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Chapter Twenty Middle Adulthood: Biosocial Development PowerPoints prepared by Cathie Robertson, Grossmont College Middle Adulthood Biosocial development halfway between beginning and end of adulthood Variations in aging, influenced by genes income ethnicity life style

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Chapter twenty l.jpg

Chapter Twenty

Middle Adulthood:

Biosocial Development

PowerPoints prepared by Cathie Robertson, Grossmont College

Middle adulthood l.jpg
Middle Adulthood

Biosocial development halfway between beginning and end of adulthood

Variations in aging, influenced by




life style

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Primary and Secondary Aging

Primary aging—inevitable age-related changes

Secondary aging—age-related changes that are the consequence of a person’s behavior or society’s failure to eliminate unhealthy conditions




lack of exercise

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Looking Old

Hair turns gray and thins

Wrinkles appear and skin becomes dry

Body size (people get shorter) and shape change (fat pockets settle on various parts of body)

All the sense organs function in a less effective manner.

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Vital Body Systems

Systematic declines make people more vulnerable to disease

Changes occur in the sexual reproductive system during middle age

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Occurs between ages 42 and 58

marked decrease in the production of estrogen, progesterone

lower estrogen, osteoporosis, inability to reproduce

hot flushes, cold sweats (vasomotor instability)

mood changes for some women

psychic consequences extremely variable


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Do men undergo menopause?


decline in sperm production and motility, as well as lower testosterone levels

No dramatic andropause

though men can suffer from sudden, stress-related shifts in hormone levels

the opposite can also occur: a rise in self-esteem

Male Menopause?

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Male Menopause?, cont.

  • Even with the help of new drugs, like Viagra, most men will experience a decline in sexual desire and speed of intercourse as they age

  • Worry about aging bodies and life changes can magnify the sexual consequences of aging

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4 Measures of Health

death, disease, disability, and vitality

Measuring Health

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Mortality and Morbidity

Mortality—the number of deaths each year per 1,000 people in a given population

Morbidity—the rate of diseases of all kinds, chronic and acute, in a given population

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Disability and Vitality


inability to perform activities that most others can

more costly to society than either mortality or morbidity


how healthy and energetic one is—physically, socially, and emotionally

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More than 1/4 of middle age nonsmokers are former smokers

1/4 currently smoke

Quitting by age 65 is too late for some smokers

death rates are about the same as they have been in the past


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Tobacco, cont.

  • Smoking increases rate of most other serious diseases including

    • cancer of the bladder, kidney, mouth, stomach

    • heart disease

    • stroke

    • pneumonia

    • emphysema

  • All smoking diseases are dose- and duration-sensitive

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Tobacco, cont.

  • Secondhand smoke is dangerous

  • Worldwide tobacco use is expected to cause more deaths in 2020 than any other single condition

  • Smoking influenced by social norms

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Adults who consume alcohol in moderation (nor more than two servings a day) tend to live longer than those who never drink

helps reduce heart disease

More alcohol consumption comes with notable risk

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Alcohol, cont.

  • Excessive alcohol use

    • stresses heart and stomach

    • destroys brain cells

    • hastens calcium loss

    • adds to global disease burden

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Obesity and Overweight

According to the World Health Organization,there is a worldwide epidemic of obesity and overweight

Excess pounds cut down 3 years of life

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65 percent of U.S. population between 35 and 65 years of age are overweight

increased significantly for

both sexes,

in every decade

in every cohort

in every ethnic group

The Impact of the Epidemic

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The Impact of the Epidemic, cont, age are overweight

  • In almost every nation, people weigh more than they did a few decades ago

  • Being overweight increases risk of every cause of disease, as well as of disability and death

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Ethnic Variations and Health age are overweight

Women outlive men in every nation of the world

Well educated, financially secure people live longer than people of same age, sex, and ethnicity with less education and money

income and education lead to access to services

People in cities live longer than do people in the countryside

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Income and education are tied to age are overweight

community support

quality of health care

Personal factors affect variations







cultural patterns

Explaining Variations

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African-Americans 2x as likely to die as European-Americans age are overweight

Asian-Americans 1/2 as likely to die as European-Americans

Subgroups within each of 5 broad ethnic categories has its own pattern

for example, Cubans live longer than Puerto Ricans

Japanese-Americans tend to live longer than Filipino-Americans

The Influence of Ethnicity on Health

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The Influence of Ethnicity on Health, cont. age are overweight

  • Some immigrants are healthier than long-time residents of same age and ethnicity because

    • only hardiest individuals emigrate

    • health habits of immigrants are better

    • immigrants have optimistic outlook

    • immigrants have family communication and support

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Genetic risks age are overweight

Specific health care behaviors

Social context factors including stress, prejudice, and poverty

Three Causes of Ethnic Variations in Health

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Each individual has particular genetic risks to be aware of age are overweight

family history can make some risks apparent

medical tests sometimes confirm genetic influences

but genes act epigenetically—that is, genes and lifestyle interact

Genetic Risks

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Doctors and Patients age are overweight

Health Care System

in United States, works less well for minorities and for the poor

minorities and the poor less likely to seek preventive care

when they do get care, it is less than it might be

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The Social Context age are overweight

People in poorer nations experience higher rates of almost every disease, injury, and cause of death

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The Social Context, cont. age are overweight

Some conditions relate to affluence (diseases ofaffluence) and may seem exceptions to the rule about the relationship between SES and health, but such conditions are rising among the poor

Health of immigrants is better than for native-born members of the same ethnic group

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Social Context, cont. age are overweight

  • How does connection between income and social context explain ethnic differences in health?

    • social context of poverty (ethnic minorities often average lower incomes) includes more pollution, crowding, and health hazards

  • Gender, ethnicity, income, and birthplace affect almost every health indicator