Exam 2 Study Guide
Exam 2 Study Guide FAD3343
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This 38 page Study Guide was uploaded by Irene Mansour on Tuesday March 29, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to FAD3343 at 1 MDSS-SGSLM-Langley AFB Advanced Education in General Dentistry 12 Months taught by Dr. jeter in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 172 views. For similar materials see CONTEXTS OF ADULT DEVELOPMENT in Child and Family Studies at 1 MDSS-SGSLM-Langley AFB Advanced Education in General Dentistry 12 Months.
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FAD 3343 EXAM 2 STUDY GUIDE Chapter 6: FAMILY, FRIENDS, & COMMUNITY Family Development in Later Life o Many family & relational transitions in later life Divorce & remarriage Becoming a grandparent Changing relationships w/ adult children Becoming a parenting figure to grandchildren Becoming a caregiver to aging parents Death of family, friends, spouse Siblings in Older Adulthood o Sibling relationships are likely to be the longest relationships in an individual’s life o The relationship can be emotionally intense, both in a positive & negative manner I can mess w/ my sister, but no one else can o Baby boomers often have more siblings than children. B/c of the declining birth rates, this will change. o There are many different possible combinations/types of sibling relationships o Women tend to be kinkeepers o Siblings maintain contact & increase contact in older age Variations in Kin Relationships o Women typically maintain closer relationships w/ other family members than men o Having more sisters in a family increase the likelihood that parents will receive support in their older age. o Blue color families are likely to live closer to each other than Whitecollar families, & therefore, have more contact w/ their families. o Rural elders may be less likely to see a family b/c of smaller income, health problems, & negative outlook on life. Grandparenting o There are many different types of grandparenting relationships. Some can be distant, authoritative, or funseeking. Some grandparents serve as substitute parents. o Grandmothers often look forward to the grandparent role more than grandfathers o Grandparents may have difficulty having relationships w/ grandchildren following the divorce of the kid’s parents. Grandparents do NOT have “legal rights” unless outlined in divorce decrees. Grandparenting Relationships o Family researchers classify grandparentgrandchild relationships into 3 types” Companionate: grandparents & grandchildren have fun together, enjoy recreation together on a regular basis, & are important to one another’s lives Remote: grandparentgrandchildren relationship is emotionally distant, visits may be infrequent. Grandparents are minimally involved in grandchildren’s lives Involved: grandparents are highly involved in grandchildren’s lives; may care for them on a regular basis & maybe even live together. Social Networks o Confidents: someone to confide in o Companions: someone you spend time w/ & share activities o Membership & leadership in community “lodge” organizations increase in older age o Church participation increase in older age o “Joining” activities especially increase in middle & upper classes. o Social supportperceived support from family, friends, & other resources. o Social engagementactive participation in social relationship & activites Religion & Spirituality o What’s the difference between religion & spirituality? Ex: intrinsically & extrinsically religious Extrinsic: actively being involved in church Intrinsic: spiritual, internal part of yourself, thinking & contemplating, prayer. Higher intrinsic religiosity & spiritual wellbeing related to higher hope & positive moods in older age o Religion & spirituality are culturally desired & practiced o Nonorganized aspects of religion are more common than organized aspects in older age. o Different ethnic groups may report varying levels of importance/religion African Americans report religion & church as power sources/support Religion & WellBeing o Religion becomes increasingly important to people as they age. Social support Encouragement or healthy lifestyles Sense of control over life through prayer Fostering of positive emotional states Reduction of stress Faith in God to interpret misfortunes. Maintaining relationships can be a challenge when people become ill or frail, when friends die or move, or when family pressures for traditional grandparenthood take precedence over developing an independent lifestyle in later life Later life is not a static, stagnant time for older family members o Transition events such as widowhood, retirement remarriage, or child’s departure Transitions lead to changed perceptions in identity, new ways of behaving, and shifts in interdependence with kin and community An older person’s life is also influenced by: whether he/she was childless, a parent, culture and ethnicity, gender, and SES Many kin relationships last much longer than past generations The family is a vital part of an older person’s life The relationship with siblings is likely to be the longest relationship in an individual’s life Although siblings may cause problems for one another at any time in the life course, they can also extend support to one another in a social environment that does not always foster the development of social bonds Bonds between siblings typically extend throughout life and are reported to be second only to mother child ties in intensity and complexity The baby boomers are the first cohort in history to have more siblings than children The family support system will continue to be smaller in the years ahead Siblings share biological and/or familial characteristics, values, and experiences under comparatively egalitarian status; can be a major resource for life review among older adults Gender role of older adult siblings in families varies by ethnicity and across cultures Gender differences: o Women’s ties with siblings are more involved than those of men o Women have greater emotional attachment to siblings than men o Respondents with sisters only are closer to siblings than those whose networks include brothers and sisters o Women seem to have greater emotional investment in ties to siblings, possible assumed level of obligation Marital status: o Contact more frequent between single siblings o Ties among those whose closest sibling is widowed is emotionally closer than among those whose closest sibling is single o Singledom affects overall level of involvement with other siblings and the sibling seen most often, but does not alter feelings about siblings Parent status: o Childless siblings confide more in their primary sibling confidant in siblings overall than do parents o People with networks including parents and childless siblings confide in them more than those whose siblings are all childless o Childless siblings seem to have greater emotional investment in their siblings Emotional closeness: o A strong relationship to confiding, telephone and personal contact; emotional closes is a primary love/friendship binding tie Relationship over time: o Growing attachment to sibling network as a whole over time o Higher education associated with greater closeness to closest siblings but not sib network overall o Educational level inversely related to contact with sib network overall o Proximity enhances emotional closeness but not to emotionally closest sib o Greater opportunity for selectivity within larger families o Network size is not related to overall closeness and confiding Siblings generally maintain contact with one another and contact typically increases in old age One of the greatest life regrets older adults reported is a failed sibling relationship Siblings tend to be more forgiving, mutually warmer, and more interested in one another in the last years of life Types of kinship systems vary widely The relationships among kin members vary by sex, culture, social class, and community structure (urban, rural, small town, etc.) Stronger norms of obligation and feelings of attachment to extended family members among women than men ethos of support Bluecollar families ted to have close extended family ties, which members maintain by living near one another Whitecollar family ties are also fairly strong however such families are more likely to be geographically scattered by career opportunities Social support perceived sense of community safety, and income income is probably the variable of greatest distinction among people everywhere, despite culture and age middle age not old age is the typical time for becoming a grandparent, just over half of Americans become grandparents by 50 the 3 generation family is becoming common, 4 and 5 generation families are on the increase the degree to which grandparents are involved in playing their role and just what type of role that will be their grandchildren is significantly influenced by having known their own grandparents living with intergenerational relationships is critical to the passing on of cultural and family continuity, intergenerational exchanges serve as socializing influences as well as emotional influences the roles grandparents take in the lives of their grandchildren vary grandparents available in the lives of their grandchildren can be points of reference and identity for the grandchildren they expand the age range and number of adults role models available for some, grandparenting is a time to have fun or indulge grandchildren, or perhaps even a chance to re experience one’s youth the funseeker grandparents some grandparents dispense discipline and authority for some, grandparenting provides a sense of purpose and identity, and is a source of selfesteem as the keeper of family history grandmothering theory the biological function of grandmothers is to enhance the survivability of the youngest generational member of the family line women are more likely than men to look forward to becoming a grandparent grandparenthood carries meaning for some elders, but not for others degree of involvement with grandchildren varies grandparents generally believed that a good relationship with the custodial parent was necessary a legal relationship between grandparent and grandchild was seen to exist only when both parents were incapable or dead, judicial system has to judge the parents unfit before the grandparents have any rights o under limited circumstances get visitation rights (divorce) numerous factors affect the likelihood of close friendships in old age most older people maintain active social lives positive networks of friends are equally important in the development of the person from infancy through old age equity theory an equitable relationship exists if all participants are receiving gains, participants will be distressed if they contribute too much to, or receive too little from a friendship equity is related to high morale, and as expected, the equitably benefitted women had the highest morale the who overbenefitted had lowest morale confidant someone to confide in and share personal problems with companion one who regularly shares in activities and pastimes over time, women’s interactions with friends changed (work, marital, and health status) many elders join and are actively involved in voluntary organizations many go to church senior centers as opposed to clubs, offer services and activities in addition to recreation o libraries, music rooms, health services, counseling, physical exercise, and education the combination of social ties organization memberships, friends, neighbors, and family social network the process of analyzing the strengths and weaknesses and the sources of various functions of an older person’s social network network analysis social support assessed as a more qualitative aspect of the relationship, including how satisfied individuals are with the support they receive and whether supportive others understand them convoy model provides detailed information showing that older individuals are in frequent contact with both family and friends convoys are made up of those family and friends who travel through time with the individual network size and shape are highly dependent on health, culture, and SES sex commonality principle the caregiving role of daughters to aging parents has been well documented, as has the finding that married older people tend to maintain closest relationships with their samesex children and siblings femaleness principle women play more central roles in the network of unmarried people (including widowed parents) the religious dimension of aging encompasses the spiritual, social, and developmental aspects of a person’s life, and is an important dimension of wellbeing for the elderly intrinsically religious find within themselves their ultimate meaning in life from religion o for them, religion is the fundamental motive for living the extrinsically religious use religion for more social purposes or to justify their politics and prejudices spirituality connotes harmonious relationships or connections with self neighbor, nature, God, or a higher being that draws one beyond oneself; it provides a sense of meaning and purpose, enables transcendence, and empowers individuals to be whole and to live life fully religion is a term used for an organized system of beliefs, practices, and forms of worship structured religion is a source of companionship, social stimulation, and spiritual support religiosity interaction with organized religion and spiritual wellbeing (psychological sense of purpose and meaning) are independently associated with hope and positive mood states in elderly people coping with cancer although elders are not as lonely and isolated as stereotypes would have us believe, many live out their last years without the close, emotional or social bonds they need and desire for many, isolation results from the new social situation that old age brings fostering connections across age groups is vital, along with encouraging alliances among older people cultural and personal bonds are often strengthened through participation in meaningful social activities Social, legal, and financial pressures on older people discourage remarriage Pressure from children who may discourage an aging mother or father from remarrying, fear that assets will be in hands of the second marital partner Reluctance to remarry out of respect for deceased partner Old people may fear ridicule or condemnation if they choose to marry in old age The bonds that men have, however, tend to be as emotionally strong as the bonds that women make even though women are generally keepers of the social network, are more involved with friends and family members when help is needed, and have more friends than men Connections with others maintain the ability to express intimacy, sexuality, and emotionality are central to coping skills Chapter 7: INTIMACY & SEXUALITY - Later Life Couples o Older women are more likely to be windowed & less likely to be married o Marriage maintains health & quality of life for both partners in the marriage, but benefits men more. Married men are less likely to abuse substances Married men are less likely to take risks Men are happy in marriage than women o Caregiving of spouse may occur o Retirement is an adjustment period for the couple, especially if it’s involuntary retirement. Marital satisfaction may change w/ respect to retirement & other partner’s working status. o Marital satisfaction actually increases during this time. - Older Adult Singles: Widowhood o Women are more likely to be widowed than men. Over 2/3 of women over 75 years are widowed. o Death of spouse is a huge life transition/role change, especially for women in traditional marriages. o Stages of Widowhood: Official recognition of the event Temporary disengagement/withdrawal from established lines of communication Limbo Reengagement - Support for Widows o Family can be a great source of support for widows, but can also be source of stress. o Adult children are grieving loss of parent as spouse is grieving loss of partner. May make communication between them difficult. o Widow’s perceptions of support may be more influential than actual support. o The higher the widow’s personal resources (education, income, social support, community participation), the better she can cope. - Gender Differences in Widowhood o Male (widowers) experience widowhood differently than female (widows)” Less likely to move in with his children Less likely to have increased interaction w/ family Less likely to have close friends More likely to have increased interaction w/ his sons o Over time, widowers become more aware & appreciative of friends & relationships (in search of others). o Widows develop a new sense of themselves (in search of self) - Older Adults Divorce o Marriage is different now, as we are living longer & thus have the potential to be married longer o The divorced older adults may not receive as much support as their widowed counterparts. o There are few norms dealing w/ the divorce of an older couple. Bitterness towards each other. - Older Adults Never Married o About 4% of population is never married by age 45 years old o Typically, never married adults find their lifestyles satisfying. They have adjusted to this lifestyle in their younger years o Have parallel levels of life satisfaction as marrieds. - Remarriage o Changing norms for remarriage: More divorces happening, so more acceptable to remarry Spouses living longer, allowing for remarriage after widowhood o Dating has changed; courtship before remarriage may be different than dating before first marriage that occurred decades earlier. o Grown children may not present strain on remarriage like younger children do (stepfamilies). o Many older adults do not remarry, but continue to date or even cohabitate. - Sexual relationships & sexuality o Sexuality is not just about the physical aspect of sex. It is about emotions, identity, behaviors, & changes over time. o Cohort, gender, race/ethnicity, social class, religion, & age all influence, & age all influence sexual behaviors & attitudes. - Sex in Later Life o Sexual Invisibility: the sexuality of older people is invisible, in that it is held private by older adults or ignored by society. o Our society focuses on sex occurring between the young & physically attractive 80yearolds w/ good selfesteem like their bodies as much as 20yearolds w/ good self esteem o We assume there is no romantic love in later life, as media portrays romantic love for only the young. o Research on homosexual relationships is sparse (compared to heterosexual), but has found: Division of household labor is more equal No gender roles in the house More effective conflict resolution behaviors Have same issues as heterosexual relationships - Sexuality Research o Kinsey Studies: landmark studies in 1940 & 50’s regarding sexuality through sexual histories Concluded sexual activity (not sexual desire) decreases with age Illnesses, disabilities, more responsibilities, & time all restrict having sex in older age. o Masters & Johnson Studies: late 1960 & 70’s didn’t just study histories but observed sex Studied physiological things that happened to our bodies during sex Oldest subjects were in their 50’s & 60’s Found that as people age, body processes (erections & organisms) slowly decrease w/ age, but do not stop. There’s no “endpoint” for sexual activity o Duke Longitudinal Study: looks at how older adults take advantage of their sexual potential & remain active Sexual interest may exceed sexual activity o Starr & Weiner: People in their 70’s & 80’s report sex was as good or better than before, maybe less frequent though. o Older adults experience many facets of sexuality as young adults: unhappy marriages affect sex, extramarital affairs, uninterested spouses, openmarriages Women are the ones who withhold sex more than men. However, women cannot neglect their husband’s intimacy needs & should have sex w/ them since they’re the only ones their husbands can have sex w/. o Older adults compensate for sexual change that may be brought about by aging/poor health. o Availability of sexual partner influences sexual activity; this is more favorable for men. - Special circumstances o Nursing home/living facility settings don’t allow arrangements of couples to live together or have privacy for sex. Many segregate living arrangements by gender o Older adults still enjoy romance, companionship, & sex but may be humiliated mocked or not taken seriously about these needs. o Nursing homes can improve policies for privacy & education for both staff & residents about sexual attitudes & behaviors in later life. Intimacy the need to be close to, to be part of, and to feel familiar with another person o Old or young, we all need intimacy and social bonds with others The norms, values, and social structure of a society may either foster or retard the development of social bonds Our strongest emotional connections might be either friends achieved relationships (people we have chosen to be in our networks) or kin ascribed relationships (people in our networks over whom we have little choice) Psychological wellbeing is enhanced when the connections being maintained are positive and support the individual’s ability to maximize potentialities, and by interactions in which the older adult’s self concept is positively reflected and maintained Matrix of friendship relationships first in terms of their process the important attributes of the relationship; the level of enjoyment gained through the connection; and the activities conducted o Second, friendships are identified by structure, referring to the network size, how similar the networks members are, and network density or the proportion of friends that know one another Family or kin relationships are identified in terms of their process, similar to that of friendship networks, and of their structure, referring to family size and generational composition, marital and parenthood status, household size and living arrangements, and the functions members serve for one another Salient friendship values were identified as having similar lives and experiences, similar values, and having nonjudgmental acceptance; held constant across gender, race, and age Older adults who have the option often compensate for a reduced social network of peers by increasing contact with their nuclear and extended families o Social networks are also supplemented when older adults live in senior apartments, assisted living facilities, or continuing care retirement communities The marital status of older people shapes a great deal of their roles, their patterns of interaction, and the social bonds they form o It plays an important role in emotional and economic wellbeing Being married is a reality for the majority of older Americans Proportion of married people becomes smaller with advancing age The differences in marital status demonstrates that although marriage is the reality for the majority of older American men, widowhood is also a reality for the majority of older women Marriage in the life course continues to be dynamic, with changes in cultural patterns reflected by changes in marital behavior Marriage is healthmaintaining; married people tend to have higher levels of wellbeing and better health than unmarried people o The longevity advantage of marriage is nearly always greater among men than women o Health benefits may be due to the older married person being happier, less lonely, and financially more stable than older single people Social relationships have effects on health; interactions between spouses/partners, children, or friends can habe mixed effects on health o Absence of relationships contributes to poor health o Sense of social connectedness inherent in those of friendship or positive family ties contributes to high socioemotional quality When social ties become disrupted because of retirement or disability, the role of the spouse takes on greater importance o Relationship can become the focal point of the couples everyday life, and continue to develop in commitment, affection, cognitive intimacy (thinking about and awareness of another), and mutuality (interdependence) Probability of an older spouse providing caregiving to a frailer spouse is very high for latelife married couples Marital emotional closeness is a critical component to understanding spousal caregiving effectiveness Retirement can be a major transition, requiring adaptation to the loss of work and reduced income, change in social status, and changes in identity Today workers must be prepared for job changes several times in a career because of job outsourcing, changed technology, or economic shifts requiring mergers or downsizing Retired workers who wanted to change jobs but did not are said to experience occupational regret an outcome of the process of selfevaluation o A sense of occupational regret might make adaptation to retirement more difficult for both members of a couple Both retirement and disability alter the interaction pattern of the couple More type A personalities (people who attempt to control their environment and appear to be aggressive and ambitious on the job) are let go from their jobs more than type B personalities (the person who takes events more calmly and is not very assertive and ambitious in jobrelated situations) Changing the roles of home management responsibility appears to be as large a transition as changing from the role of worker to retiree Among husbands and wives with high levels of marital satisfaction, retirement neither enhances nor reduces that satisfaction Primary issues found to affect marital relations and satisfaction in later adulthood include the equality of roles, having adequate communication, and the transition of more time spent together One common stereotype of marriage is that after the early stages of romantic love, the relationship begins to deteriorate o False, opposite increasing enchantment with each other in the later years, martial satisfaction appears to follow an inverted bellshaped trend: decling satisfaction after the initial years, leveling off in the middle years, and increasing again during postretirement years o An inverted bellshaped pattern also charts a husband and wife’s opportunity to share time and common interests and to develop greater mutual respect and understanding Older singles may be divorced, never married, or widowed Women can plan to be widowed in their later years Transition from married to widowed can bring with it personal and familial problems o Childless widows especially lack a kinbased system of support o Feelings of loss after death of a spouse is enormous Loss of a spouse may cause the most difficult role change that a person must cope with in a lifetime A widow has lost the support and services of an intimate person in her life Stages of widowhood: o Official recognition of the event o Temporary disengagement or withdrawal from established lines of communication o Limbo o Reengagement Official recognition of the event of widowhood typically begins with the funeral and initial mourning period Grief work describes healthy confrontation and acknowledgment of the emotions brought about by death o The widow must accept the finality of her loss to get on with living; may take time and bring a temporary withdrawal from past social activities and responsibilities as she reassess her life Friends and family as sources of social support Family members were the primary source of both positives and negatives following widowhood Relationships of family and nonfamily have a differential impact on the process of grief work among widows Perception of having a supportive network, regardless of the contact and the amount of excahnges made, seems to serve as a critically important function for widows Changes in selfidentity are necessary when a life partner dies. The structure of a day, the most familiar patterns of life are different Relationships between an older widow and her adult children can come to have a negative side; might feel unappreciated that she is making too many sacrifices for her children when their children should be offering comfort to her Grieving is an intensely personal and unique experience, even though there are some shared experiences and outcomes The process of adjustment to widowhood is a winding path of redefinition of roles and selfconcept Loss of identity women experience when they become a widow can be tremendous A number of organizations offer outreach services to widows and widowers: religious, social service, or mental health groups o Most programs are based on the healing interactions of people with shared experiences, and they can have a profoundly healing effect Both husbands and wives experience difficult in coping with the death of a spouse o Husband may have greater difficulty because the additional role of sole housekeeper cooking, cleaning, chores, and hosting o Widower is less likely than a widow to move in with his children, less likely to have a high degree of interaction with relatives, and less likely to have close friends Widows situation is difficult both socially and psychologically Emotional costs of losing a life partner are high for men as well as women Adjustment to bereavement includes personality, social, economic, and family history factors, varies from one person to another Men and women change in different directions at the loss of a spouse o Men are more often “in search of others” over time become more aware and appreciative of friends and relationships o Women tend to be more “in search of themselves” with time they develop a new sense of themselves, becoming more confident and assertive and more comfortable in their independence Divorce is a dominant social reality in the US Marital strains are probably heightened by longevity Though divorce has gained acceptance as a solution to an unpleasant or difficult marriage, the impact of the increasing divorce in old age has profound impact on the financial status of elders and the conformation of kinship networks Divorce is particularly difficult for older people Length of marriage significantly contribute to postdivorce despair and slow recovery Widows are more likely to have acceptance by peers, support of family, economic stability, and the anticipation of living alone than are divorced women It is easier for widowed people to relive and reshape positive partnership memories than for divorced people Not as much support exists for divorced single people, male or female, as for widowed elders Few people who were never married do so in old age One might expect older singles who have never married to be unhappy and lonely, but the nevermarried have typically adjusted to being single in their younger years and are well practiced in those skills of selfreliance and independence that make living alone a desirable and workable lifestyle Older people who have never married often have highly valued friends and relatives, including nephews and nieces Remarriage in old age is becoming more common for two reasons: o More older people are divorcing which places them in the remarriage market o Remarriage has become more acceptable for the widowed The changing family network as someone ages often focuses on loss, but remarriage can be a strong way of building one’s kin network Over time, close family ties can and do develop in blended families Many older people have had long, reasonably happy second (and third) marriages, and are glad to have found another compatible partner The internet has become an especially important resource for meeting people among adults 50+ Tips for older adults meeting online: o Share special interests; focus on what you’ve learned over the years o Don’t take rejection personally, don’t allow a bad experience to ruin the opportunity for meeting others o Don’t share too much too soon; before meeting the person, don’t give out too much personal information that could be dangerous or embarrassing o Be cautiously optimistic; understand that not everyone will be honest, and know that the person online may not be the one you meet in person o Be realistic; it doesn’t happen overnight Some older people have bypassed remarriage because of concern for children’s inheritance rights and competing filial obligations among adult stepchildren Remarriage can enhance older partners’ abilities to adjust to changes in physical competence by providing steady and caring companionship Caring for someone, feeling cared for, and being touched are important factors that enhance quality of life at any age Sexual activity declines in late adult life; however, sexual interest including desire and capacity for sexual activity remains Older adults’ interest in sexual activity is directly related to their level of enjoyment and sexual activity during their young and middle adult years Sexual satisfaction is a major contributor to quality in later life Sexual activity is a good predictor of health and wellbeing in older adults Sexuality is not merely a product of biology; sexual identity is a mix of emotional, developmental, and cultural aspects of life; it is part of an individual’s identity and an important characteristic carried with us over the life course Sex and sexuality are essential parts of the relationship with oneself and with others, and the continuity of sexual identity remains a dynamic part of our selfconcept throughout life course Sexuality is an integral part of loving and bonding Cohort and culture shape sexual relationship in later life Because of the stigma traditionally attached to homosexuality, many gay and lesbian couples are reluctant to disclose their sexual orientation Aging can be a particularly difficult course for gay men and lesbians Americans are gradually becoming comfortable with the idea of homosexual couples an samesex marriage Laterlife relationships tend to be strong ones, grounded in maturity and selfunderstanding, whether they be samesex or oppositesex partnerships Social policy inequalities favoring institutionalized heterosexism: o Social security pays survivor benefits to widows and widowers but not to surviving samesex life partners of someone who dies o Married spouses are eligible for Social Security spousal benefits that can allow them to earn half their spouses’ Social Security benefit if is larger than their own; unmarried partners in lifelong relationships are not eligible for spousal benefits o Medicaid regulations protect the assets and homes of married spouses when the other enters longterm care; no such protections are offered to samesex partners o Tax laws and other regulations of 401 ks and pensions discriminate against samesex partners, costing the surviving partner in a samesex relationships tens of thousands of dollars a year o Basic rights such as hospital visitation or right to die in the same nursing home as one’s partner are regularly denied samesex partners The lifestyles and life choices of gay males and lesbians are similar to those of heterosexuals Due to institutionalized heterosexism, lesbian and gay older adults often have difficulties accessing health care, social services, and even affordable housing in some communities The cultural context of sexual identity, shaped in no small part by historical trends, is huge, and its ripple impacts family, the work force and labor market, and social policy Sexuality of older people is largely invisible o Partly because sex and sexuality are intensely private matters for many older people o Also emerges from our cultural focus on youth Myth that older people automatically lose interest in sex distorts perceptions of older people; also influences older people’s perceptions of themselves, because we incorporate our culture’s attitudes, norms, and values into our selfconcepts Elders in our society become sexually invisible o Not viewed as being sexual The idea is commonplace that sexual tension is based mainly on physical attraction between the sexes and that very young men and women are the most physically or sexually attractive Advertising, film, TV, and stage promote the theme that good looks, youth, and sex go together Many people consider only the young, perfectly proportioned body to be sexually attractive o The signs of age, especially when combined with obesity or sexually unacceptable features, are automatically assumed to be unattractive When people consider older bodies to be neither sexually stimulating nor desirable, the next step is to assume that no interest in sex or sexual activity occurs in old age o Can produce selffulfilling prophecies in which old people internalize those cultural messages about themselves Social comparisons are an aspect of body attitude; describe a process by which people compare themselves with people who are having more difficulty along a particular dimension The Kinsey studies of the sexual practices of men and women were landmark, classic studies o Studied the sexual histories of many individuals in depth o Concluded that the rate of sexual activity gradually declines with age The Masters and Johnson studies of human sexual behavior were considered revolutionary fort their time period o They studied not just sexual histories but also observed and recorded the physiological responses of couples having sexual intercourse o Body processes slow down with age but do not stop o Found that if a middle aged husband and wife are aware of changes and take them into account in lovemaking, there is no reason why pleasurable sex cannot continue o For men, the body processes affected by aging process include the length of time needed to get an erection and the firmness of the erection; also the ejaculatory expulsion of semen is less forceful and the erection may be lost faster after ejaculation, may take longer to achieve another erection o Women’s ejaculatory control becomes better and they can maintain an erection for a longer period of time without the strong drive to ejaculate; women say that lovemaking is more satisfying, time allows for greater opportunities to bond emotionally during sex; sex for women is as much an act of bonding emotional connection as it is an act of physical performance o An aging female is subject to all the negative attitudes of our society regarding women and sexual matters: sex drive is not as strong as a man, women are more passive, and do not enjoy sex as much as men o Older women experience a slowing process just as men do, vaginal lubrication occurs more slowly with aging and less lubrication is produced, generally experience a shorter orgasmic phase o Increased rate of masturbation in older women; widowed or divorced, separated from male sex partners o Among mentally and physically healthy older adults, there is no end point to their sense of sexuality The Duke Longitudinal Study tied to answer the question of how many older people take advantage of their sexual potential and remain sexually active and also to assess the changes in sexual interest and activity that comes with age o One finding some become more interested with sex as we age o High variability in sexual behavior among aging adults o The study shows enough sexual activity on the part of the old and very old to illustrate the sexual potential Masters and Johnson found in older adults o Sexual interest of many exceeded their actual sexual activity (perhaps by ailing physical health, psychological reasons, or lack of an acceptable partner) Unhappy marriages reduce sexual activity for older couples just as it does for younger couples The biggest problem for older, unmarried women is that of having a partner, men their age are in small supply Older adults demonstrate a strong interest in sex and a large capacity for enjoying life One of the most debilitating factors related to diminishing sexual activity is the selffulfilling prophecy of asexual aging the belief that sexual prowess diminishes with age Knowing what changes to expect with aging as well as how to deal with those changes is key to remaining sexually active Sexuality is among the last of our faculties to decline with age We are sexual beings; warmth, caring, and a deep appreciation help to bring out the best in both people in a partnership, regardless of age Information, knowledge, and caring for oneself and one’s partner are primary aspects of a continuing and satisfying sexual life The most common reason for an older adult to report low interest in sex is the lack of a sexual partner because of divorce, death, or illness Group living situations are often not conducive to maintaining an intimate relationship Ideas about agerelated role behavior are slowly changing to include respect for the continuing need for expressed sexuality Sexual patterns and attitudes do not change much over the life course Treating aged men and women like children because they want to hold hands or embrace is insulting and robs older adults of an important aspect of identity Ways nursing homes can address issue of sexuality directly: o Improving privacy (“do not disturb signs”) o Educating staff about human sexuality in later life o Helping to arrange for conjugal visits or home visits o Encouraging other forms of sexual expression such as hugging and kissing o Evaluating complaints about sexual functioning o Discontinuing medicines that may affect sexual function o Providing information and counseling about sexuality to interested patients The possibilities for intimacy and enchantment with another continue to the end of our lives Sex is for life; the frequency and vigor may change with age, but sex in later life remains as important to selfidentity in our later life as it is in youth Chapter 8: WORK & LEISURE Changes in Retirement o In early 1900, nearly 70% of American men 65+ were employed 1960, dropped to 35% 1976, dropped to 22% 1992, dropped to 15% (don’t need to memorize these numbers) o Women’s employment & retirement choices differ from men’s, as they are often arranged around marriage, child bearing (“mommy tracking”), spouses’ income. o Shift from agricultural to industrialized economy o Social Security Act passed in 1935 deemed the retirement age 65, & allotted working person’s benefit after retirement o Shifting trend towards early retirement (age 55), especially in white & bluecollar workers. o Differing companies may have late or early retirement incentive programs. Social Security o People are living longer than ever, so are drawing longer upon SS. o There’s also a shrinking supply of younger workers paying into SS. o Social Security would stabilize if older workers stayed on the job longer. The SS age will gradually become 67; there are incentives now to take SS at a later age. Benefits of Early Retirement o Reduce need for layoffs o Payroll costs can be reduced o Number of seniors, more highly paid employees can be reduced o Employee morale can be preserved when done “across the board” (not targeted). o Employment discrimination minimized. o Promotion channels can be opened to younger individuals Age Discrimination o Cannot discriminate on persons in employment based on age, especially between ages 4070. o Do not have to put date of birth on employment application; cannot be asked age in a job interview. o Passed over for promotion or firstfired. o Age discrimination is difficult to prove Adjustment to Retirement o Research shows variations in adjustment, satisfaction, & happiness in retirement o Retirement funds are a factor in when one retires, if they stay retired, & how satisfied they are w/ retirement o Good health, willingness to retire, & attitudes toward retirement are all important factors Different Retirement Patterns o Withdrawal: extreme reduction of social activities o Third age: retirement characterized by creative & cultural activities o Leisure: emphasis on consumption of leisure activities o Protest: political activism, especially to protect interest of the retired o Acceptance: traditional retirement values; lengthy television & other mass communication exposure Views on Work o After the protestant Reformation, work was viewed as having inherent dignity & value (not just a means for survival/income). o Strong work ethic may clash w/ retirement o 35% of retirees return to the workforce, while the majority does not. o Options include: fulltime work, parttime work, or retraining Some people are forced to retire because of age discrimination or illness; others continue to work because they can’t afford to retire Economics of supply and demand governs one’s presence in our out of the job market Retirees may either feel elated and free, or devalued and depressed Retirement an event that occurs when a person definitively stops working and withdraws from the formal labor market Some people withdraw because they lack the health to continue working, agerelated disabilities, or because they have become unemployed and unable to find a new job For individuals, the meaning of retirement ranges broadly The outcome of retirement depends on individual characteristics of people their lifestyles and the sociocultural context in which they live Factors impacting retirement decisions and the adaption to retirement o Pension plans less common than 30 years ago o Social Security benefits were lower than for middleaged workers in present times o Fewer retiring men had wives who were also in the workforce, and retirement did not have to be coordinated within a family o Because of longevity issues, fewer of the retiring workers in the past had elderly parents needing care For most in the US retirement is an expected life event Not all workers retire completely, more people are entering or remaining in the workforce Industrial Revolution brought many complex changes: increased productivity created great surpluses of food and other goods, more people ceased being selfemployed and went to work in large factories and businesses, government and bureaucracy grew In 1935 with the passage of the Social Security Act, all conditions for institutionalizing retirement were met, law dictated that people over 65 who had worked certain lengths of time were eligible for benefits and 65 became the age for retirement In retirement some people develop new relationships and discover interests that were not developed when their attention was in the world of work and raising a family 1980s and 1990s, trend, more companies encouraged employees in skilled, semiskilled, or unskilled jobs to retire before 65 without a substantial loss of pension benefits; the American industry, built on the premise that the young have greater vitality, has steadfastly worked for early retirement and restrictions on work opportunities for older workers Pension plans for many civil service jobs encourage early retirement through generous pension plans Desire for and expectation of early retirement has increased over last several decades Some companies offer incentives to retire early Most corporations now have early retirement inducements in their pension plans, only a handful of organizations offer incentives to continue working beyond age 65 Early retirement packages are typical of large corporations that want to cut costs by downsizing their operations Some businesses, such as health care or higher education benefit from developing flexible work arrangements, including flextime and compressed work schedules, job sharing, or telework arrangements o Flexible arrangements can be desirable to the older worker who no longer wishes to work the fulltime, more stressful career schedule they once worked Some workers like having work options, grabbing a retirement package at one company and then getting an equivalent or even better job elsewhere, some wanted to retire anyways; the unhappy workers are the ones who feel forced to retire either by company downsizing or for health related reasons Labor pool of young workers is declining, and sometimes cost as much to train as to retain older workers Also, as labor needs become more integrated with technological acumen, older workers are not always as prepared for newly developing jobs as are younger workers The value of work differs by cohort, and some executives find that older workers have a stronger work ethic than younger workers Some companies have introduced lateretirement incentive programs (LRIPs) Many early retirees find the “good deals” not so good after all, buyout plans are growing skimpier, and new jobs are scarce Some early retirement incentives are offers that older American workers cannot refuse, and many older workers are wondering whether they are being subjected to disguised early retirement discrimination A onetime incentive is not the same as an early retirement option An early retirement option offers an employee the choice to stay or go In contrast, with the onetime incentive, the employee either accepts or is laid off Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) all early retirements must be voluntary Along with the multinational web of global markets, new forms of industrial competition are emerging just as the population is aging Downsizing, restructuring, reengineering, outsourcing, reduction in force (RIF) are all common to the postindustrial work environment of the 21 century In the US, outsourcing and downsizing have shifted much work from permanent workers to contingent workers who are generally nonunion and lower paid than those they have replaced The risk of job loss is catastrophic for workers 4555, the exact age category that has suffered most as a result of corporate downsizing st Workplace changes accompanying the global recession in the first decades of the 21 century have had profound impact on work, retirement, and leisure plans of people o Changes include loss of manufacturing jobs and a subsequent shift to service and knowledgeable work Older workers might require technology training that younger workers already possess Economies and the work environment are dynamic, changing, and evolving constantly Age discrimination in employment starts long before the traditional time for retirement The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits the following: o Failing to hire a worker between age 40 and 70 because of age o Discharging a person because of age o Discrimination in pay or other benefits because of age o Limiting or classifying an employee according to his or her age o Instructing an employment agency not to refer a person to a job because of age, or to refer that person only to certain kinds of jobs o Placing any ad that shows preference based on age or specifies an age bracket (except for the federal government, employers of less than 20 people, or jobs, where youth is a “bona fide occupational qualification,” such as modeling teenage clothes) The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990 amended the Age Discrimination in Employment Act to prohibit employers from denying benefits to older employees o Designed to reduce the disincentive to hire older workers when the cost of some benefits to older workers is greater than the cost of those benefits to younger workers, as for most health care programs The protection of older workers has become necessary in light of downsizing and demand for high corporate profit margins, even in a time of economic growth and especially in a time of economic recession When layoffs are for legitimate business reasons rather than to eliminate those employees who are highly compensated, they are legal The current work place is likely to have a broad mix of ages among workers; some people cannot afford or choose not to retire as soon as p
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