study notes Essay

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Chapter 13 physical and cognitive development in middle adulthood
Middle adulthood = 40 to 60 years
A.) Senescence: decline caused by aging
B.) Changes in appearance
Wrinkles and age spots
Grey hair
Baldness
Weight gain – metabolism slows down
C.) Joint stiffness
D.) Loss of bone mass
Lose height
Bent over look
Osteoporosis: disease marked by severe loss of bone mass; leads to fractures and stooped appearance
More common in women than men
Sarcopenia: age related loss of muscle mass and strength
E.) Reproductive Changes
Climacteric: Midlife transition in which fertility declines
1.) For women, major biological change
Menopause: Menstruation becomes irregular and stops (average age = 51 years)
Dramatic drop in estrogen
Symptoms: hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, difficulty sleeping, headaches, rapid heartbeat, nausea
Estrogen hormone replacement therapy to stop menopause symptoms, but linked with stroke, cancer, and cardiovascular disease
2.) For men, changes less dramatic
Maintain ability to have children, though fertility declines with age
Prostate problems, including cancer, become increasingly common
Some experience decline in testosterone
F.) sex after 45
It gets better but it happens



Cognitive Development
A.) Middle age is relatively quiet period
B.) Crystalized intelligence continues to increase (accumulated information)
C.) Develop high-level skills
-expertise
-flexibility
-practical problem solving
D.) fluid intelligence declines (abstract reasoning)
E.) when do cognitive abilities begin to decline?
Seattle project (Schiae, 2011)
1956: 22-70 years old given variety of cognitive measures (N=500)
Followed longitudinally
New samples added later (N=5,000)
Data span 50 years
Modest gains into 50’s, then gradual decline
However, cross sectional data show step declines beginning in late 40s and early 50s and continuing through old age
Why difference? Cohort effects
They didn’t go to school as often as we did, not enough books, their lives were different
Religion and meaning in life
70% of U.S middle adults said religion is important
Large increase in spirituality across adult years
Faith involvement and commitment related to better psychical and mental health for adults
What is the meaning of life?
Spirituality, freedom, responsibility
Chapter 14 Socio-emotional Development in middle adulthood
I. Personality
A.) Is personality stable?
Yes: Big 5 factors (OCEAN) stable across adulthood
Openness, Consciousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism
Priorities often change during midlife
Generativity: helping others to ensure continuation of society (versus stagnation in Erickson’s theory) Stagnation: not striving for anything
B.) What about midlife crisis?
Most people in U.S. believe they will have a midlife crisis
How common is this experience?
Research fails to support idea that midlife crisis is common experience
Unique challenges in midlife, including re-evaluation of self
Most people deal with challenges and don’t face a true crisis
Valiant research: uses early and middle adult data to predict outcomes during later adulthood
11.) Family dynamics
A.) Parent-child relationships improve as children become young adults
Parents adjust well to “empty nest”
B.) Middle aged adults often involved in lives of children and parents
Sandwich generation: pulled from multiple directions
Daughters 3 times more likely to provide care for parents than are sons
Helping your parents out after they are too old: helping the kids and mom
C.) Becoming a grandparent
Generally happy to become grandparents
Roles vary greatly
Beneficial relationship for grandparents and grandchildren
111.) Interpreting midlife: building on experience
Raise family
Establish mean dos support
Respond to needs of aging parents
Force own health concerns
Deal with death of others