Flashcards in Final Exam- Chapter 13 Deck (64):
Life Span Developmental Theories or models
1. Development is a process of adapting to a constant flux
of influences on our lives
2. Both biology and culture support development
-Supporting optimal development in childhood
-Most people reach adulthood and reproduce
-Selection pressures weaken by middle adulthood
-More cultural supports are required for success
Development requires multidimensional models
1. Both hereditary and environmental influences
2. Both continuity and change characterize adults
3. Adaptation continues from birth to death
Change involves gains and losses throughout life
– Gains are most obvious early in life
– Losses are more obvious later
Adaptation to change involves three global process
– Growth: Adding new characteristics, understandings, skills
– Maintenance or resilience: Finding ways to continue or restore functioning after loss
– Regulation of loss: Adjusting expectations and accepting a lower level of functioning
maximizing gains, minimizing losses
n Stability in the Big 5 personality traits after age 30
1. – Neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness to experience
2. Correlated with childhood temperament
Biological causes are implicated- Sources of Stability in Adult Development
– Related to brain-mediated systems of approach, fear
irritability, effortful control, and reactivity
– Stable differences in reactivity, stress response
Environmental influences equally important- sources of stability in Adult Development
– Predictable responses from others
– Relatively stable environments for many
Personality traits across cultures
1. Traits and typical age related changes similar across many cultures
2. McCrae and colleagues (1999) conducted a cross-sectional study across 5 different cultures and found consistent trends among German, Italian, Portuguese, Croatian, and Korean groups.
-Older individuals across cultures where higher on agreeableness and conscientiousness; somewhat lower in extraversion and openness to experience.
Change as a function of time
Physical changes in adulthood
– Declines in sensory ability, reproductive ability
– Changes in appearance, wrinkles, weight
Cognitive changes in adulthood
– Decline in fluid/mechanical processes, processing speed and inhibition mechanisms
– Stable or increasing crystallized resources, declarative and procedural knowledge
Life tasks and responsibilities in adulthood
– Fairly predictable sequence of change in roles
Erikson: Three stages in self-development in adulthood
-Intimacy vs. isolation (early)
-Generativity vs. stagnation (middle)
-Ego integrity vs. despair (late)
Vaillant suggested two more adult life stages should be added to Erikson’s
-Career consolidation vs. self-absorption (20’s)
-Keeper of meaning vs. rigidity (late middle adulthood)
Development is influenced by the intersection of...
– Chronological age (life time)
– Family-related roles (family time)
– Membership in a birth cohort (historical time)
1. Year of birth marks entry into a cohort of peers
2. History-graded changes are those that affect the development of a whole cohort
– Examples include The Great Depression, WWII, the Vietnam War, social changes in 1960s, 9-11
– Effects of event depend on age and stage of life
3. The social gradient
– Economic, social status alters impact of events
1. sudden, unexpected, and individual
– Not predicted by age, not relevant to everyone
– Create a new set of circumstances
– Have potential to alter course of development
2. Many negative nonnormative events possible
– Traumatic illnesses, accidents, imprisonment or death of a loved one
3. Some positive nonnormative events have impact
– Geographic move for a job promotion, major career
change, economic windfall
Key Developmental Tasks of Midlife
1. Continuing pursuit of intimacy and generativity
2. Impact of intimacy in midlife
– Good marriages or primary relationships confer important physical and psychological benefits
• Higher levels of happiness
• Higher sexual and emotional satisfaction
• Lower rates of mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse and physical illness
• Economic benefits and protective factors
• Tendency to live longer
3. Friendships also very important for life satisfaction
The family life cycle
1. Normative stage like sequence of roles and experiences
– Leaving home as single young adults
– Finding a compatible mate
– Joining of families through marriage
– Families with young children
– Families with adolescents
– Launching children and moving on
– Families in later life
Theories of marital harmony and discord
1. Disillusionment model: Romantic notions dashed
2. Maintenance hypothesis: Romantic couples work to maintain illusions and therefore marriage
3. Social exchange/behavioral theories: Marriage fails when problems become overwhelming, or because of inadequate for coping
4. Intrapersonal models: Attachment and temperament explain marital success or failure
Multidimensional model for marriage
– Intrapersonal factors: Traits, expectations
– Interpersonal factors: Problem-solving skills
– Situational factors: Stresses, environment
– Developmental factors: Transitions, role change
Predicting marital success or satisfaction so far
– More successful when positive outweighs negative
– Negative affect reciprocity predicts dissolution
– “Four horsemen of the apocalypse” are criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling
Four Horseman of the Apocalypse
1. Criticism: verbally attacking partner's personality or character
2. Contempt: attacking your partner's sense of self with an intention to insult or psychologically abuse them
3. Defensiveness: seeing yourself as the victim in efforts to ward off a perceived attack and reverse the blame
4. Stonewalling: withdrawing from the relationship as a way to avoid conflict in efforts to convey disapproval, distance, and separation
1. Aprimary developmental task of middle adulthood
2. Two components: desire and accomplishment
– Desire refers to wanting to be creative, productive, or giving
– Accomplishment means actually feeling that you are creative, productive, or giving
– Desire more characteristic of young adults
– Accomplishment more typical of middle adults
3. For many people, raising children is a significant part of
adult life and establishing generativity
1. Most view parenting role as a generative process
2. Parents experience more stress than nonparents
– Parents report both intense new stresses and delightful new pleasures
– Each stage of a child’s life presents new challenges for parents
Meeting parenting challenges depends on
– Age and stage of life
– Personality and coping skills
– Socioeconomic status
– Available support systems
Parenting Stages- Newborn period and infancy
First-time parents often distressed and overwhelmed
Parenting Stages- Toddler, preschool
Parent begin to discipline child, must provide continuous supervision
Parenting Stages- Middle childhood
Calmer period, but with plenty of challenges, new outside factors of peers, teachers
Parenting Stages- Adolescence:
Parenting usually becomes more difficult, increases in conflict and worry
Parenting Stages- Launching period
Emerging adult children begin to move away and become more self-sufficient
Parenting Stages- Kinkeeping period
Maintaining extended family connections, may be caring for elder and younger
Common to function in many roles in middle age
1. Multiple roles increase stress
2. Also allows for role buffering (difficulty in one role buffered by success in another)
3. Sense of generative accomplishment depends on how creative and productive adults feel
People who score high on measures of generativity
1. Report higher self-esteem and happiness
2. Are more actively involved in political, religious, and social reform activities
Some core skills and strategies clinicians can teach to help maintain relational well-being
1. Calm down
2. Speak non-defensively
3. Validate partners and what they’re going through
4. Overlearn, practice behaviors of self-soothing, non-
defensive listening and validating
5. Pay attention to the little things, cultivate positive affect in daily interactions
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Experiencing, witnessing, or being confronted with
event so traumatizing that it results in symptoms of re-
experiencing, hyperarousal, and avoidance
Vulnerability to PTSD a combination of factors
– Biological vulnerability, stress response
– Psychological vulnerability, history of trauma
– Difficulties in executive functions prior to trauma
Five features of treatment in PTSD
– Addressing safety
– Calming by addressing pressing practical needs
– Supporting self and collective efficacy
– Bolstering connectedness among survivors
– Instilling hope
The gradual reduction of reproductive ability, ending in menopause, the cessation of menstruation, usually begin in the 40s and continues for at least 10 years
1. The climacteric is largely a function of a reduction in circulating estradiol, a form of the primary female hormone, estrogen, produced by the ovaries.
1. For men in the middle years, changes in the production of testosterone, the primary male hormone, are not as drmatic.
2. Some controversy has existed over whether testosterone production declines at all in healthy men, but longitudinal studies in recent years confirm that small average declines do occur, starting as early as the 20s, a process referred to as andropause.
A substance in the cells of the dermis, or middle layer of skin, allows the skin to stretch and contract as we move.
1. Pain sensitivity
2. May increase in sensitivity as people ag
1. Mechanics of intelligence
2. Basic operational characteristics that seem to directly reflect how well the "hardware" of the nervous system is working, affecting the efficiency of processes like reasoning.
Crystallized intelligence/pragmatics of intelligence
1. Compilation of skills and information we have acquired in the course of our lives
2. A little like the pile of software programs that most of us accumulate for our computers.
3. Less likely than fluid intelligence to show declines with age and, for some individuals, can increase even into old age.
Ego integrity vs. despair
1. Becomes life's task
2. A process of life review helps the elderly adult to develop a sense that her own life is "something that had to be," that she has lived a life that has order, meaning, and dignity
Career consolidation vs. self-absorption
1. A key focus of self-development
2. Making a commitment to work that brings personal satisfaction, regardless of its other rewards, rather than just having a job, becomes important
3. Such a commitment emerges as an important part of one's identity
Keeper of meaning vs. rigidity
1. Comes near the end of Erikson's generativity stage, in late middle adulthood
2. When the adult expands her generative concerns beyond just making a productive contribution, in order to actually preserve something that is part of the culture.
3. Adults seek ways to establish the meaningfulness of the work or contributions they have made.
1. History-graded events
2. Provide a context for development and also influence it directly
Remind us that development is influenced by the intersection of chronological age (life time), family-related roles (family time), and membership in a birth cohort (historical time)
Socioeconomic position (SEP)
1. Instead of SES, because it reflects a more systems-centered approach and recognizes the contributions of societal stratification on development
1. Because the most common impulse within society is to organize itself in a hierarchical fashion, those at the bottom usually end up with restricted access to resources and opportunities.
-Step-wise top-to-bottom phenomenon
1. Similarity to oneself in religion, SES, race, education, and so on, as well as on personality compatibility
1. Overly romantic idealization of marriage and blissfully optimistic views of one's partner set people up for eventual disappointment
2. Such fantasies cannot coexist for long with the reality of married life.
1. Work hard to maintain their favorable beliefs about each other, despite the inevitable challenges of marriage.
2. Their positive illusions are supportive of the relationship; thus they may be reluctant to abandon them to face reality.
Social exchange and behavioral theories
1. Increasing problems and mounting conflicts gradually escalate to overwhelm the originally positive perceptions spouses held for each other.
2. Over time, couples who experience chronic conflict and who fail to negotiate it adequately may "fall out of love" with each other once they perceive that the costs of the relationship outweigh its benefits.
3. In truth, no marriage escapes conflict.
1. Draw on theories of attachment or personality, emphasize the contribution of one's personal history or temperament to the success or failure of relationships.
2. Intrapersonal variables like a person's tendency to make positive or negative attributes about her partner and her expectations about the future of the relationship have been found to affect relationship quality over time.
3. How quickly an individual recovers from conflict
Homeostatic steady state
1. Theory to describe marriage as a relational system that seeks a stable state.
2. This steady state is maintained over time by the couple's unique balance of positive and negative elements in areas of interactive behavior, perception, and physiology.
3. Behavior refers to a couple's interactions and accompanying affect
4. Perception refers to self-perceptions and atributions directed to partners
5. Physiology refers to the autonomic, endocrine, and immune system functioning of the partners.
1. Women are much more likely to play these roles than men in most cultures, although many men take on some kinkeeping or caregiving responsibilities
2. These tasks can be particularly challenging if they coincide with the adolescence of one's children.
3. People ho carry these double responsibilities are described as being in the sandwhich generation.
Involves generating, creating, and producing things, ideas, people, events, and so on as powerful extensions or expressions of the self
2. Agentic generativity depends on self-knowledge, a sense of identity, and the opportunity to work on tasks that match our interests, values, and skills, all key features of successful career planning.