Chapter 10/Middle adulthood
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Chapter 10/Middle adulthood
When does middle adulthood begin?
Middle age is from 40-65, but it can be characterized as a transition period that focuses on a redirection of goals
Erickson's theory of generativity vs. stagnation: what is generativity?
Reaching out for others in ways that give to and guide the next generation.
Commitment extends beyond self
Typically realized thru child rearing
Other family, work relationships also generative
Erickson's theory of generativity vs. stagnation: what is stagnation?
Place own comfort and security above challenge and sacrifice
Self-centered, self-indulgent, self-absorbed
Lack of involvement or concern with young people
Little interest in work productivity, self-improvement
What is Levinson's middle adult season?
Midlife transition (40-45) sense of time running out, evaluate early adulthood, make drastic changes or small changes.
Entry Life Structure (45-50)
Age 50 transition (50-55), smaller changes than with 40 making 50 easier
culminating life structure (55-60)
What are Levinson's four tasks of middle adulthood?
Young-old - find new ways of being both young and old
destruction-construction - acknowledge past destructiveness, try to create products of value
Masculinity-femininity - balance masculine and feminine parts of self
engagement-separateness - balance involvement with external world and seperateness from it.
Vaillant's view of midlife?
Keepers of meaning
-guardians of culture
-adults in 40s and 50s carry responsibility for functioning of society
"passing the torch" becomes important
-focus on longer-term goals
-Prevents too rapid changes
What are the masculine themes of midlife?
Anguish over mortality - freak out on "0" bdays
Inadequacy of ones achievements
Feminine themes of midlife
Empty nest syndrome - when the kids leave what to do and who are you.... my husband?
Menapause/loss of childbearing ability - get a dog
Climacteric and Menopause: Gradual end of fertility is.
from the late 30's to the late 50s
Menopause follows a 10 year climacteric
Age range extends from the late 30s to late 50s
Climacteric and Menopause: Drop in estrogen is.
loss of sexual function
shorter monthly cycles which eventually stop
can cause a host of physical problems
What are the symptoms of menopause?
hot flashes, night sweats, sexual problems
What problems are not linked to menopause?
irratibility, sleep difficulties, depression
What are the benefits of hormone therapy in menopause?
reduce hot flashes and vaginal dryness, may help mood, bone benefits
What are the risks of hormone therapy with menopause?
heart attach, stroke, blood clots, cancer, cognitive declines - Alzheimer's
What are the alternatives for menopause treatment?
Gabapentin for hot flashes
What changes occur in the male reproductive systems?
reduced sperm and semen after 40
Gradual testosterone reduction - sexual activity stimulates production
erection problems - frequent problems may be linked to anxiety, diseases, injury, loss of interest (viagra)
How is sex effected my middle age?
Slight drop in frequency among married couples - pattern continues from early adulthood, more sex in good marriages.
Intensity of response declines - slower arousal due to climacteric
Sex is still important and enjoyable to most
What are the vision changes in middle adulthood?
Presbyobia "old man eyes" - problem reading small print, bifocals if nearsighted
diffucilities in dim light
reduced color discrimination
glaucoma risk (internal pressure)
What are the hearing changes in middle adulthood?
Presbycusis "old hearing" - earliest, most loss in high frequencies
Gender, cultural differences (men lose more hearing from working in loud environments)
Hearing aids can help
What are the facial features that change with middle age?
wrinkles in the forehead starting in the 30s
crows feet in the 40s
sagging arms, face and legs
age spots after 50
(happens faster with sun exposure for women)
What happens to the body in middle adulthood?
Middle-age spread common
-fat gain in torso
: upper abdomen & back
: waist & upper arms
Very gradual muscle decline
Can be avoided by
-low-fat diets with fruits, veggies, and grains
-Exercise & resistance training
What is the double standard of aging?
As men get older they get better looking.
As women get older the do not.
Older men are rated more positively, and women more negatively
What is the leading killers of middle adulthood?
Cancer and Cardiovascular disease
What are the most popular cancers among men?
Prostate cancer and lung cancer
What are the most popular cancers among women?
Lung cancer and breast cancer
How do you reduce cancers?
get regular check-ups and screenings
weigh risks of hormone therapy
avoid tobacco, too much sun, unnecessary x-rays, industrial chemicals and pollutants
What are the preventable serious health risks?
Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and early onset dementia
How do you reduce the risk of a heart attack?
treat high blood pressure
maintain ideal weight
Occasional wine or beer
reduced hostility and stress
How do you prevent and treat osteoporosis?
-Avoid too much alcohol
Weight bearing exercises
: Bone-strengthening medications
What are stressors?
ANYTHING that affects the central nervous system
What are the 2 types of stressors?
: Good stress
: Bad stress
What is a personality?
Personality: The way an individual deals with stressors
What are type A personalities?
Driven with hostility, button-pushers, people are blocking my way
heart attack and stroke
What are type B personalities?
obesity and diabetes
What are type C personalities?
Not natural: Type A without the hostility
most likely to recover
What are type D personalities?
Negative affectivity (emotion)
Social inhibition (wall flowers)
Die most often
What is psychosomatic Illness?
When your mind makes your body sick
STRESSORS + PERSONALITY TYPE =
HEALTH OR SICKNESS
What is the cognitive development of middle adulthood?
•People have a tendency to perceive a declinein intellectual functioning and memory, which they attributeto age.
•Processing speed DOES decline with age, but usually not rapidly or severely.
•Older adults DO have more trouble with attention during multitasking or tasks that involve multiple senses (trying to read with the TV on).
•Middle adulthood is not the END of cognitive excellence but the BEGINNING of wisdom.
•Young adults may have facts that they can more readily access, but NO experience.
What is a midlife crisis?
-Men - changes in early 40s
-Women - late 40s-50s
sharp disruption is uncommon
differences in handling regrets
What are the coping improvements in middle adulthood?
Postponing action during evaluation
Anticipation and planning
Integrating strengths and weaknesses
What is gender identity in middle adulthood?
: increase in masculinity traits
: increase in feminine traits
: 1) parental imperative
2) decline in sex hormones
3) demands of midlife
What is parenting in middle adulthood? launching - culminates "letting go" process.
Decline in parental authority... let them take control of their lives.
Continued contact, support your children - emotionally and financially.
Adjusting to in-laws - "kinkeepers"
What is grandparenthood?
Become grandparents anverage late 40s - can spend 1/3 of your life as grandparents
highly meaningful to most
grandparenting styles vary
: geography, age, gender, SES, ethnicity are factors.
Trends in grandparenting
: raising grandchildren, coping with divorce of grandchildren's parents
What is the sandwich generation?
Caring for aging parents
: Highly stressful and averages about 20 hours a week and often starts sudden, duration uncertain. work and costs increase, hard to witness parents decline, support needed.
Caring for children/returning adult children/grandchildren
: highly stressful - not sure where to draw the boundaries, generations differences in parenting.
What is career development in middle adulthood?
Limits to advancement
: training/glass ceiling
Midlife career changes
: few, not usually drastic, often more relaxing career.
: middle age and older most affected by downsizing, more stressful than for younger adults
What is a burnout and what is it linked to?
Burnout results of long-term job stress
: overload, common in helping professionals.
: mental exhaustion, attention, memory problems, loss of personal control, depression, physical illness, reduced sense of accomplishment, poor performance, absenteeism, turnover