What are some physical changes occurring in middle age?
- Muscular strength, reaction time, sensory keenness, and cardiac output crest by mid-twenties
- Physical vigor in early and middle adulthood is mostly related to health and exercise habits
- Menopause is well tolerated by most women
What are some cognitive changes occurring in middle age?
Crystallized intelligence (accumulate knowledge) increases up to old age such that those in literature, history, andphilosophy may produce best work in their 40s or thereafter
What are some physical and cognitive changes declining in late adulthood?
(> 65 yo)
- Visual acuity
- Adaptation to light level changes
- Reaction time
- Distance perception
- Processing speed changes such that car accident rates per mile reach high teenage level by ~75 yo*
- Fluid intelligence (one's ability to reason speedily and abstractly) decreases slowly during adulthood; thus scientists and mathematicians may be most creative in late 20s through 30s
*These factors all feed into decreased driving ability, even in the ABSENCE of any cognitive changes!
What is crystallized intelligence?
What is fluid intelligence?
One's ability to reason speedily and abstractly
What does vocabulary look like in normal aging?
What does attention look like in normal aging?
Simple attention: stable/mild decline
Complex attention: mild decline
How does language change during normal aging?
- Communication: stable
- Syntax: stable
- Fluency: mild decline
- Comprehension: stable/mild decline
In normal aging, people should be able to converse normally!
How does memory change during normal aging?
Immediate: stable/mild decline (should be able to follow directions/understand conversation)
Working: mild/moderate decline (remembering a telephone number)
Recent: moderate decline
Implicit: stable/mild decline
Thus, memory does have some understood decline in normal aging (not so much in language)
How do visuospatial aspects change in normal aging?
- Design copying: variable
- Topographical orientation: decline
How does processing speed change in normal aging?
- Includes reaction time
- Might take people a second or so longer to respond to complex direction/instruction
How does executive function change in normal aging?
(All are mild/moderate decline)
- Cognitive flexibility: mild/moderate decline (changing current stream of thought/override stimuli, such as with word name/color)
- Logical problem solving: mild/moderate decline
- Practical reasoning: mild/moderate decline
What is involved in the non-stage theories concerning the developmental tasks of adulthood?
- Life events and experiences are more important than chronical age given the increasing variability in family and societal structure
- Emphasize that the social clock, i.e. the "right time" to "accomplish" a task (e.g. leaving home, getting a job) can vary between cultures and eras
What is involved in the stage theories concerning the developmental tasks of adulthood?
- Early vulnerabilities in "accomplishing" stage related tasks may predispose to subsequent difficulties
- This is the basis of Erikson's stages
What did Erikson say about the 20-40 yo age group?
- Key social agents?
Intimacy vs. Isolation
- Key social agent: intimate partners, spouses, close friends
- Outcome: mature love
What did Erikson say about the 40-65 yo age group?
- Key social agents?
Generativity vs. Stagnation
- Key social agent: spouse, children, culture/norms
- Outcome: ability to care
What did Erikson say about the >65 yo age group?
- Key social agents?
Ego-integrity vs. Despair
- Key social agent: inner self (?)
- Outcome: wisdom
Tasks of early adulthood?
- Separating psychologically from parents
- Establishing adult relationships with parents
- Accepting responsibility for one’s own person
- Developing capacity for intimacy with a - partner
- Deciding on whether to have children
- Relating to children
- Acquiring marketable skills
- Choosing a career
- Working with a mentor
- Assuming a social role
- Adopting ethical and spiritual values
Tasks of middle adulthood?
- Adjusting to changes in body and sexuality
- Adapting to vulnerability to illness
- Accepting limitations of personal time
- Adjusting to morbidity and mortality of parents and contemporaries
- Facing the realities of death
- Deepening relationships with offspring and grandchildren
- Maintaining old friendships and creating new ones
- Developing resonance with people of all ages
- Refining work identity
- Mentoring to transmit skills and values to the young
- Accepting social responsibility and change
Tasks of late adulthood?
- Maintaining physical health and adapting to infirmities or disabilities
- Developing ways to use remaining time in gratifying ways (i.e. in retirement)
- Adapting to loss of partner and friends
- Maintaining old or forming new social contacts and support system
- Accepting different roles with children and grandchildren
- Using financial resources wisely, for self and others (in terms of managing with lower income or using it to benefit those who come after you)
T/F: Older individuals tend to use one side of their brain more than the other? Results?
False; older individuals tend to use both sides of their brain more
- Increased hemispheric participation can also better integrate affect with cognition
What is an outcome of slower functioning that occurs in normal aging?
Slower functioning may allow older adults more time to think through things
Older adults demonstrate what in terms of brain wave patterns?
Increased complexity of brain wave patterns during information processing
- Suggests a greater number of better organized neural networks
What occurs anatomically in the brain of older individuals? Results?
- Increased gray matter in the temporal, parietal, and frontal lobes later in life
- Mature creativity
- Openness to divergent feelings and thoughts
- Sense of connectedness with others
T/F: Depressive illness in the elderly is normative
False! Depressive illness in the elderly is NOT normative
What are risk factors for depression in elderly?
- Life stress
- Lack of social network
- Physical illness
Who carries the highest risk for suicide?
Elderly white males
What age group has the highest fear of death?
Highest in middle age
- Most older people DO NOT have a dread of death!
- Older people report as much happiness and satisfaction with life as younger people
T/F: The elderly remain sexually active
What is bereavement?
The state or condition caused by loss through death
- Not really the feelings, but the state
What is b?
The sorrow, hurt, anger, guilt, confusion, and other feelings that arise after suffering loss
- The emotional state experienced
What is mourning?
The ways in which we express our grief
- e.g. wearing black, burial process
- Some is cultural (mourn different for firefighter vs. someone else in the community)
What are the stages of the grief process?
Acknowledge the reality of loss: acknowledge loss and realize that it affects every aspect of life
Work through the emotional turmoil: find effective ways to confront and express the complete range of emotions being experienced
Adjust to the environment in which the deceased person is absent: define new patterns of living
Loosen ties to the deceased: free from bonds of the deceased in order to re-engage with social network
What are the two parts of dealing with bereavement int he dual process model?
- Loss-oriented stressors
- Restoration-oriented stressors
What are some loss-oriented stressors?
- Grief work
- Intrusion of grief
- Breaking bonds, ties, relocation of the deceased person
- Denial/avoidance of restoration changes
What are some restoration-oriented stressors?
- Attending to life changes
- Doing new things
- Distraction from grief
- Denial/avoidance of grief
- New roles/identities/relationships