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Antagonostic Pleiotropy Theory
- One single gene has multiple effects
- (antagonistic means go against each other)
- A single gene can have 2 affects – both bad and good affect.
- it is a Trade off
- Some genes have positive effect in early life, but later in life it becomes harmful
- ex. testosterone gene Promotes reproduction in males in early life (+) Cures injury faster (+), but in Later age it causes prostate cancer (-)
- A beneficial gene will be selected early in life, even if it has adverse effects later on
Mutation Accumulation Theory
- Accumulated at later age
- Leads to harmful genes selected against through natural selection
- If a harmful gene is expressed early in life it is relatively selected against.
- If the harmful gene starts to be evident after a person already reproduced it is considered a late acting detrimental mutation and therefore is more likely to stay in the gene pool and be passed on to next generation
- example: huntingtons disease – expressed between 35-45; by this time many individuals already reproduced.
- So this disease already passed onto next generation.
- That’s why it has not been eliminated and stays in gene pool
Disposable Soma Theory
Senescence is a result of the accumulation of somatic defects bc body cant??????? But gestating and women? No evidence that gestating women have less system for maintaining and repairing cells Males and females????? Caloric Restriction mice experiment Lifespan of CR of mice….survival of mice with restricted calorie lived longer CR prolongs life, but lowers energy, but the longer calorie is restricted then reproduction stops…CR is effective in prolonging life
- How humans allocate energy into certain categories
- Energy is allocated into reproduction, cell maintenance (and repair), and metabolism
- In order for us to live metabolism is taken for granted
- Instead, we divide energy between reproduction and maintenance
- How much organisms should invest in maintenance and repair? They take a look at How long humans lived in ancestral environment
- Ideal Survival Curve is about 115-120 y/o
- Survival curve chart:
- Stone age: death before 45
- Bronze: death before 65??????
- If 90% of us die by the age 50, there is little advantage for prolonging long life.
- Not worth wasting maintenance and repair energy
- Organisms have evolved…. Good repair and maintenance only for the reasonable chance of survival
- good for only about 50 years
- So instead of using this energy for repair and maintenance…spare resources should be used in reproduction
Cognitive aging deals with:
- Learning (memory & retrieval)
the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience
(Def - I - HAS)
the ability to solve new problems, use logic in new situations, and identify patterns
- inductive reasoning
- how quickly you can reason
- abstract thinking
- speed of processing spatial perception
ability to use learned knowledge and experience
- acquired through learning
- (Verbal meaning, word association, social judgment, number skills)
Methodological issues for measuring old peoples intelligence
- questions if the research or test is designed for old people, and is it based on their knowledge?
- Background and experience vary between young and old generations.
- therefore exact questions could not really be given to both generations.
- cross sectional research is easier than longitudinal because its don't just once.
- longitudinal research is preferred. However drop out rate is high because of death and not likely to do well, anxiety issues.
Methodological issues based on culture
- people age differently from culture to culture. in some societies
- intelligence is based on practical issues or problems.
- Practical intelligence is not really abstract thinking and is correlated with
- fluid or crystallized abilities, but not all the time because sometimes it goes against.
- ex. Kenya: fluid and crystallized tests were given to grade school students. Researchers wanted to know how much knowledge the children knew about herbal medicine. In their society there was no statistical correlation between practical and fluid intelligence. Negative correlation between vocabulary and practical intelligence. Each sociocultural and physical environment is different.
Conception of intelligence in the united states, Taiwan, and Kenya or zambia:
- US: Practical problem solving, verbal ability and social competence
- Taiwan: in addition to US they prefer self assertion and self effacement - showing how smart they are and when to show off this ability
- Kenya: emphasize responsibilities and cooperatives. Rural Kenya = how to handle real life problems, knowledge, skills, respect
The Seattle Longitudinal Studies
- Famous study done in the mid 1900's
- followed same people and randomly recruit people every 7 years
- Fluid ability declines earlier than crystal ability
- gender difference: female fluid ability goes down earlier than men. Female crystallized ability is longer than male.
- researchers looked at if Educational intervention made a difference.
- they concluded that there was a decline, which is likely to be a function of disuse.
- People who recieved educational intervention 2/3 actually improved and some returned to predecline level. It shows that it is important to keep using our brain.
Possible influencing factors to declining old age intelligence
- biological - no matter what we do age is inevitable. Its really difficult to determine biological influence especially brain structure.
- education, occupation, and or hobbies- people with higher education have less decline in intelligence
- physical health and sensory loses - cardiovasuale problems, hypertenion, nutrition, depression, hearing and visual loss
new information or skills are put into memory so that it can be retrieved or used later
- 3 types of memory
- 1. sensory memory - memory comes from senses. attention to things come due to sensory and association.
- 2. short term memory - key to coding and storing in long term memory; AKA working memory, temporary stage, between 5-9 chunks of information stored here for about 20 seconds. Rehearsal can prolong storage for longer time. Short term memory decline with old age.
- 3. long term memory - elaboration and coding.
draw information processing model
how things are retrieved
- 1. Recall:
- free recall: listing ex. capitals and states. most difficult for old people.
- cued: provide some kind of hint.
2. recognition: multiple choice given
age related deficiencies for retrieval
retroactive vs. proactive theory
retroactive: new information inhibits retrieval for old memory
proactive: old information inhibits new information
Cross cultural difference in learning:
Study in Canada
between Anglo and Chinese Canadians
- divided 2 groups into younger and older
- provided memory tests to each group
- Age is a strong indicator of memory ability for both groups
- Cultural image of old people is not significant between the 2 groups
- intercultural difference between both Cultures: Overall Memory:not signficant.
- visual reproduction: the Chinese/Canadian older adults outperformed the anglo Canadians due their use of chinese characters.
What and When of Cognitive Aging
article talked about the general assumptions of age effects on cognitive functioning and that it is small, limited to memory, happens only late in adulthood, and only affects some people.
4 aspects of cognitive functions were used to test: vocab, memory, speech, and reasoning
- 6 findings important to the study
- - knowledge accumulated with age in vocabulary test
- - similar pattern for speed, reasoning, and memory
- - fairly large age effect
- – Linear relations between age and SRM; suggests that Retirement or menopause is not influencing cogntive ability
- - Age related effects decline before age 50
- - Age related declines not accompanied by increases in between person variability or individual difference.
there aren't really negative consequences of the age related decline because we aren't using our maximum level of cognition in daily life. Motivation, persistence, and personality could hinder some decline as well as experience and knowledge.
- claims that it is natural and acceptable for older adults to withdraw from society because aging is inevitable.
- Societies need for transforming power from old generation to young generation
- Disengagement is considered an adaptive behavior
- Social desirability and how society thinks a good person is, is institutionalized by retirement
- results in decreased interaction between the aging person and others in the network he/she belongs to, less active interactions, and passive roles.
- Limitations of Disengagement theory
- Elderly roles of prestige and power goes up in some societies
- Many remain active – “successful aging”
- This brings up the question: is withdrawal of old people necessarily good for society? Sometimes it is not because we may need their knowledge and skills.
Great Grandparenthood in Urban Japan
(What are roles of great-grandparents in Japan?)
- Japan known for longevity
- prolonged grand old age after WWII
Cultural ideals for old age and reality in Contemporary Japan
- First privileged period is childhood
- Old age is the second privileged period
- old age dependency is accepted and individuals are cared for and honored by family members
Confucianism influence of old age in Japan
- Benevolent leadership of parent and willing obedience of child
- Ethic of filial piety and repaying one’s obligation to parents - parents provide so much support and now its time for children to pay
- The Meiji era civic code (1898) – codified filial piety into law, but abolished at the end of WWII
- Amae dependency AKA as indulgent dependency or legitimized dependency
- This means the Desire or expectation of someone to take care of you ex. a young child depending on its mother
- Old individuals are allowed to have amae dependency to some extent. Once you become old you can expect for adult children to “actively nurture” you and then aging parents can be “passive” in their needs
- Amae dependency is a lifelong reciprocal relationship where the roles become reversed.
- Amae dependency is backed up by confucionism concept where old people are allowed to be dependent on their children
- But Meiwaku meaning undue/excessive burden should be avoided
- both parents and children in japan know about this and if dependency becomes too much meiwaku should be avoided.
- As physical and/or mental abilities decline a “swift” or sudden desire for death is common
- a peaceful and timely death before physical or mental decline is preferred and actually prayed upon in temples so that family members do not have to take care of you for so long.
- Meiwaku is related to high elderly suicide in japan
- there is a strong cultural belief of knowing when to leave the world before becoming too much of a burden.
what is the difference between US and Japan old age dependency
- not acceptable to depend on children
- seek services rather than family
- independence is more desired
- interdependence is desired
Traditional ie (family) system in Japan
- stem family model is practiced
- Vertical lineage continued through the eldest son
- eldest son (patrilocal practice) responsible for taking care of elderly parents
- second son neolocal living arrangements done
- gender division of labor is important because daughter in law also takes care of welfare of elderly in laws.
- taking care of parents in old age is guaranteed
- Ie system was abolished by law, but still survives
However, its not always the case that eldest son takes care of aging family. In the case of all born daughters, the first born daughter will bring in a husband and he will change his surname in order to carry on the family line.
Intergenerational co-residence even though abolished by law it is still a popular japanese expectation that “the elderly are happiest residing within a family.”
Elderly living alone are considered to be lonely or abandoned.
Recent trend happening where 2 separate residences on the property reside. It is divided to where aging parent lives on one side and children on the other.
life stage transitions in Japan
- roles, expectations, and obligations change as you go through the life stages
- once you become an adult female you become a young wife, then a mother that takes care of the family.
as a grandmother or mother in law you Care for grandchildren, run the household, work Part time job as needed, have social participation, Authority, and freedom
Advanced old age individual is not responsible for former duties and there is a Decline in social participation due to health status
Oldest Old in Japan
- The vast majority reside with family
- Able to get around with minor assistance
- Families not neglectful But some still feel isolated and depressed because they feel like they have no purposeful roles in/outside the family, House structure and pace of lives have changed, Difference in norms and values, Family members work outside, and the theme of meiwaku avoidance applies to their isolation and depression
- Why dont odl age individuals go outside? the people that are taking care of them are also old. Family care givers discourage oldest old to go outside. Current programs and policies in japan are lacking. No expectations for meaningful domestic or social participation.
- Does disengagement explain this theory in japan? Explain?
- Disengagement theory says that withdrawal is good for society and the individual therefore it does not explain this theory in japan.
Institutional powerlessness in context: The static and dynamic nature of women's status in rural Bangladesh
- primary study was about how mothers in law influence daughters in law contraceptive behaviors
- simultaneous interviewing was done for daughter in law and mother in law in order to seperate influence of daughter in law response from mother in laws power
- Cultural values and norms in bangladesh:
- young daughter in law do not have much power in household
- power goes up in middle age
- then goes down in old age
- Strict division of labor based on gender - men generate income outside and women take care of labor in the household, which means women have to be dependent on men.
- purdah is a social institution that expects young women to be invisible and submissive and discourages young women to voice their opinions. Purdah minimizes women's mobility. As you get old purdah is not strictly observed.
- Status is established by being a good mother and wife
Recent changes: birth control is contributing to young wifes power influence because of their ability to provide sons.
- old age security is dependent on child Son preference because of son's ability to become income generator. Young wife gains power by bearing sons.
- Power relationship and resources for Young wife is not that strong because she lacks experience and knowledge. Transition to middle age gains status especially over daughter in laws. Old age status declines because they don’t contribute to the household
Social Exchange Theory
(interaction decrease, fewer resources, investment and returns, maximize and minimize, material and nonmaterial power resources, not attractive, comply, withdraw, isolate)
theory that explains why the interaction
between the old and the young decreases,
which is because older people have fewer resources
to bring to the exchange.
between individuals is based on "investments and returns"
and that people seek to maximize
their rewards from these exchanges and minimize
If the relationship brings rewards
then it is worth investing and trying to maintain
. If there are fewer benefits
then there is no investment and the individual does not mind terminating
Many interactions are based on unbalanced Material or non material
power resources between dominate and subordinates.
- older people have fewer power resources, which cause people to not be
- attracted to them. Therefore, old people comply, withdraw, or isolate
- their relationships.
- (power resources can be material and nonmaterial resources:
ex. in bangladesh, a woman secures her power by providing sons, through this social insitution other people respect her.
(SOG - Traditional Vs. Modern - CHROM)
- Status of old people decline as society is modernized
- Old people not used as resource anymore
- Gap between older and younger generation
Traditional Vs. Modernized Societies
- Traditional kin based societySkills/knowledge, property rights, political power, and meaningful services tend to be more valued
- Capitalism, mobility, and urbanization
- You have to be mobile
- if you cant sell your labor in the market you dont have much opportunity
- there's Social and geographic distance between young and old
- Ideology of nuclear family and autonomy emerges because of mobility
- Health technology
- People likely to live longer
- Population increase, which means more competition for jobs and resources
- Intergenerational competition, which leads to old people to retire
- Causes Reduction in income, prestige, and honor
- Youth end up symbolizing progress and glory
- Rapid development of new technologies means:
- Younger people learn faster than older people
- Old people skills and knowledge not as valued = devaluing old knowledge
- Leads to new types of job
- therefore, new occupation more likely to be prestigious and go to young people
- Occupational Specialization
- less need for services from elderly
- Mass education system
- knowledge and education No longer from parents/grandparents
- Knowledge of the young more likely to be valued and updated by young people
Bena Bena Study in Ganaga
Pre contact Ganaga:
Subsistence based on Horticulture, animal husbandry (pig herds), regional trade, and tribal warfare
Division of labor: women are responsible for horticulture and animal husbandry. Men involved in trade and warfare. Interdependence of men and women with animal husbandry.
Gender ideology Women described as weak, wild, and threatening because of their menstruation and child birthing fluid are considered as polluting power. Men described as intelligent, strong, and single minded.
Younger women Prior to marriage help mothers with animal husbandry and household duties. They get married and move to patrilocal location. First weeks to 2 years the young wife lives with her mother in law and is instructed by her. Finally, cohabitation with husband begins after time with mother in law. Then, complementary tasks in production, reproduction, and exchange happens. Young women can never attend male initiation rituals.
middle to old age women who have gone through menopause are considered full social adults. Successful role performance in household power is increasing because they have daughters to control. Women can be involved in extra domestic affairs and education because they don’t pollute men anymore. organize first menstruation events and teach cleansing procedures. Can teach manipulation of polluting power.
old women withdraw from these activities and are well taken care of.
recent changes: in 1980s the society switched to coffee producing peasants (mens job), school and health facility established, and market income-earning: “bisnis” established – highly valued activity for women. household primary responsibility have stayed the same which means increased workload for women. concept of female pollution and taboos is kept in tact.
younger women under new conditions get educated, first menstration celebration is continued, but not a big deal. older women no longer have control over educating young females, but have greater access to extra domestic roles.
How aging generation reciprocate exchange between tangible and intangible resources
- Tangible aid: ex. cash, money material
- Intangible: service (instrumental) (Non instrumental) appreciation, affection, advice, information
- 3 types of reciprocity: differs between cultures
- generalized: you don’t expect anything; ex. parental provision; done with close relationship; hunting gathering society sharing meat
- balanced: give and expect something back; establish and maintain good relationship
- negative: get as much as possible without paying ex. stealing
Symmetrical Exchange Rule
- Must be of the same Type (tangible/intangible, service, or psychological)value has to be the samehas to be in a timely manner
- if you cannot do this it disturbs the stable relationship
American Family Intergenerational Reciprocity
- Elderly often unwilling to accept the support offered by their adult children
- Strong concept of independence and autonomy
- inability to reciprocate can lead to emotional distress of debt because they are no longer independent
- Symmetrical exchange rule applies
Japanese family Intergenerational Reciprocity
- Asymmetric reciprocity with family members
- Note: nonfamily members – symmetrical exchange rule applies
- Married daughters (vs. d in law)
- wife-dil: Asymmetrical rules apply (unbalanced exchange)
- W-married daughter: symetrical exchange
- Repayment by an expressive resource:
- Material resource repayment is considered rude among close family members
- Diffuse and lacking in specificity
- Sometimes repayment done via third party
- via grandchildren to repay the devoted services of a dinlaw
- Someone is always in debt
- Long term indirect exchange
- ex. occasionally give my grandchildren extra money to appreciate dil diligent work
- service help from d in law = appreciation and praise by MIL.
- MIL spread the word about being an ideal ‘yome’ (dinlaw)
- recent changes
- older persons living independently or living with adult daughters
- diligent yome no longer the ideal and not very valuable anymore
- expressive resource losing its own value
- old people are now healthier and financially better off now they can repay
Case Study In Rural Ghana
- Limited development
- People are poor
- Trading and farming is the main economic activity
- Money-mindedness is a favorite topic of conversation. People try to show off wealth. Talking about money is very cultural in Ghana.
- life is difficult without money becuase it is needed for food, education, etc.
- Money is used for social interactions ex. giving money is a way of paying respect or a sign of love.
- Respect is the reward for a successful life, but does not come automatically for elders.
Gaining respect as an elder comes by building a house.Not having ones own house means being a failure. Providing children with education is considered successful and respectful. Prosperity of children depends on success of parents. Therefore, Children will respect and help their parents if they did their job of providing good education and well being.
Reciprocity is not automatic Respect is shown by money and gifts. If there is respect, care will be provided to older adults. If you want respect then you must invest in children first.
Family caregiving for elderly: !kung community in the Kalahari Desert
- 30 yrs ago kung were hunter gatherer society
- Today: sedentary, raising livestock and gardening
- Few differences in the occupations
- Little schooling, sporadic wage work
- Most young remain in the area
- Small village - almost all related: Ties of kinship and marriage
- Intimacy of village life:
- Close social interaction Based on kinship
- Houses (neolocal) easy calling distance; neither walls nor solid fences
- Sharing of foods between household is common
- flow of people in full view of everyone else
Core values for all ages: Enough to eat, good physical health, and good relations with kin is important
Full personhood requires mental and physical capabilities to support oneself. Interdependence is valued.
Old age is understood as very negative - there is nothing good about it! Physical decline means loss of ability to be independent. Interdependence is a fact of life. Difficulty in doing basic tasks must seek help from kin.
Earliest sign for need for care: decreasing physical stamina, not reluctant to express needs, subtle transition of gradual change, Elders receive care from kin in familiar surroundings and in tough events, Care usually comes from children, nephews or nieces. If not available other people will take care of aging individuals.
Culture and Meaning of a Good Old Age
- Project AGE major Goals:
- Interviewed different communities to cross culturally compare their experiences of aging and well being.
- focused on oldest old age group
- Sites studies:
- Africa: Jo’hoansi & Herero
- Ireland: Clifdon and Blessington (provide state welfare )
- US: Momence (Blue collar) and Swarthmore (upper/middle class) (provide state welfare)
- Asia: Hongkong
- * Ireland could not ask these kinds of questions because they were not comfortable talking about their neighbors
- 4 major issues focused on:
- physical health and functioning
- material security
- Physical Factors:
- important for all sites
- Physical difficulties – a major defining feature of a poor old age between Africa and US.
- Africa – Physical strength needed to survive; physical incapacity threatens adult status and survival
- US – daily activities do not require full physical capacities. Physical incapacity can be compensated with technology and medicine.
- Material Security:
- Broader and inclusive use of the term needed to be defined
- Africa Vs. Ireland and U.S
- Food/hunger Vs. Pension, benefits, and money
- Differences across sites:
- Africa: The primary definition of a good old age is having enough to eat
- Ireland and US: Less emphasis because social welfare is provided for, but Momence emphasized more then Ireland and Swarthmore because they are blue collar community.
- Family and Kinship
- Matrilineal = herero
- Bilateral = US & Ireland
- Patrilineal Stem = Hong kong
- Contribution to a good old age = physical and material support = Africa
- Social relationships = U.S
- Filial Piety = Hongkong
- Jo;’hoansi, Hongkong, Herero more likely to say that family Issues are central to aging-well, becuase Physical and material support is provided by kin.
- In US & Ireland Families are less available
- Socially positive qualities
- Ireland: Relaxed
- US: Active, visible, and strength
- Hongkong: open minded and tolerant
- Africa: Sociality is not important for Jo’hoansi and Herero
- but so important for U.S because there is Little life beyond families. Kin based cooperation is taken for granted in US. The majority of people in one’s social world are not relatives.