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Part VI. Chapter Seventeen. Emerging Adulthood: Biosocial Development. Growth, Strength, and Health Habits and Risks. Emerging Adulthood: Biosocial Development.

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part vi

Part VI

Chapter Seventeen

Emerging Adulthood: Biosocial Development

Growth, Strength, and Health

Habits and Risks

Prepared by Madeleine Lacefield Tattoon, M.A.

emerging adulthood biosocial development
Emerging Adulthood: Biosocial Development

“Over the past few decades, a social shift has pushed forward the age at which people are expected to commit to career and family, or at least to have “a good plan.”

growth strength and health
Growth, Strength, and Health
  • Ages and Stages
    • for children, physical maturation correlates with chronological age and developmental stage
    • the play years and the school years also have biological markers
    • in adulthood chronological age is an imperfect guide to development
growth strength and health4
Growth, Strength, and Health
  • Ages and Stages
    • social roles vary
      • a group of 40-year-olds might include those married, divorced, expecting children or who are grandparents
    • developmentalists, however, still cluster adults into chronological groups and report differences
    • age is not definitive within one community, cohort, or culture
growth strength and health5
Growth, Strength, and Health
  • Strong and Attractive Bodies
    • muscles grow and shape changes in ways that differ by sex
      • males gain more arm muscle and females more hip fat
    • physical strength for both sexes increases in the 20s
growth strength and health6
Growth, Strength, and Health
  • Strong and Attractive Bodies
    • the body systems function optimally at the beginning of adulthood
    • serious diseases are not yet apparent, some childhood ailments are outgrown
growth strength and health7
Growth, Strength, and Health
  • Senescence
      • the process of aging, whereby the body becomes less strong and efficient
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Growth, Strength, and Health
  • Homeostasis
    • the adjustment of the body’s systems to keep physiological functions in a state of equilibrium
    • as the body ages, it takes longer for these homeostatic adjustments to occur, so it becomes harder for older bodies to adapt to stress
  • Organ Reserve
    • the capacity of young adults’ organs to allow the body to cope with stress
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Growth, Strength, and Health
  • Appearance
    • most emerging adults look vital and attractive because of overall health, strength, and activity
    • oily hair, pimpled faces, and awkward limbs of adolescence are gone
    • wrinkles and hair loss of adulthood have not yet appeared
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Growth, Strength, and Health
  • Appearance
    • muscles are stronger and obesity is less common in emerging adulthood than earlier or later in life
    • young adults worry about how they look because they want attention from each other
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Growth, Strength, and Health
  • Sexual Activity
    • the sexual-reproductive system is at its strongest during emerging adulthood
    • adults have a strong sex drive
    • fertility is greater and miscarriage is less common
    • orgasm is more frequent
    • testosterone, is higher for both men and women
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Growth, Strength, and Health
  • Sexual Activity
    • sex drives lead to many joyous interactions
    • many young adults want sex but do not want spouses or children
    • more methods today for women to not become pregnant
    • the reality that sex need not entail pregnancy is one reason that people are marrying later
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Growth, Strength, and Health
  • Sexual Activity
    • most emerging adults still believe that marriage is a serious and desirable commitment
    • premarital sex postpones marriage without sexual deprivation
    • this new pattern makes for two complications: distress and disease
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Growth, Strength, and Health
  • Emotional Stress
    • emerging adults have more partners and more sexual intercourse than adults who are somewhat older
    • “unanticipated emotional entanglement” is likely to produce emotional stress
    • most sexual interactions include unspoken assumptions
growth strength and health15
Growth, Strength, and Health
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
    • have been around since the beginning of time
    • much higher today than ever before
    • half of all adults have had at least one STI
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Growth, Strength, and Health
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
    • STIs can have no symptoms (about half the time)
    • infertility and even death can occur
    • public health experts recommend check-ups every six months
    • at the end of a sexual relationship and before starting sex with a new partner
habits and risks
Habits and Risks
  • Some emerging adults begin good habits and sustain them lifelong; others make destructive choices.
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Habits and Risks
  • Exercise
    • protects against serious illness at every stage of life
    • reduces blood pressure
    • strengthens the heart and lungs
    • makes depression, osteoporosis, heart disease, arthritis, and even some cancer less likely
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Habits and Risks
  • Eating Well
    • Set Point
      • a particular body weight that an individual’s homeostatic processes strive to maintain
    • Body Mass Index (BMI)
      • the ratio of a person’s weight in kilograms divided by his or her height in meter’s squared
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Habits and Risks
  • Eating Disorders
    • Anorexia Nervosa
      • a serious eating disorder in which a person restricts eating to the point of emaciation and possible starvation
      • most victims are high-achieving females in early puberty or early adulthood
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Habits and Risks
  • anorexia nervosa is diagnosed when four symptoms are evident:
    • refusal to maintain a body weight that is at least 85% of normal for age and height
    • intense fear of weight gain
    • disturbed body perception and denial of the problem
    • in adolescent and adults females, lack of menstruation
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Habits and Risks
  • Eating Disorders
    • Bulimia Nervosa
      • an eating disorder in which the person, usually female, engages repeatedly in episodes of binge eating followed by purging through induced vomiting or use of laxatives
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Habits and Risks
  • Theories of Eating Disorders
    • in all eating disorders, consumption is disconnected from the internal cues of hunger
    • a developmental perspective finds that eating disorders may originate early in life
      • not only with genes but also with early hunger and family food habits
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Habits and Risks
  • Theories of Eating Disorders
    • women are 10 times more likely to engage in destructive self-sabotage
    • is it nature or nurture?
    • remember the theories in Chapter 2
      • psychoanalytic
      • behaviorism
      • cognitive
      • socialcultural
      • epigenetic
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Habits and Risks
  • Taking Risks
    • emerging adults bravely, or foolishly, take risk
    • risk taking is not age-related, it is also genetic and hormonal
    • some people are naturally more daring than others
    • males are more likely to be brave or foolish
    • society benefits because each generation of emerging adults takes chances
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Habits and Risks
  • Edgework
    • occupations or recreational activities that require a degree of risk or danger; it is this prospect of “living on the edge” that makes edgework compelling to some individuals
habits and risks27
Habits and Risks
  • Drug abuse…
    • and addiction can involve a wide range of drugs, from the perfectly legal to the highly illegal…
    • two of the most harmful and addictive substances—nicotine and alcohol—are legal in the United States
    • from a health perspective, legality is irrelevant…what matter is the effects of abuse and addiction
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Habits and Risks
  • drug abuse
    • the ingestion of a drug to the extent that it impairs the user’s biological or psychological well-being
  • drug addiction
    • a condition of drug dependence in which the absence of the given drug in the individual's system produces a drive—physiological, psychological, or both—to ingest more of the drug
  • delay discounting
    • the tendency to under-value, or downright ignore, future consequences and rewards in favor of more immediate gratification
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Habits and Risks
  • Social Norms
    • the standards of behavior within a given society or culture
    • social norms approach
      • a method of reducing risky behavior that uses emerging adults’ desire to follow social norms by making them aware, through the use of surveys, of the prevalence of various behaviors within their peer groups