Essay on Life Span Eassy

Submitted By sera7262
Words: 1505
Pages: 7

Life Span Development in Middle Adulthood

Middle adulthood is a period of age that is between forty years to about sixty years. It is expressed over three domains which is physical, cognitive and social. It is the time where people are able to assess their roles and reflect on their future goals. They become more responsible and try to pass something useful to the next generation. People also become aware of time and make generalization for the future form the past experiences. (Theis & Travers, 2009) Erik Erikson was one theorist who looked at middle adulthood very closely. He observed that middle-age is when people engage themselves with important activities that relates to the matter of their family. It is associated with effective child caring and transmission of values of their culture to the children. This leads to the establishment of a stable environment. Erickson referred this as a stage of generativity where guidance is given to the coming generation for the improvement of society. Feelings of stagnation are built amongst people who are not able to help the society to move forward. Thus dissatisfaction with lack of productivity is faced. (Berk, 2007)

One of the important aspects of middle adulthood is physical change. It is the continuation of gradual changes of early adulthood. Physical changes are evident in the slight wrinkling of the face, thinning hair, and fuller body. There are many physical changes that occur of which selected few are discussed. As age goes past the vision becomes poor. Thus people have difficulty in making out signs and moving objects especially during driving at night where they are disrupted by bright light source. Also the bones lose mineral content and become more porous which causes the loss of bone mass and bone strength. This causes the spinal column to collapse and the height of person decreases. The weakened bone also fractures easily and takes more time to heal. Moreover, skin loses it elasticity which causes wrinkles and age spots especially in women and people exposed to sun. The muscle mass decreases and fat deposits within body cavity increases. Men and women have different pattern of fat distribution. Large weight gain leads to loss of muscle power. (Berk, 2007)

Cognitive changes refers to the changes in thinking, typically described as being efficient, creative and comprehensive in major events of life. Cognitive changes refer to the changes in mental abilities that consist of crystallized intelligence and fluid intelligence. Crystallized intelligence depends on accumulated knowledge and experience. It gains gradually through middle adulthood. On the other hand fluid intelligence depends more on basic information processing skills which declines with age. Fluid factors such as spatial orientation, numeric ability and perceptual speed decreases. This affects many well- practiced performances. The speed of processing information decreases with age. This makes it harder to focus on relevant information and switch from one task to another. Age also causes middle age to recall less compared to younger adult. They have slower rate of thinking and it takes time for them to retrieve information. Thus the performance decreases with age. They are good in solving problems that are structured and organized. They put more emphasis on thinking through practical problem and are rational decision makers. (Berk, 2007)

Social change is the change in the cultural symbols, rules of behaviour, social organization or value systems. By middle adulthood, people focus more on personal meaningful living. They become well adjusted with low depression, high self acceptance and have life satisfaction. They feel positive about themselves and they acknowledge and accept both their good and bad qualities. Also they see themselves as capable of doing complex task easily and effectively. The five big personality traits such as neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness,