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Young Adulthood . The adult phase of development encompasses the years from the end of adolescence to death: Young adulthood 20 – 40 Middle adulthood 40 – 65 Late adulthood over 65. Maturity: the state of maximal function and integrating or the state of being fully developed.

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Young Adulthood


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    1. Young Adulthood

    2. The adult phase of development encompasses the years from the end of adolescence to death: • Young adulthood 20 – 40 • Middle adulthood 40 – 65 • Late adulthood over 65

    3. Maturity: the state of maximal function and integrating or the state of being fully developed. • Mature persons are open to new experiences and continued growth • They can tolerate ambiguity, are flexible, and can adapt to change

    4. Mature persons also assume responsibility for themselves, make decisions and accept responsibility for these decisions • This is a period of exploration • Trying out new possibilities for a career. • It is a period of escaping from parental domination (Psychological separation from parents) • Substituting friends for family

    5. Friendship is important throughout the life span • Friendship is a form of close relationship providing people with • Enjoyment • Acceptance • Trust, respect, and mutual assistance • Confidences shared and a sense of understanding

    6. Young adults are typically busy people • They are expected to assume new roles at work, in the home and in the community and to develop interests, values and attitudes related to these roles. • Deciding whether or not to have children

    7. Establishing adult relationships with parents • Acquiring marketable skills • Choosing a career • Using money to further development • Assuming a social role • Adopting ethical and spiritual values

    8. Physical development: Twenties • The prime years physically • The musculoskeletal system is well developed and coordinated • This is the period when athletic activities reach their peak • All other systems of the body are also functioning at peak efficiency

    9. Body shape and proportions finally reach their finished state (physical changes are minimal), with the exception of: • weight and body mass as they may change as a result of diet and exercise • Extensive physical and psychosocial changes occur in pregnant and lactating women

    10. Muscles continue to gain strength throughout the twenties and reach peak strength at age thirty depending on exercise and genetic • Men have larger muscles that can produce more force than the muscle tissue of women.

    11. Dental maturity is finally achieved in the twenties with the emergence of the last four molars called wisdom teeth • The reproductive systems are fully mature: best time for reproducing children • Brain cell development reaches its peak

    12. Physical development: Thirties • Physically adults begin to gradually slow down in their thirties • Muscle size and strength can be maintained with regular exercise. Without it muscles begin a progressive decline • Skin begins to lose its resilience and elasticity. Both women and men begin to notice wrinkles in their thirties.

    13. Hair may grow more slowly, be lost or occasionally lose its pigmentation (grey hair) • Genetic predisposition toward baldness or early greying • Gradual shrinking of the brain cells after about age thirty (not a cause of great concern) • While visual acuity remains stable through middle age, hearing begins to decline in the late 20s.

    14. Erik Erikson: psychosocial development • Establishing Intimacy • Erikson’s stage of Intimacy vs. Isolation is the psychosocial challenge of young adulthood. • Choices must be made about education and employment, marriage and having children

    15. Intimacy should occur after one is well into establishing a stable and successful identity • Failure to achieve intimacy results in social isolation • Intimacy’s most important aspect is commitment • Research shows that some women resolve intimacy issues after their children have grown and moved away.

    16. What motivates one to be attracted to another? • People actively seek out others to associate with • Familiarity is necessary for a close relationship • People seek others who are similar to themselves but opposites do attract in certain instances • Physical attractiveness may not be the primary factor in establishing and maintaining a relationship • Standards of what is attractive are always changing over time and across cultures

    17. Cognitive Development • Cognitive structures are complete during formal operation period • Piaget: adolescents and adults think qualitatively in the same way – formal operational thought • Others believe idealism decreases as young adults enter world of work and face constraints of reality • Other researchers have found differences in how adolescents and adults process information.

    18. Researchers have suggested a fifth higher stage of cognitive development that may follow formal operations, Post-formal operations: they are able to comprehend the contradictions (love & hate) that exist in both personal and physical reality

    19. Postformal operations • Part of postformal thinking is the recognition that individuals’ experiences differ and will therefore result in different ways of thinking about things. • In postformal thinking there is a recognition of the importance of emotion integrated with logic in decision-making.

    20. Health problems • Accidents: leading cause of death • Suicide • Hypertension • Smoking • Smoking is the leading contributor to health problems. • Nicotine is a known potent teratogen. • Quitting smoking is usually beneficial, regardless of how or when it happens.

    21. Health problems • Substance abuse • Sexually transmitted disease • Abuse of women • Malignancies • Infertility

    22. Middle adulthood 40 – 65 years

    23. Physical changes • Appearance: • Hair begins to thin, and grey hair appears • Skin turgor and moisture decreases • Subcutaneous fat decreases and wrinkling occurs • Fatty tissue is redistributed, resulting in fat deposits in the abdominal area “spare tire” • Nail & hair growth slows • Baldness

    24. Musculoskeletal system: • Skeletal muscle bulk decreases at about age of 60 • As the cartilage between the vertebrae starts to degenerate from normal wear, the vertebrae become compressed and the spinal column gradually begins to shorten causes a decrease in height of about 2.5 cm • Calcium loss from bone tissue is more common among post-menopausal women • Bones lose mass and density, break more easily and heal more slowly

    25. Joint pain may be caused by deterioration of the bones under the cartilage in a condition known as osteoarthritis. • A more common form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis which is a destructive disease of the joints causing pain. • During middle age, adults may begin taking anti-inflammatory medications and either steroidal, or non-steroidal drugs. • Muscle growth continue in proportion to use

    26. Cardiovascular system: • Blood vessels lose elasticity and become thicken • The ability of the heart muscle to contract decreases leading to a lower cardiac output • Respiratory system: • Lung and bronchi become increasingly less elastic, causing a progressive decrease in maximum breathing capacity • It takes individuals longer to catch their breaths after exercise

    27. Sensory perception: • Visual acuity declines, often by late forties, especially for near vision (presbyopia) • Hearing loss limited first to high pitches sounds (presbyacusis) particularly in men cause persons to stand or sit closer to the source of sound, they may strain to hear or may talk in compensatory louder tones • Taste sensation also diminish

    28. Metabolism: • Slows resulting in weight gain commonly in the wall of the abdomen, the hips, thighs and chest wall • Gastrointestinal system: • Gradual decrease in the process of digesting, absorbing and eliminating food may predispose the individual to constipation • Urinary system: • Nephron units are lost during this time and glomerular filtration rate decreases

    29. Reproductive changes: • Hormonal changes take place in both men and women • The reproductive organs of both men and women begin to atrophy • The end of the female reproductive cycle is relatively clearly marked the menopause

    30. Menopause: • Usually occurs between age of 40 – 55 years (average 47 years) • Ovarian activities declines until ovulation ceases • Two processes are often seen associated with menopause. • Estrogen-related symptoms: hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and urine leakage. • Somatic symptoms: sleep problems, headaches, rapid heart-beat, stiffness or soreness in the joints. • Climacteric (Andropause) • The change of life in men when sexual activity decreases • Less gradual and less obvious than menopause in women

    31. Psychosocial development • Erikson: Generativity vs. stagnation • Generativity: • The concern for establishing and guiding the next generation • Increase concept of service to others and love and compassion: social work, political work, community fund-raising • Marriage can be more satisfying • Feel a sense of comfort in their lifestyle

    32. Stagnation: • People who are unable to expand their interests at this time suffer a sense of boredom and stagnation • Have difficulty in accepting their aging bodies and become withdrawn and isolated • Preoccupied with self and unable to give to others • Some may regress to younger behaviour in dress or actions or marrying younger partners

    33. Cognitive development • Learning continues and can be enhanced by increased motivation at this time • The experiences of the professional, social, and personal life will be reflected in their cognitive performance thus approaches to problem solving and task completion will vary considerably

    34. Cognitive Development Does intelligence decline with age? • Cross-sectional studies - which test people of different ages at the same point in time - clearly showed that older subjects scored less well than younger subjects on traditional IQ tests. • Intelligence peaks at 18, stays steady until mid-20s, and declines till end of life.

    35. Crystallized & Fluid Intelligence • Many researchers believe there are two kinds of intelligence. • FLUID INTELLIGENCE: is defined as one’s reasoning and problem solving abilities, independent from the culture and the environment. • It is the ability to deal with new problems and situations • Fluid intelligence does decline with age.

    36. (Crystallized & Fluid Intelligence, continued) • CRYSTALLIZED INTELLIGENCE is the store of information, skills, and strategies that people have acquired through education and prior experiences, and through their previous use of fluid intelligence. • Crystallized intelligence includes numerical and verbal abilities, such as solving a crossword puzzle or a mathematical problem. • Crystallized intelligence holds steady or increases with age.

    37. Changes in Crystallized & Fluid Intelligence

    38. Professional success may not rely exclusively on cognitive ability. • Older, successful people may have developed expertise in their particular occupational area or SELECTIVE OPTIMIZATION,the process by which people concentrate on particular skill areas to compensate for losses in other areas.

    39. Memory in Middle Adulthood • According to research on memory changes in adulthood, most people show only minimal losses, and many exhibit no memory loss in middle adulthood. • Memory is viewed in terms of three sequential components…

    40. Memory in middle adulthood, continued • Sensory memory is an initial, momentary storage of information that lasts only an instant. • No decline in middle age. • Short-term memory holds information for 15 to 25 seconds. • No decline in middle age. • Long-term memory holds information that is rehearsed for a relatively permanent time. • Some decline in middle age. • storage is less efficient • a reduction in efficiency of memory retrieval

    41. Nutrition • As metabolic rate decreases, food intake should be adjusted accordingly. • If wise eating habits were not followed earlier in life, the body may start giving its owner messages of disease. Heartburn, ulcers, colitis, high blood pressure -- all these and more are at least partially caused by poor diet and poor digestion

    42. Health problems • Life style patterns, aging, family history, developmental stressors, situational stressors are related to health problems • CVD • Cancer • Accidents: Due to decreases reaction time and visual acuity

    43. Heart Disease in Middle Adulthood • More men die in middle age of diseases of the heart and circulatory system than any other cause. • Both genetic and experiential characteristics are involved. • Heart disease runs in families. • Men are more likely to suffer than women, and risks increase with age.

    44. According to the American College of Sports Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every adult should get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity daily. • walking • gardening • climbing stairs • reduces risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, weight gain, and hypertension • psychological benefits of sense of control and well-being

    45. Heart disease, continued • There are several environmental and behavioral risk factors for heart disease. • cigarette smoking • high fat and cholesterol in diet • lack of physical exercise

    46. The Type A’s and Type B’s personality • Evidence suggests that some psychological factors are also related to heart disease. • People with TYPE A BEHAVIOR PATTERN,which is characterized by competitiveness, impatience, and a tendency toward frustration and hostility, are more susceptible to heart disease.

    47. (type A behavior, continued) • They engage in multiple activities carried out simultaneously. • They are easily angered and become verbally and nonverbally hostile if prevented from reaching their goals. • Heart rate and blood pressure rise, epinephrine and norepinephrine increase. • Most experts now say it is the negative emotion and hostility that are the major links to heart disease.

    48. Type B’s and heart attack risk • By contrast, people with TYPE B BEHAVIOR PATTERN,which is characterized by noncompetitiveness, patience, and a lack of aggression, have less than half the risk of coronary disease that Type A people have. ~ Not all type A’s are destined to suffer heart disease! ~ Can learn to behave differently

    49. Stress in Middle Adulthood • Stress continues to significantly impact health during middle adulthood • Stressors themselves may be different • 3 main consequences… • Direct physiological effect • Harmful behaviors • Indirect health related behaviors