Psych 379 Lifespan Development
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PSY 379 Exam 4 Study Guide Ch. 15Physical & Cognitive Development in Middle Adulthood Cohort refers to a group of people who were born roughly at the same time, like a generation, but not the same! The main difference is that members of a generation share the same identity Cohort effects refers to the impact of pivotal historical and social events on an individual’s development. o Different cohorts experience different events (like the internet in our generation versus our parents) Interindividual variability variability between individuals include gender, race, socioeconomic status, this increases from young adulthood to middle adulthood. Intraindividual variability variability within a person in the ways that various aspects of development unfold also exists in middle adulthood o Different bodily systems and functions may change at different rates over time (losing hair, getting wrinkles…) Primary aging age related changes that result from inevitable, intrinsic processes. Secondary aging are other agerelated changes resulting from the accumulated effects of disease, bodily abuse, or environmental hazards. o We do have some sort of control over this aging (such as unsound health practicessmoking, alcoholism, excessive time in the sun) Changes in appearance, body build, mobility/strength, sensory systems, vital organ systems Height and weight undergo changes as well there is a loss of bone mass in the vertebrae causing a shortening of the spine contributes to the gradual shrinking of those in mid to late adulthood. Weight starts to gradually increase (inverse relationship!) Osteoporosis when one’s bones become “porous” and more brittle due to less calcium deposits in the bones bones are more susceptible for fractures. o Partially determined by genes, but people can reduce their risk by consuming foods that are high in calcium, ensuring sufficient vitamin D intake, and staying away from carbonated drinks. o Weight bearing exercises are important in order to keep your bones strong o 80% of people with osteoporosis are women (white and Asian more than African Americans) o This disease is particularly dangerous as falls start to increase in the aging Metabolic syndrome a cluster of risk factors that occur together (excess abdominal fat, elevated blood pressure, high levels of LDL (bad cholesterol), and low levels of HDL (good cholesterol).) o Being overweight increases the risk of Metabolic syndrome o LDL stands for Lowdensity lipoprotein (bad) o HDL stands for Highdensity lipoprotein (good) Beginning in middle adulthood, gradual agerelated declines in the musculoskeletal system begin to affect our speed, strength, and mobility. o Muscle loss occurs at a rate of 12% per year in someone who is 50 or older Sarcopenia the progressive agerelated loss of muscle mass and strength o Strength (resistance) training helps to reduce sarcopenia, even among elderly individuals. Cartilage starts to deteriorate over time, which increases the incidence of joint pain and stiffness obesity aggravates joint problems Presbyopiacommon changes in vision there Is a decline in the ability to focus on objects at a close distance o Basically the lenses in the eye become less elastic with age, which reduces their focusing power o There is also a decrease in pupil diameter, so less light gets to the retinas, so individuals require more lighting. Glaucoma condition that develops when fluid builds up in the eye, putting pressure on the blood vessels that deliver oxygen and nutrients to the optic nerve o If untreated the vessels could burst causing loss of peripheral vision, or even blindness. Hearing also becomes less sharp with age, beginning in middle adulthood. o The eardrum becomes less elastic, decreasing its sensitivity to sound. Presbycusis the most common form of hearing loss in middle adulthood. It is the decrease in ability to hear highpitched sounds. o Exposure to loud noise in adolescence and young adulthood can lead to elevated risk of hearing loss later in life Ateriosclerosis when the vessels become thick and stiff, sometimes restricting blood flow to the rest of your body. Atherosclerosis (type of arteriosclerosis) a process by which fatty deposits, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances build up over time in the inner lining of the main arteries the result of this build up is plaque o As plaque increases and hardens, blood flow is restricted by narrowing vessels making it harder for the heart to circulate blood, and results in hypertension (high blood pressure) If left untreated, hypertension can lead to damaged blood vessels and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. *heart attacks are more common in middle adulthood than in later adulthood* Fortunately, diet, exercise, stress management, and avoiding tobacco use can decrease one’s risk of developing hypertension, and thus decreases risk of heart attack and stroke. Lung capacity tends to decline gradually, beginning when people are in their 20’s or 30’s, and the respiratory muscles and lung tissue lose their ability to expand and contract efficiently. o Decline is faster in those who are obese, or smoke The bladder becomes less elastic, decreasing efficiency with which it retains or expels urine. o Prostates enlargement in older men, loss of control of urination is more in the elderly Menopause result of climacteric (gradual decrease in female hormones) the cessation of menstruation and the end of a women’s reproductive capacity. (cessation for 12 consecutive months) o Most common symptom is “hot flashes” o Bone loss and the risk of osteoporosis increase after menopause. o Linked to increases in LDL and decreases in HDL. Andropause first if all, androgens are the hormones responsible for the development of male sex characteristics. Therefore, andropause is the gradual decline on androgens in men. o Decline in the production of sperm Acute illness are illnesses that have rapid onset and short duration. They are communicable o Ex: flu or cold Chronic have a slow onset and long duration; some are potentially fatal, while others like arthritis cause discomfort but are not fatal. Chronic illness is also non communicable. o Ex: cancer, CVD, diabetes Influences on health o Genes the genes we inherit from our parents influence our risk of developing particular diseases. Some forms of heart disease and cancer have heredity component. o Behavior (cortisol and stress) although genes partly determine our risk of developing particular diseases, health behaviors and lifestyles generally play an even larger role. These behaviors include lack of exercise, poor diet, smoking, and drug or alcohol abuse. Other factors are lack of sleep and finding effective ways to fight stress Sleep serves as a restorative function, allowing for the body to repair itself, but many Americans get less sleep than they need. Chronic sleep deficits interfere with cognitive functioning, harm the immune system, and contribute to obesity. They also cause levels of the stress hormone cortisol to become elevated, which may have harmful effects o Environment these include unsafe working conditions to dangerous pesticides or other toxins in the environment. In some poor communities, inadequate living conditions and persistently high rates of crime, unemployment, and discrimination are chronic sources of stress that can erode health over time. They also might not have access to recreational places to keep healthy, or grocery stores. The environment can also help people stay healthy by offering parks and health food stores and such. Allostatic load accumulated wear and tear on bodily systems that results from having to adapt to stressors repeatedly. Type A personality is a stressprone personality type characterized by impatience, competitiveness, and easily angered. They seem to work at a breakneck pace, often juggling multiple tasks simultaneously. They can become hostile if they encounter obstacles to achieving their goals. Type B personality tend to be more patient, noncompetitive, and are less likely to get angry or hostile. They have less of a sense of urgency about accomplishing their goals, and they are less likely to take out their frustration on others if their goals prove difficult to obtain. Protective factors for health o Optimism helps people deal with adversity and is associated both with lower risk of heart disease and greater longevity. o Conscientiousness (tendency to be dependable, planful, and prudent) has also been linked to better health and greater longevity o Having a supportive social relationships helps buffer people from the harmful effects of stress and is associated with better cardiovascular and immune functioning. Close relationships not only provide comfort and aid in difficult times, but also help people relax, laugh, and enjoy companionship. Crystallized intelligence (pragmatics) refers to the ability to use knowledge and skills acquired through life experience and education. Also acquired through one’s culture o Increase until middle adulthood, and then it levels off. Fluid (mechanics) intelligence refers to the ability to solve novel problems, recognize patterns, and draw inferences in ways that do not require prior knowledge or experience. o Think of it as your raw brain power for processing, analyzing, and responding quickly to new information. Ex: Predicting the next letter in a pattern o Peaks in young adulthood, when functioning of the sensory nervous system peaks, then declines as agerelated declines in these systems occur. Implications for functioning reasons for why agerelated cognitive declines do not have more noticeable negative consequences o Cognitive ability is not the only factor that determines how well people function in everyday life; motivation, effort, and personality characteristics play a role too o Most everyday situations do not require people to perform at their maximum level of cognitive functioning; in many instances, a moderate level of functioning is sufficient o People often adapt to declining abilities by modifying their activities and ways of performing tasks. o As people require more experience and expertise with age, they may have less need for the kind of novel problemsolving ability that declines with age. By midlife, people have accumulated a rich base of knowledge and familiar routines that serve them well in everyday situations. Role of Expertise expertise refers to an organized set of skills and knowledge in a particular area acquired through extensive experience and practice. o Not all middleaged adults are able to form expertise in a particular area, but they are more likely to do so than young adults because acquiring expertise takes time. o Having expertise in a particular area may help compensate for some of the declines in cognitive and sensory functioning that occur with age. Creativity is the ability to produce work or a solution to a problem that is both novel (the unexpected), and appropriate (useful, adaptive). Not the same thing as intelligence! It often takes welldeveloped skills and knowledge, strong intrinsic motivation to work hard, and an emotional investment in the work to produce a creative achievement. o Creative output tends to peak in early midlife (40’s) and then tends to decline gradually afterward (closely follows the development and decline of the PFC) More of a decrease in quantity not quality. Cognitive complexity type of thinking required in some life contexts (certain occupations) that involves initiative, decisionmaking, problemsolving, and analysis and application of technical knowledge. o Those who have these jobs is found to show gains in intellectual functioning. o Those with jobs with low cognitive complexity are shown to have a decrease in intellectual functioning. o It is also possible that people with stronger intellectual abilities are attracted to, and remain in, relatively more complex work in the first place. Influence of cognition on work (and work on cognition) o Influence of work cognition Cognitive complexity may be especially beneficial to middle and older aged workers. Stay in workforce for 3 extra years (~70) = save social security & medicare funds; also limits jobs for younger workers, though Technological positions are harder to remain effective due to changes in relevant expertise Jobs high in cognitive complexity have implications for intellectual functioning Initiative Decision making Problem solving Analysis and application of technical knowledge Motivated to continue via rewards Enhanced brain functioning via environment o Influence of cognition work Boomers may remain in workforce longer than previous cohorts Influence on Social Security and Medicare programs Selection of particular lines of work acquiring expertise Optimization – changes in approach to work or techniques End of longterm employment model may have important impact on expertise Ch. 16Socioemotional Development in Middle Adulthood Change in key developmental tasks from young to middle adulthood o Agerelated shifts occur in the key life tasks with which people grapple over the course of adulthood. Young adults emphasize their future education, partnerships and family, friends, and occupation while middleages adults emphasize securing what they already have established, fostering their children’s future development, and dealing with propertyrelated concerns. Basically in young adulthood in which new social roles are acquired, whereas in middle adulthood existing roles are maintained and strengthened. Erikson’s Generativity vs Stagnation crisis o The key challenge in middle adulthood involves the struggle between generativity and stagnation Generativity refers to the desire to contribute to one’s family, community, ad society but nurturing and guiding the next generation. Actions benefit society and also benefit adults by helping them to look beyond their own concerns and to feel that their contributions will endure after their lives have ended. Stagnation is a sense of selfabsorption and lack of meaning that results when adults focus only on their own needs. Focus on limited time o Middle aged adults start to realize that the time they have left to live, and therefore the time they have left to accomplish goals, is limited Start to view time as a finite source as opposed to young adulthood when we think we have infinite time. Theory of selection, optimization, & compensation o Selection Elective – young adulthood the process of selection involves choosing among alternative life goals that are seen as attractive and seem attainable. Lossbased – middle adulthood The process of selection directed toward scaling back or relinquishing goals that are no longer attainable because of declines in one’s resources for goal pursuit. o This helps individuals to keep from ruminating and feeling distressed about their unfulfilled aspirations. It also helps them redirect their energies towards other goals o Can be due to the biological clock o Optimization – using acquired skills & expertise Role of optimization the focus in midlife is on preserving gains that have been achieved in various life domains and preventing losses. Preserving one’s resources, such as keeping up one’s job skills at work o Compensation – accounting for declines Role of compensation assumes increasing importance as physical and cognitive resources begin to decline with age. Compensating speed at work with accuracy Marriage & Friendship o blended family divorce followed by another marriage (contains biological children and stepchildren) o Changes in marital satisfaction declines in marital satisfaction typically emerge fairly early in the course of a couple’s life together. Crosssectional studies that assessed young, middleages, and older couples; views of their marriages at one point in time. One problem is that by midlife, most troubled marriages are likely to have ended in divorce, so an indication of a rebound after midlife might be because the divorced couples are no longer in the study Could also show signs of the cohort effect (the importance of pivotal historical and social events in life on one’s development) Longitudinal studies have tracked individuals over time and showed that marital satisfaction declined gradually, but steadily, over time. May be due to the feeling of being love declining and conflicts increasing Having children does not always bring couples together but studies have shown that couples with younger children and children going through puberty tend to have a sharper decline while those with an empty nest have a less sharp decline. o Enhancing marital satisfaction expression of affection toward each other and have close, caring relationships. Expressing warmth rather than negativity and use humor in their problemsolving. They also think about what is good for the relationship. Marriages where they treat each other like best friends tend to be the most satisfying and stable. o Divorce People in longterm relationships of chronically low quality, of course, experience marked declines in wellbeing. Divorces usually occur relatively early in the course of a marriage, but divorce is becoming more common in middle adulthood. Results from persistent marital conflict, coupled with life stress, erodes feelings of love and goodwill in mid and young adulthood. o Remarriage often contributes to a recovery of psychological wellbeing. Most people who divorce remarry, or cohabit, within 5 years. Rates of remarriage are lower in midlife than in young adulthood, particularly in women. Main reason for this is the difference in the marriage market for men and women. Societal norms say it is acceptable for men to marry younger women, but women are discouraged from marrying younger men. Women also outlive men. These two reasons lead to women having less chance to remarry than men. o Disengagement from search for partner late midlife individuals listed fewer goals related to forming an intimate relationship and reported making fewer efforts to find a partner. Elderly are the opposite o Changes in contact tends to decrease over time o Closeness with friends increase of quality of friendship. Family relationships o adolescent children: reasons for conflict Teens’ desire for autonomy and the increased time they spend either alone or with peers may lead to clashes with parents. Watching their children mature physically and sexually may increase middleaged adults’ awareness of their own aging and of possible declines in their own sexual attractiveness As their children begin to date and fantasizing about marriage and future careers, middleaged adults may be prompted to evaluate life choices they have made and whether their own hopes and dreams have been realized. o Adult children: Empty Nest may feel twinges of sadness, these feelings may be shortlived and the adjustment is usually quite positive. They have more time together as a couple, for friends, and for leisure activities. Boomerang children young adults who return home to live with their parents after a period of living on their own more common in recent years. Moms usually act more favorable of the child moving home again, while being sympathetic of unemployment, while the father seems to disprove if the child is unemployed The quality of relationships with adult children is close contact with many phone calls and visits. And they enjoy each other’s company. o Grandchildren: important source of aid when it comes to childcare. Skipped generation family refers to households in which grandparents and grandchildren live together without the middle generation. o aging parents: sandwich generation adult children tend to have fewer siblings with whom to share the tasks of providing care to elderly parents. They also usually still have teenagers or young adults to take care of as well, and are therefore juggling multiple responsibilities. Middle aged parent squished between the responsibilities of caring for their parents and their kids. o death of a parent a reality for many middleaged adults by the end of middle adulthood, over ¾’s of elderly parents have died Prompts selfreflection and reexamination of life goals Confront own mortality Turning point to reinvest in remaining relationships o juggling multiple roles #1: children leaving home More time as a couple and with friends More time for leisure activities #2: becoming a grandparent Occasion to celebrate & Reminder of one’s own aging Assisting children with transition to parenthood #3: caring for own parents Supporting aging parents Supporting remaining parent after death of one parent Work serves multiple functions in adults’ lives: fulfills 4 basic needs o Social contact o Personal needs like a feeling of selfworth o Financial needs o Generativity o Satisfaction you would think that many people would feel “burnt uot” after working for so long, but the opposite happens. 90% of workers ages 50 or older report that they enjoy work and were satisfied with their job overall. o Challenges: glass ceiling an invisible barrier that, because of discrimination, keeps an employee from being promoted at work beyond a particular level of responsibility. o Patterns typically among professional women: Regular career patterns following a career path that has typically been more conventional among men entering and staying in the workforce continuously after finishing school Interrupted career pattern some leave the workforce when they have children, and returning when their children are older second career some defer their professional training and entry into the workforce until their children are grown modified second career patterns some work parttime when their children are young and then move to fulltime work after their children are grown o Age discrimination involves unfair practices regarding hiring, firing, compensation, or working conditions based on a person’s age. May stem from stereotypes of mature workers as less productive, less adaptable, and less suitable for training programs. Personality o Big 5 a model of personality that groups personality traits into five basic clusters: Openness to experience, Consciousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism (OCEAN) Personalities become more consistent over time. o Self regulatory capacities: anticipatory coping Hope for improvements in various aspects of their lives, but they are better able than younger adults to adjust their expectations when their hopes and dreams begin to become unattainable. Anticipatory coping is the ability to anticipate and prevent stressful life events from happening in the first place o midlife crisis Myth middleages adults begin to question their lives and experience remorse over the past choices and that everyone goes through them Truth: they are in fact rare they tend to be content with their lives, rather than dissatisfied. Ch. 17Physical & Cognitive Development in Late Adulthood Ageism prejudice and discrimination toward people on the basis of age o Can be directed towards younger groups, but it is most often towards the elderly. Youngold older adults ages 6579 oldold – older adults ages 80 and older it is often not until their 80s or older that age related physical and cognitive changed begin to take a significant toll. Biological theories of aging o Programmed theory of aging a program or builtin clock of some kind causes us to age and, eventually, die. One view: Genetic code may be written into our DNA that programs cells to die While many scientists agree that development is genetically programmed early in life, they do not believe this is true later in life. o Evolutionary theory of aging natural selection favors genes that increase the likelihood that people will live long enough to reproduce and care for their offspring. Living beyond the age of reproductive maturity, however, does not benefit survival of the species, and, as a result, genes that would confer fitness and health in the second half of life have not selected through evolution. o Random Damage Theories of Aging damage accumulates as people grow older, gradually affecting cells, tissues, organs, and bodily systems. Even the body’s capacities for maintenance and selfrepair experience random damage over time. When the accumulation of damage exceeds the body’s capacities for maintenance and selfrepair, agerelated declines become evident, contributing to disease, disability, and eventually death. o Free radicals unstable oxygen molecules produced during metabolism that can penetrate or collide with other molecules, causing damage to cells. o Telomere shortening telomeres are the protective tips on the ends of our chromosomes which become shorter with each cell division. Eventually when the telomeres disappear, the cells stop dividing which causes the cell to age and deteriorate. The timing of this can be determined by life experience and lifestyle factors. (Chronic stress, socioeconomic status, along with obesity, smoking, and exercise. o Integrative View of Causes of Aging Reserve capacity refers to an excess physiological capacity built into many organ systems that allows the body to respond to physical challenges even though agerelated declines have begun to occur o Having a larger reserve capacity increases the likelihood of surviving long enough to reproduce and raise offspring would have been selected in natural selection Role of compensation compensation is an adaptive process of developmental regulation that involves the use of alternative strategies to pursue an important goal when one’s physical capacities or resources decline. o The body’s systems compensate for agerelated decline (although the body’s circulatory system can’t pump blood as rapidly, the heart compensates by pumping more blood per contraction) Frailty – refers to the state of increased vulnerability to stressors that results from diminished reserve capacity and impaired functioning of multiple body systems. o Characterized by unintentional weight loss, general muscular weakness, slow walking speed, low physical activity, and reduced ability to withstand acute illness and emotional or physical stress Changes to sensory systems o Vision some changes may have begun in midlife and increase in late adulthood. Vision limitations lead to an increase risk of falls and accidents in the home or elsewhere. Cataracts is a disease in which cloudy areas form gradually in the lens of the eye, causing blurry, distorted vision, and increasing sensitivity to glare. Happens in half of those 65 and older. Muscular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness because it causes the center of the retina to degenerate. Central vision is what is lost. o Hearing degenerations begins in middle adulthood but progresses throughout late adulthood. Causes difficulty in following conversation, especially when there is background noise o Smell and taste the number of taste buds does not really change that much, but it is the taste sensitivity that does change, probably due to smoking exposure to pollutants, medical side effects, and even dentures. o Touch and pain decline with age, especially in the hands and feet, due to the decline in the functioning of touch receptors in the skin and poorer blood circulation to the body’s extremities. Changes to balance o A person’s balance sends and receives information about a person’s position when a person is standing or walking, so that continual adjustments can be made to prevent falls. o Receptors in the inner ear, and the receptors that carry the sensory messages from the inner ear decline with age This increases falls and is magnified with impaired vision Bodily control systems o nervous system (which consists of the brain, spine, and the nerves that fan out to all parts of the body) controls many bodily functions without our knowing. It becomes slower and less efficient with age which results in a decline in physical coordination and cognitive functioning results in a slower reaction time there is compensation for this decline new dendrite form to improve the connectivity among neurons, and healthy neurons may take over some of the functions previously performed by adjacent neurons that have deteriorated. o Immune system with age the immune system changes in several ways that can increase susceptibility to illness and disease. Specifically, the T cells (immune cells that patrol for foreign substances) function declines which makes it more difficult for elderly to fight off infections and disease. Secondly, the body’s ability to distinguish between foreign substances and its own cells declines with age, which leads to an increase risk for autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis). The most significant change is the tendency for the immune system to be chronically activated, producing chronic inflammation. Prolonged inflammation can lead to damage to the body’s tissues. Common chronic conditions o The likelihood of having multiple chronic conditions increases with age. The most common are mostly nonfatal and include: arthritis, diabetes, cancer, stroke, hypertension, and coronary heart disease. Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) include to basic selfcare activities such as eating, dressing, bathing, and being able to get in and out of bed by themselves. Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) include more complex daily activities such as shopping, preparing meals, laundry, housekeeping, and doing the financials. o You can continue living at home without an aid if you can perform ADLs and have difficulty with IADLs o Being unable to perform ADLS is more problematic more likely to be put in a home Quantity vs Quality of life o Some critics worry that living longer means that people will be ill for greater portion of their lives. o Compression of morbidity a shortening of the duration of the illness and disability that results from postponing the onset of chronic illness to a time in the life that approaches the average age of death. Behavioral risk factors such as smoking, lack of exercise, obesity, and stress can all be obstacles to compress the time of chronic illness before death Memory changes: o Sensory memory lasts 1 to 2 seconds then fades, unless the information is attended to and passed on to the working memory through repetition. There is little decline with age in this type of memory. Those with vision or hearing impairments may need more time to detect sensory input. o Working memory holds information 1525 seconds, long enough to be manipulated. There is very few differences between young people and older people which shows that there are little changes in working memory as people age. However, the more complex or demanding the task, the more poorly older adults perform. o longterm memory can store information for long periods, ranging from hours to years. Older adults do not perform as well in these tests than younger adults. One reason may be that older adults are less likely to use strategies to aid encoding. o Episodic memory involved learning and retaining new information or remembering details from one’s daily life. This shows the greatest decline with age o Semantic memory refers to the ability to remember the general knowledge on has acquired. Like crystallized intelligence, it is relatively well preserved into later adulthood. o Procedural memory is the ability to remember how to do things (like riding a bike muscle memory). It is also well preserved into later life. o Explanations for loss of memory Speed deficit explanation the speed of cognitive processing declines later in life. So, as the think slower, the information in the short term or working memory may fade before they are able to retain them into the long term memory. Processingresourcesdeficit explanation age related decline in attentional resources (doing two task at a time) leads to older adults to perform worse on challenging cognitive tasks Sensorydeficit explanation suggests that older adults who have a sensory deficit must devote extra effort to recognizing sensory input, which leaves fewer resources for encoding information in memory. Inhibitiondeficit explanation suggests that older adults have more difficulty than younger adults inhibiting irrelevant information from working memory, and this mental “clutter” leads to worse performance on memory tests. Recollection deficit explanation older adults are less likely than younger people to use encoding and retrieval strategies that create associations between items learned. o by exposing older adults to the agerelated stereotypes wither implicitly (by briefly flashing words such as confused, forgets, dementia, and decrepit) or explicitly (having them read about agerelated declines in memory) leads to worse memory performance by older adults but does not affect the memory performance of younger adults. o Dementia is a chronic brain disorder characterized by irreversible cognitive decline sever enough to impair selfcare and daily activities, while delirium is an acute brain disorder characterized by cognitive impairment that can be reversed if it is treated. Key difference: dementia is irreversible, but delirium can be reversed. o Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by cognitive, behavioral, and motor deficits that gradually worsen over time. It is the most common form of dementia in later life (70% of all dementia cases). Can affect those in their 40s or 50s, but mostly people in their 60s. There is no cure. o Amyloid plaques are abnormal deposits of protein that form in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, causing inflammation, destroying neurons and synapses, and reducing levels of neurotransmitter. o neurofibrillary tangles are tangled fibers that form in the neurons and interfere with connections between the neurons. Usually affect the parts that have to do with memory, such as the hippocampus. o Apolipoprotein (APOE) is a gene present in 50 to 60% of people with Alzheimer’s (compared to 2025% of healthy older adults). o Vascular dementia (sometimes referred to as multiinfarct dementia) is a type of dementia caused by a series of strokes that disrupt blood flow to the brain, depriving the brain of oxygen and causing the brain tissue to die. Accounts to 10 20% of dementias in later life. Enhancing cognitive functioning o Lifestyle factors appear to play a role in preserving cognitive functioning; 4 specifically: Stimulating cognitive activity (reading newspapers, books, doing crosswords, etc.) Physical activity, especially aerobic exercise contribute to greater brain health and better cognitive performance Reducing cardiovascular risk factors such as HBP, high cholesterol, obesity, and smoking slows the development of brain abnormalities (such as the amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary triangles) Social engagement such as interacting with friends and family members and being involved in social activities is associated with better cognitive functioning and a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s later in life. May have to do with decreasing stress levels Ch. 18Socioemotional Development in Late Adulthood Developmental timetable older and younger adults usually have a sense of personal or societal timetable for accomplishing important life goals. Less likely to involve efforts to achieve key life goals within a particular time frame and more likely to involve efforts to engage in emotionally meaningful activities and to derive a sense of integrity about one’s life. o tasks determined by personal and biological needs Sense of identity time passing o More personal goals reflecting integrity o Engage in emotionally meaningful activities o Feelings of integrity about past life experiences o Greater psychological wellbeing Sense of Time passing o Drives efforts to achieve closure around one’s life Erikson’s Integrity vs Despair crisis o Reflect on life as it unfolded o Acceptance of life events and sense of completion (integrity) o Bitterness about lost opportunities/mistakes (despair) Life review o Assessment of life – recalling and evaluating events from the past o Beneficial for understanding self and others o Facilitates social interaction and memory functioning o Sense of time passing is quite noticeable Involvement with Social network o Close relationships enhance physical and emotional health across the lifespan, and they may be especially important in later adulthood as people experience physical declines and other life changes. Social activity actually declines Disengagement theory proposes that declines in social network involvement in later life reflect older adults’ voluntary disagreement from social roles and relationships in order to turn inward and reflect on their lives. This process is believed to be mutually beneficial to older adults and society Activity theory proposes that declines in social network involvement in later life reflect societal rejection of or distancing from elderly, rather than a normal process of turning inward; societal activity is regarded as important for wellbeing, and agerelated declines in social activity, are viewed as involuntary and maladaptive. Socioemotional selectivity theory declines reflect changes in older adults’ motivations for social interaction; as time is seen as limited, older adults prefer to interact with their closest, most emotionally rewarding social network members. Marriage most couples have been married for decades o postparental period is a period of the couple’s life together after their active parenting responsibilities have ended. Most couples have experienced this for 20 30 years. o Women usually outlive their husbands o Older adults are more likely to view thir spouse’s behavior favorably and are less likely to blame their spouse for conflicts or disagreements. o Usually forgive others easier and find solutions that benefit everyone o More likely to manage their emotions o Learn how to get along o Challenges in marriage Retirement requires them to adjust their household roles and expectations A decline in health in one or both increases the challenges in life Divorce o Less common in later adulthood than in young or middle adulthood, although rates have risen in the most recent years. (5%11%) Sometimes takes spouses by surprise after so many years together It takes them time to adjust emotionally, socially to their new marital status and to changes in their housing and finances. Divorce can also affect the social support older adults receive from their family members children report less of an obligation. Widowhood o Older women are more likely to be widowed than older men. May affect older men and women differently. Greater depression in older men and may take less care of themselves after their wife’s death. Remarriage o More common in oldler men than in women, similar to middle adulthood. (20% of older widowed men as compared to 2% of older widowed women) Due to women outliving men and more support about older men remarrying than women o Soe older women are hesitant to remarry due to taking away their independence and maybe having to take care of an ill spouse again. Cohabitation o Increasingly common trend among older adults. Provides opportunities for intimacy, companionship, and support. Appealing alternative to marriage because it avoids tension with adult children over inheritance issues or perceived disloyalty to their former spouse. Living apart o Meets the needs of older adults who desire a committed relationship but who also want to maintain some of the independence and freedom from obligations they have come to enjoy after living alone for a period of time. Friendships o Important throughout the lifespan o Key source of support (especially for single adults) o Loneliness is lowest ever in late adulthood, but increases sharply among oldest old o Change subjective criteria for friendship (e.g., need for intimate discussions) o There is a point at which declines and losses overwhelm adaptive capacities Family Relationships o Important source of support throughout life. They remain vitally important in later adulthood as friendships become smaller. Provides a source of comfort, companionship, and aid as well as a sense of community o Beanpole family is a family structure tall and thin because it includes multiple generations and has few people in each generation. due to an increase in life expectancy and a decrease in birthrates. o Adult children Intimacy at a distance older adults’ preference to live near, but not with, their adult children in order to enjoy regular contact with their adult children while maintaining their independence. generational stake the idea that older adults have a greater investment, or stake, in their relationships with younger family members than do younger family member because the older adults wish to maintain a sense of generational continuity Filial responsibility adult children have the responsibility to support their aging parents. Adult daughters usually provide more support to their aging parents, reflecting stronger link between daughters’ sense of filial responsibility and their willingness to provide support. o Adult grandchildren & great grandchildren elderly often express a special interest in their grandchildren and great pride in their grandchildren’s accomplishments, which fosters feeling of closeness with the grandchildren. When they are then adults, they credit their grandparents with having a big impact on their lives. Grandparent adult grandchild relationships differ throughout life and tend to be more affectionate and supportive later in life. Greatgrandparents involvement tends to be much less do to their declining health o Siblings these relationships seem to be the most important Hourglass metaphor for sibling relationships: great deal of interaction in childhood and adolescence (wide at the top), less interaction in young and middle adulthood (narrow neck of the glass), and increased contact and interaction in later adulthood (wide at the bottom) Major changes (like divorce and widowing) can make them grow closer Relationships with sisters tend to be particularly close later in life, and for men and women, having a close relationship with a sister is linked to greater emotional health. o Elder abuse the mistreatment that causes harm or distress to an older person in the context of a relationship in which trust should be expected. Emotional abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect are the most common forms. About 211% experience some form of abuse Usually reluctant to report their mistreatment when they are abused by those who they rely on for care. Work & Retirement o Retirement typically occurs when people choose to leave the workforce, but they can sometimes be forced to retire due to poor health or the employer’s policies. o Attitudes Most older workers report positive feelings about retirement Most people want to work past the expected age of 65 Phased retirement When workers gradually reduce their work hours in the transition from fulltime to fulltime retirement… Why? o Tend to have better health today and work in less physically demanding jobs o Enjoy work and want to remain active and productive o Need for income and continued health benefits. mandatory retirement require workers to retire when they reached a specific age, such as 6, regardless of their preferences or work performance. Banned in many occupations, but not all o Adjustment to retirement 3 phases: They experience an initial “honeymoon” phase characterized by the euphoria they feel from doing leisurely activities and enjoy their new freedom Followed by disenchantment as the daytoday reality of retirement begins to sink in Next is reorientation –as retirees adapt to the social and economic realities of retirement and find new sources of meaning and stimulation in their lives. lifestyle choices volunteer services do less volunteer service but put in more hours than middle adulthood Religious involvement they find sense of meaning and purpose in their lives through religious involvement Residential Relocation or aging in place elderly are actually less likely than older age groups to change their residence and, when they do move, the vast majority remain in the same state. o May prefer aging in place continuing to live in their current residence, modifying it in response to change in their health and functioning. Personality o Traits remain stable through old age extraversion and openness may show slight declines happiness most are low on neuroticism unhappiness Only oldest old increase in negative affect due to mounting physical and sensory loss have had a lifetime to learn how to avoid or handle stressful situations self regulation o Problemfocused coping – externally directed responses to improve situation o Emotionfocused coping – internally directed responses to reduce negative emotions *PF coping predicts better adjustment, but not always an option *Older adults use more emotionfocused coping, but in general are more flexible in coping strategies than younger adults Depression o Rates are generally low, ranging from 15%, with minor depression being more common at 15% of the elderly. More common in Hispanics o Depression decreases longevity Selfevaluation o Tendency to focus on positive and memories o Inner self vs external self o Reduction in narcissism o Gap between ideal and actual self is smaller in older adulthood, resulting in feeling better about self decline in selfesteem may reflect modesty and reduced narcissism How to live to 100+ (Ted talk; review video) Ch. 19Death & Dying Trends in Lifespan and death rates in U.S. o On average, death rate has been dropping White Men & Women in midlate adulthood (5059) Hispanic or Black across age (2559) o Younger white women have fared much worse Death rate is increasing Rural areas show highest increase Drug use, suicide, & complications from drinking Defining death o persistent vegetative state a condition in which higher cortical functioning (responsible for thinking and feeling) has ceased, while brain stem functioning (responsible for the heart beating and breathing) continues. o brain death is when all signs of brain activity, as measured by brain waves, have ceased for a specified period of time. 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