Ch.15 Physical and Cognitive Development in Middle Adulthood
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Physical changes in Middle Adulthood
gradual changes that began in early adulthood continue in midlife. There is less emphasis on hoped-for gains and more on feared declines
Presbyopia - Vision
Presbyopia-around age 60 the lens loses its capacity to adjust to objects at varying distances entirely. aka old eyes.
Glaucoma - Vision
- Middle aged adults are at increased risk of glaucoma. It is a disease in which poor fluid drainage leads to a build up of pressure w/in the eye, damaging nerve.
- -after age 40 risk increases
Presbycusis - Hearing
- -hearing loss. Age related hearing condition. aka "old hearing"
- -more rapid for men
Skin layers (3)
- 1. the epidermis - outer protective layer, new cells constantly produced.
- 2. dermis - middle supportive layer, connective tissue stretches and bounces back.
- 3. hypodermis - an inner fatt layer that adds to the soft lines and shape of skin.
Skin as we age
skin wrinkles, loosens, dries, and starts to develop age spots especially in women and in people exposed to sun
Muscle mass and fat
- -muscle mass declines and fat deposits increase.
- -noticable sex differences in fat distribution
- -declines in both sexes but to a greater extent in women, especially after menopause.
- -height loss and bone fractures can result.
- -occurs gradually over a 10 yr period as estrogen drops.
- -climacteric concludes with menopause.
- successful in reducing the discomforts of menopause.
- -remains controversial due to risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and cognitive declines.
- -biocultural event affected by societal beliefs and practices as well as hormone changes.
- -phsyical and psychological changes vary widely
Men reproductive changes in Middle adulthood
- -sperm is continued throughout life but decreases after 40.
- -erections are harder to maintain
Sexuality in MA (middle adulthood)
- -sex activity among married couples decreases slightly but is associated with marital happiness.
- -intensity of sexual response declines more due to physical changes of the climacteric.
- -the death rate increases tenfold from early to middle adulthood.
- -an interaction btwn heredity, biological aging, and environment contribute to cancer.
- -40% are cured
cardiovascular disease in MA
- -although it has declined in recent decades it still is major cause of death in MA, especially among men.
- -symptoms are high blood pressure, heart attack, high cholesterol.
- -affects most postmenopausal women.
- -calcium, vit D help
Type A behavior pattern
- -expressed hostility with heart disease and other health problems.
- -expressed hostility is a component of the type a behavior pattern that predicts heart disease and other health problems.
- -largely due to physiological arousal associated w anger.
- -anger suppression is related to health problems.
coping with stress in MA
- - people cope better in ma
- -exercise really helps
- -made up of 3 personal qualities, control, commitment, and challenge.
- -helps people cope with stress adaptively.
Double standard of aging in MA
- -although neg. stereotypes of aging discourage both male and females, middle aged women are looked at more unfavorably. especially by men.
- -studies show the double standard is declining as both genders view middle age more positively.
Schaie's Seattle Longitudinal Study
-using a sequential design, Schaie found taht the cross sectional steep drop off of Intelligence was largely resulted from cohort affects as each new generation experienced better health and education.
- -accumulated knowledge and experience.
- -gains steadily thru mid adhood
- -depends on basic information and processing skills.
- -contrast to crystallized it starts declining in the 20s
intellectual development in Ma
- -multidimensional, multidirectional, and plastic.
- -illness and bad environments are linked to iq declines.
- -stimulating occupations and leisure pursuits, lasting marriages, good health predict favorable cog development.
Neural network view
-as neurons in the brain die, breaks in neural networks occur. the brain adapts by forming bypasses (new synaptic connections)
information loss view
suggests older adults experience greater loss of info as it moves thru the cog system. as a result, the whole system must slow down to inspect and interpret info.
- -speed of cog processing slows with age, a change explained by neural network view or info loss view.
- -as reaction time slows people perform less.
- -cog inhibition becomes more difficult
Memory in MA
- -retain less in ma largely due to a decline in use of memory strategies.
- -training can help
Practical problem solving, creativity, and expertise in MA
- -MA adults often become good at practical problem solving largely due to development of expertise.
- -in MA creativity becomes more deliberate. also shifts to more altruistic goals.
Vocational life and cog development
-all ages and cultures, the relationshop btwn vocational life and cog development is reciprocal.
adults returning to college
- -majority are women motivated by life transitions.
- -have to cope with lack of recent practice at academic work, stereotypes of age, and multiple roles.
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