
Involved Grandparent Style in Middle Adulthood
Discipline, correct, assist in decision-making
Grandparents being Parents
This has increased due to rising divorce, adolescent pregnancy, and drug uses (50% of these cases)
Costs: --decreased energy, stamina --financial burden --feel out of touch with younger generation
Rewards --Generativity (Erikson) --Love --Sense of purpose
The number of years the average person born in a particular year can expect to live.
--U.S. = 77.6 years --Differs across groups within a country and genders
A person who lives beyond the age of 100. --Low rates of disease --Good mental health --Ability to cope with stress
A person's actual ability to function..physically, cognitively, socially, and emotionally
Lose 5-10% of brain volume over the course of adulthood. Why? --Decrease in dendrites --Loss of myelination -- Neuron loss -- Decrease in the prefrontal cortex (working memory, impulse)
Neurogenesis ( Late Adulthood)
Generation of new neurons. --Only in the hippocampus and olfactory bulb --Only last a few weeks.
Dendritic growth also occurs and may compensate for some neuron loss. Older adults are more likely than younger adults to use both hemisheres of the brain simultaneously.
The Nun Study
678 nuns volunteered to complete annual assessment and to donate brain to science.
Positive emotion in autobiographies were linked with lower mortality rates. Teachers showed fewer declines than service professions.
Idea Density in Nun Study
- a type of linguistic ability was measured at age 22 was linked to: -- Increased brain weight -- decreased cognitive impairment -- decreased symptoms of Alzheimer Disease
Physical Changes in Late Adulthood
Immune System Decline Shorter, smaller, grayer, more wrinkles Motor Development: slows for all difficult leveled movements
Vision in Late Adulthood
Visual Acuity Decreases --less light reaches retina --pupil decreases --yellowing of lens --loss of photo-sensitive cells in the retina
Glare Difficulty ( After 75)
Thickening of the lens. -Causes cloudy, opaque, distorted vision -Affects 30% of adults 70+
Damage to the optic nerve -Occurs from pressure due to fluid build-up in the eye
Deterioration of the focal center of the retina --Loss of vision in the center of the field (macula) --Leading cause of blindness in old age
Hearing in Late Adulthood
75% of adults age 75-79 have hearing loss 15% of adults over 65 are legally deaf Hearing loss is due to damage in the cochlea Many adults may not recognize loss or may deny it
Smell, taste, touch, and pain in Late Adulthood
All decline in sensing all of these. A reduced enjoyment of food may lead to decreased life satisfaciton.
Top Causes of Death in Late Adulthood
1. Heart Disease (Life Expectancy would increase 10 years if this was gone.) 2. Cancer 3. Stroke 4. Chronic lung disease 5. Pneumonia and influenza 6. Diabetes 7. Accidents (falls)
Falls in Late Adulthood
200,000 adults over 65 suffer hip fracture a year. 100,000 will die as a result of complications.
Exercise in Late Adulthood
Linked to -Longevity -Prevention of chronic diseases -reduced motor declines -reduced mental health problems -improved cognitive function Weekly recommend : aerobic - 5 + days strength - 2 + days
1/3 are seriously deficient 3% of adults 65+ are in nursing homes 23% of 85+ are in nursing homes
Health Treatment Independent Variable in Late Adulthood
1/2 were in control 1/2 were dependent
-- Mortality rate in the dependent group was 2X higher.
focusing on a specific aspect of experience that is relevant while ignoring others that are irrelevant. Declines in late adulthood.
Focus or concentrating on more than one activity at the same time.
State of readiness to detect and respond to small changes occurring at random times in the environment. Vigilence (simple - easy, hard - difficult)
Memory of facts and experiences that individuals consciously know and can state. (memorizing store list)
Memory without conscious recollection; it involves skills and routine procedures that are automatically performed. ( riding a bike)
Less likely to be adversely affected by aging.
Type of Explicit Memory that is info for a specific life event at a particular time and place (autobiographical)
Episodic declines more than semantic memory in late adulthood.
A type of Explicit Memory that is general knowledge about the world. (facts, figures, etc)
Episodic memory declines more than semantic memory
Amount of time it takes to perform simple perceptual-motor tasks.
--Considerable decline in late adulthood. --Lined to declines in working memory.
Work and Retirement in Late Adulthood
Older workers have lower rate of absenteeism, fewer accidents, and increased job satisfaction.
Today's workers spend 10-15% of life in retirement.
Older adults increasing work after retiring -2/3 were happy to return -1/3 returned for money only
(Ageist stereotypes can limit opportunities)
Global term for any neurolocial disorder in which the primary symptoms involve a deterioration of mental functioning.
-loss of ability to care for themselves and recognize familiar surroundings and people. - 20% of adults over 80.
Progressive, irreversible brain disorder. Characterized by gradual deterioration of memory, reasoning, language, and eventually physical function. (breathing) In 2005, 4.5 million U.S. adults were affected. Deficiency in ACTH Amyloid Plaques - deposits of protein accumulating in blood vessels. Neurofibrillary Tangles: twisted fibers that build up in neurons.
Causes of Alzheimer's Disease
-No certain cause -Age is a risk factor -Genetic links -Lifestyle -Lack of exercise
(same as cardiovascular risks)
-Chronic -Characterized by muscle tremors, slowing of movement, and partial facial paralysis -Triggered by degeneration of neurons that produce dopamine
Chemical necessary for normal motor control.
Erikson's Psychosocial Theory in Late Adulthood
Integrity vs Despair
-Feeling whole, complete and satisfied with life choice and achievements -Acceptance of setbacks and disappointments -Celebrated successes -A sense of meaning
Late Adulthood - Feeling that you've made mistakes and that it is too late to fix them. - Anxiety about death. - Hopelessness - Angry and isolated
Life Review in Late Adulthood
- Examine and evaluate life - Triggered by awareness of death
Benefits - Better understanding, resolution of problems - Sharing with others, may improve memory
Drawbacks - May become obsessed with past (rumination) - May cause psychological dysfunction
The more active and involved oler adults are, the more likey they are to be satisfied with their lives. Such as, continuing the roles of early and middle adulthood. (teacher being sub)
Socioemotional Selectivity Theory
Older adults become more selective about their social networks.
- Prefer familiar people and rewarding relationships because they recognize that their time is limited and they don't want to waste it with difficult relationships.
Selective Optimization with Compensation Theory (1 and 2 of 3)
Successful aging is linked with 3 main factors (coping strategies) 1. Selection - older adults have a reduced capacity and loss of functioning. (focus on the most important goal at a particular time. to reach a particular goal, you may need to abandon other goals.) 2. Optimization - maintain performance in some areas through practice and use of new technologies. (Keep working on what you have planned until you are successful. Persevere and keep trying until you reach your goal.)
Selective Optimization with Compensation Theory (3 of 3)
3. Compensation: special strategies that are used to compensate for tasks that are beyond the older adult's current performance potential. ( If things don't go well for you, be willing to let others help you. When things don't go the way they used to, search for other ways to achieve what you want.)
Self-Esteem in Late Adulthood
Declines due to deteriorating physical health and negative societal attitudes toward the elderly.
What individuals might become, what they would like to become, and what they are afraid of becoming.
--Hope related activities ----longer lifespan --A hoped for possible self --- more hope-related activities.
Self-Acceptance in Late Adulthood
Depends on whether the person is describing their past, present, future, or ideal selves.
Prejudice against other because of their age.
--Negative : incapable of thinking clearly, learning, contributing working --Discrimination: not hired, forced into retirement, shunned socially