exam 4 lecture notes l.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
EXAM 4 LECTURE NOTES PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 208

EXAM 4 LECTURE NOTES - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

EXAM 4 LECTURE NOTES. CHAPTERS 13, 14, 15, 16,17. Chapter 13: Physical and cognitive development in middle adulthood (344-361). 1. Defining middle adulthood (346). Approximately 40 to 60-65 years of age. Declining physical skills and expanding responsibilities.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'EXAM 4 LECTURE NOTES' - nellie

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
exam 4 lecture notes


CHAPTERS 13, 14, 15, 16,17

1 defining middle adulthood 346
1. Defining middle adulthood (346)
  • Approximately 40 to 60-65 years of age.
  • Declining physical skills and expanding responsibilities

Balancing work and relationship responsibilities

  • With physical and psychological changes associated with aging
2 middle adulthood likely includes
2. Middle adulthood likely includes:
  • Death of parents
  • Last child leaving home
  • Becoming grandparent

Preparing for retirement

  • Actual retirement

Physical development

  • Skin begins to wrinkle and sag
  • Loss of fat and collagen in underlying tissues

Small localized areas of pigmentation result in aging spots

  • Thinning and graying hair
  • Fingernails and toenails thicker and more brittle
3 height and weight 347
3. Height and weight (347)
  • Begin to lose height
  • Men: average ½ inch, from 30-50; ¾ inch from 50-70
  • Women: up to 2 inches from 20-75

Many people gain weight

  • Average 20% body fat during midlife
  • Being overweight or obese critical health problem in midlife
4 strength joints bones 348
4. Strength, joints, bones (348)
  • Sarcopenia: age-related loss of muscle mass and strength
  • Exercise reduces rate of developing sarcopenia

Cartilage, tendons and ligaments become less efficient

  • Decline in bone density begins mid-late thirties and accelerates in 50’s
5 vision and hearing
5. Vision and hearing
  • Accommodation of eye declines most between 40-59
  • Difficulty focusing on near objects

Hearing begins decline about age 40

  • First lose sensitivity to high pitch sounds
6 cardiovascular system
6. Cardiovascular system
  • High blood pressure and high cholesterol noticeable
  • Fatty deposits and scar tissue develop on walls of blood vessels
  • Cholesterol collects on wall of blood vessels
  • Result in reduce blood flow to brain and heart
7 lungs 349
7. Lungs (349)
  • About age 55, proteins in lung tissue become less elastic
  • Gradual stiffening of connective tissue in chest wall combines
  • result in decrease in lung capacity to bring oxygen to veins
  • Smokers have especially low lung capacity
8 sleep
8. Sleep
  • Total hours of sleep remains stable
  • Beginning in 40’s, increasing frequency of wakeful periods
  • Less frequent stage 4 (very deep) sleep
9 health and disease
9. Health and disease
  • Decrease frequency of accidents, colds, allergies for some
  • Stress increasingly a factor in disease, especially in immune system and cardiovascular system

Mortality rates (350)

  • Chronic diseases more likely cause of death than infectious diseases
  • Most likely a single, identifiable condition
  • Heart disease, cancer and cerebrovascular disease
10 sexuality
10. Sexuality
  • Menopause: usually late 40’s or early 50’s in women
  • Menstrual flow stops
  • Timing and side effects vary widely
  • Side effects result from decline in estrogen
  • Include hot flashes, nausea, fatigue and rapid heartbeat


  • Side effects experiences vary widely, especially across different cultural and ethnic groups
  • May not be a negative experience for most women
  • Loss of fertility is important marker

Hormone replacement therapy controversial

  • Consists of forms of estrogen and progestin
  • Some HRT recipients developed increased risk of stroke and dementia
  • HRT study found lower risk of hip fractures and no increase in risk for heart attack or breast cancer

Hormonal changes in middle-aged men

  • Modest decline in sexual hormone level and activity
  • May be more psychological than physical
  • (352)
  • Gradually reduced sex drive
  • Erections less full and less frequent

Erectile dysfunction may be psychological and/or physical

  • Smoking, diabetes, hypertension and elevated cholesterol contribute to erectile problems
11 sexual attitudes and behavior
11. Sexual attitudes and behavior
  • Activity less frequent compared to early adulthood
  • Increasing career interests, family matters, lower energy levels, changing activity routines contribute
12 fluid and crystallized intelligence
12. Fluid and crystallized intelligence
  • (353)
  • Fluid: ability to reason abstractly declines in midlife
  • Crystallized: accumulated information and verbal skills increase in midlife
  • Data from cross-sectional study (Horn and Donaldson, 1980)

Differences may have been because of cohort effects

  • Whether data collected in cross-sectional or longitudinal study affects results on crystallized and fluid intelligence
13 seattle longitudinal study beginning in 1956
13. Seattle Longitudinal study beginning in 1956
  • (354)
  • Schaie,1996; Willis & Schaie, 2005)
  • Tested vocabulary, verbal memory, spatial orientation, inductive reasoning, perceptual speed, numerical ability
  • Highest level functioning in midlife for first 4 areas tested

Two abilities showed decline in midlife: numerical ability and perceptual speed

  • Schaie’s results indicate cognitive funtioning peaks in midlife, not early adulthood
14 information processing
14. Information processing
  • Speed of information processing
  • Declines beginning in early adulthood and continues in midlife
  • Commonly measured using reaction-time task
  • Press a button when a light appears
15 memory
15. Memory
  • (355)
  • Denise Park (2001) proposed more time required to learn new information beginning in midlife
  • Slowdown may be linked to changes in working memory (short-term memory)

Working memory allows manipulating and assembling information

  • especially -
  • making decisions,
  • solving problems,
  • understanding written and spoken language

Memory decline most likely if not use strategies such as organization and imagery

  • Can improve memory in midlife if organize (phone) numbers in different categories or imagine the numbers representing different objects in a familiar location
16 expertise
16. Expertise
  • Most evident in midlife, possibly because of time needed to develop
  • Involves highly organized knowledge and understanding of a particular domain

Experts more likely to --

  • rely on accumulated experience to solve problems
  • Process information automatically
  • Analyze information efficiently
  • Devise better strategies
  • Use shortcuts to solve problems
  • Be creative and flexible in solving problems
17 careers work and leisure
17. Careers, work and leisure
  • Work in midlife
  • Role of work usually central in midlife
  • Middle-aged adults also may have multiple financial responsibilities,
  • Often reach peak in position and earnings

Career paths are diverse

  • Some have stable careers
  • Others move in and out of work force
  • Age discrimination common in midlife
  • Midlife often a time of evaluation, assessment and reflection about employment

Midlife employment issues:

  • Recognize limitations in career progress
  • Decide whether to change jobs or career fields
  • Decide whether to change balance in work and family responsibilities
  • Plan for retirement
18 career challenges and changes
18. Career challenges and changes
  • Challenges include -
  • Globalization of work
  • Rapid technological developments
  • Organizational downsizing
  • Early retirement
  • Health care

Globalization has resulted in a workforce of employees with different ethnic and cultural backgrounds

  • Increased computer technology means increased computer literacy necessary for effective competition in the workforce

Increased frequency of restructuring, downsizing and outsourcing -

  • Result: increased incentive to retire early

Midlife career changes vary in motivation

  • Some self-related:
  • desire for change in type or amount of responsibility
  • adjustment of idealistic hopes to realistic possibilities
  • Timing of reaching occupational goals
19 leisure 357
19. Leisure- (357)
  • Pleasant activities after work when free to pursue interests of own choosing
  • Important during midlife
  • May have increased free time and money
  • Expanded leisure opportunities
  • Important in preparing for retirement
20 religion and meaning in life
20. Religion and meaning in life
  • Religion, spirituality and adult life
  • Important to many adults across most cultures and ethnic groups
  • wide diversity of influence for individuals

Religion, spirituality and health

  • For mainstream, either no link or positive effect
  • Why a connection with health?
  • Lifestyle issues -
  • Religious individuals have lower level drug use

Religious/spiritual social networks -

  • People with strong social support networks tend to have fewer health problems
  • Coping with stress -
  • Religion and spirituality offer source of comfort and support
21 life meaning
21. Life meaning
  • Viktor Frankl (Man’s Search for Meaning, 1984)
  • Emphasized individual uniqueness and life finiteness
  • Certainty of death adds meaning to life
  • -


  • 3 distinct human qualities:
  • Spirituality, freedom and responsibility
  • Spirituality = human uniqueness of spirit, philosophy and mind
  • Recommends questioning existence, life goals, and life meaning

During midlife:

  • Consider death more often
  • Realize there is less time in potential future compared to the past
  • Considering Frankl’s questions reflectively can help in times of stress
chapter 14 lifespan development



1 erikson s stage of generativity versus stagnation
1. Erikson’s stage of generativity versus stagnation
  • Generativity = desire to leave legacy to next generation
  • Stagnation = sense that you have done little or nothing for next generation
Generative adults -
  • Commit to improvement of society
  • Positive legacy of self
  • Biological generativity = offspring
  • Parental generativity = nurture children
  • Work generativity = develop skills and knowledge
  • Cultural generativity = create, renovate, conserve
  • Promote and guide next generation
  • Levinson’s Season’s of a Man’s Life
  • Study focused on middle-aged men
  • Emphasized developmental tasks at each stage
Transition from teen to adult
  • Gain independence from parents
  • 20’s = novice phase of adulthood
  • Reasonably free experimentation
  • Testing idealistic dreams in real world
28-33 = transition to facing choice of goals
  • 30’s focus on family and career development
  • Age 40 = usually stable position in career
40-45 = 4 major conflicts
  • 1)young versus old
  • 2)destructive versus constructive
  • 3)masculine versus feminine
  • 4)attachment versus separation
how pervasive are midlife crises
How pervasive are midlife crises?
  • Levinson saw midlife as suspension between past and future
  • Vaillant = Grant study
  • Men in early 30’s and 40’s
  • 40’s time of assessment
  • Only minority if individuals experience severe crises
life events approach
Life events approach
  • Life events = stressful circumstances prompting change in personality
  • Contemporary view of life events
  • Focus on life events + mediating factors
examples of mediating factors
Examples of mediating factors
  • Physical health
  • Family and other social support
  • Predictability
  • Control
  • Coping strategies
  • Social and historical context
Drawback to life events approach
  • Too much emphasis on change
comparison of young midlife and older adults experience of stress
Comparison of young, midlife and older adults experience of stress
  • Start here Tuesday august 11 2009
  • Stress and personal control
  • Young and mid adults report more frequent stressors than older adults
  • Mid adults reported more overload stressors
Adults generally report more stress as they get older
  • Most frequent stressor = interpersonal tension
gender and educational level influence stress experience
Gender and educational level influence stress experience
  • Mid-life women report more crossover stressors
  • Lower educational group members experience same number of stressors but rated them as more severe
context of midlife development
Context of midlife development
  • Historical links similar to cohort influence
  • Neugarten = values, attitudes expectations and behaviors different for different age groups or cohorts
Social clock = time table for accomplishing life tasks
  • Provides guide for living life
  • If individual life not synchronized, experience more stress
  • Social clock different for different age groups
cultural contexts
Cultural contexts
  • Concept of middle age unclear in nonindustrial countries
  • In some cultures movement between statuses depends more on life events rather than age
Midlife women in other cultures may experience advantages
  • Freedom from certain restrictions
  • More geographical mobility
  • Child care delegated
  • Domestic tasks reduced
Right to exercise authority over younger kin
  • Work more administrative
  • Eligible for special statuses and recognition beyond the household
  • Vocations including midwife, curer, holy woman, matchmaker
Big five personality factors
  • 1) openness to experience
  • 2) conscientiousness
  • 3) extraversion
  • 4) agreeableness
  • 5) neuroticism
Analysis of big five framework
  • More change in adult years
  • Extraversion components =
  • social dominance (assertiveness)
  • social vitality (sociability)
Social dominance increases in adolescence and midlife
  • Social vitality increases in adolescence and decreases in early and late adulthood
berkeley longitudinal study
Berkeley Longitudinal study
  • Continued in 1920’s and 1930’s
  • Stable – intellectual orientation, self-confidence, openness to new experience
  • More likely to change – being nurturing or hostile; having good self-control or not
vaillant studies 3 longitudinal studies
Vaillant studies – 3 longitudinal studies
  • Studied whether personality at midlife predicts personality in late adulthood
  • Found alcohol abuse and smoking at age 50 predicts death between 75 and 80
  • Factors at 50 predicting being happy and well -
Regular exercise
  • Avoiding overweight
  • Being well-educated
  • Having a stable marriage
  • Being future-oriented
  • Being thankful and forgiving
  • Empathizing with others
Being active with others
  • Having good coping skills
  • Generativity in midlife strongly related to having enduring and happy marriage
  • Conclusions- personality traits not permanently fixed during adulthood
Personality change is limited
  • Age is positively related to personality stability
  • Stability peaks in 50’s and 60’s
cumulative personality model
Cumulative personality model
  • With time and age people become more adept at interacting with their environment to promote personality stability
close relationships
Close relationships
  • Love and marriage at midlife
  • Love becomes more affectionate and companionate
  • More emphasis on security, loyalty and mutual emotional interest
divorce at midlife
Divorce at midlife
  • more positive in some ways and more negative in others compared to other age stages
  • For mature individuals divorce can be less stressful
  • They have more resources, use time to dispose of possessions
  • Their children are likely adults and they have greater self-understanding
Emotional and time commitment may be difficult to give up
  • May perceive divorce as failure
  • Divorcer sees escape
  • Person being divorced sees betrayal
main reasons for divorce
Main reasons for divorce
  • Women-
  • Verbal, physical emotional abuse
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • cheating
Men -
  • No problem, fell out of love
  • Cheating
  • Different values and lifestyle
empty nest and refilling
Empty nest and refilling
  • For parents, an adjustment when children leave home
  • May be decline in marital satisfaction when children leave home
  • For many parents there is increase in marital satisfaction when last child leaves home
Parents have time to pursue careers, other interests, more time for each other
  • Refilling the empty nest
  • More common in uncertain economy
  • Children return home after college or before full-time employment
Young adults sometimes move back home after unsuccessful career experiences or divorce
  • Midlife adults usually willing to support younger generation, both financially and emotionally
Pluses and minuses when adult children return home
  • Parents and children should agree on expectations and conditions beforehand
  • If not negotiated, conflict will almost certainly result
intimacy triangle
Intimacy triangle
  • Symmetry
  • Risky self-disclosure
  • Empathy
sibling relationships and friendships
Sibling relationships and friendships
  • Most sibling relationships remain close in adulthood, if developed in childhood
  • (375)
  • Friendships continue to be important in middle adulthood
  • Takes time to develop intimate relationships
  • Many adults become grandparents for first time in middle adulthood
  • Grandmothers usually have more contact with grandchildren
grandparent roles 376
Grandparent roles (376)
  • 3 major meanings to being a grandparent
  • (Neugarten and Weinstein, 1964)
  • Biological reward and continuity
  • Emotional self-fulfillment, companionship and satisfaction
  • Remote experience
changing profile of grandparents
Changing profile of grandparents
  • Increasing number of grandchildren live with grandparents
  • Divorce, drug use and adolescent pregnancies among primary reasons
grandparenting stress linked to 3 conditions
Grandparenting stress linked to 3 conditions
  • Being younger grandparent
  • Having grandchildren with physical and mental disabilities
  • Low family cohesion


  • Special concern: visitation privileges with grandchildren
  • Controversial if visitation privileges are forced and against parents wishes
intergenerational relationships
Intergenerational relationships
  • Adults in midlife have variety of roles
  • Share experience and transmit values to younger generation
  • Experiencing empty nest
  • Adjusting to having grown children return home

May give or receive financial assistance

  • May care for widowed or ill parent
  • May adjust to being oldest generation after both parents have died

Common conflicts between generations

  • Communication and interaction styles
  • Habits and lifestyle choices
  • Child-rearing practices and values
  • Politics, religion and ideology

Gender differences in intergenerational relationships

  • Mothers and daughters usually have closer relationships than fathers and sons
  • Middle-age adults called sandwich generation
  • Having responsibility for both adolescent and young adult children as well as aging parents
longevity how long we live
Longevity – how long we live
  • Relates to life span and life expectancy
  • Life span – maximum number of years an individual can live
  • Has remained at 120-125 years
life expectancy
Life expectancy
  • (381)
  • number of years the average person born in a particular year will probably live
  • (382)
  • Differences in life expectancy
  • In US, longer than some and shorter than others

Differences in life expectancy relate to health conditions and medical care

  • Women usually have longer life expectancy
  • Related to social factors (health attitudes, habits, lifestyles and occupations)

Gender differences in life expectancy related to physiological factors

  • Women have more resistance to infections and degenerative diseases
  • Estrogen level helps protect against arteriosclerosis
  • Additional X chromosome may be associated with higher antibody production
biological theories of aging 383
Biological theories of aging (383)
  • Cellular clock theory (Hayflick, 1977)
  • Cells can divide a maximum of 75-80 times
  • As we age, cells become less capable of dividing
  • Why? Possibly because of telomeres or DNA sequences that cap chromosomes

After each cell division, telomeres become shorter

  • At certain point, cells no longer able to reproduce

Free-radical theory

  • Aging occurs because of unstable oxygen molecules (free-radicals) that result from the metabolism process
  • Free radicals can damage DNA and other cell structures
  • Increasing number of free radicals linked to overeating, cancer and arthritis

Hormonal stress theory

  • Proposes aging of hormonal system lowers resistance to stress and increases likelihood of disease
  • (384)
  • Stressors stimulate release of certain hormones

Aging results in stress-related hormones remaining at elevated levels longer

  • Prolonged elevated levels of stress-hormones related to increased risk for certain diseases
aging brain
Aging brain
  • Brain loses 5-10% of weight between ages 20 and 90
  • Brain volume also decreases (can be as much as 15% less in older adults)
  • Prefrontal cortex shrinks more than other areas

General slowing of function in brain and spinal cord begins in middle age and continues in old age

  • Associated with slowing reaction time
  • Impairs performance on timed tests
adapting brain
Adapting brain
  • Aging brain has significant repair capability
  • Activities in old age can influence brain’s development
  • Neurogenesis or development of new nerve cells can occur in humans
  • Demonstrated in hippocampus and olfactory area


  • Growth of dendrites can occur in humans and can partially explain the adapting brain
  • Dendritic growth occurs during 40’s-70’s
  • Slows and disappears during the 90’s

Changes in lateralization is another type of adapting

  • Lateralization = specialization of function in one or the other brain hemisphere
  • Lateralization occurs more in younger adults than older adults
nun study snowdon 2002
Nun study – Snowdon, 2002
  • Annual assessment of cognitive and physical functioning
  • Findings -
  • Idea density linked to higher brain weight, fewer incidences of mild cognitive deficit, and Alzheimer’s disease

Positive emotions in early adulthood linked to increased longevity

  • (386)
  • Those who were teachers most of their lives showed more moderate deficits than those in service occupations
physical development
Physical development
  • Wrinkles and age spots most noticeable changes
  • Decreasing height because of bone loss in spinal vertebra
  • Decreasing weight after age 60 mostly because of muscle loss

Older adults move more slowly than younger adults

  • Regular walking can slow the rate of physical decline
  • Exercise and appropriate weight lifting decreases the onset and rate of muscle loss
sensory development
Sensory development
  • Vision = visual acuity, color vision and depth perception decline with aging
  • Dark adaptation and tolerance for glare decreases
  • Color vision problems related to yellowing of eye lens
3 diseases
3 diseases
  • Glaucoma: damage to optic nerve because of pressure resulting from buildup of fluid in the eye
  • Cataracts: thickening of eye lens causes vision to become cloudy, opaque and distorted

Macular degeneration: deterioration of macula, an area of the retina, associated with difficulty with peripheral vision

  • Impairment usually not a problem until late adulthood
  • usually because of cochlear degeneration
  • Cochlea is primary nerve receptor for hearing in inner ear
  • Hearing aids can remedy some problems
smell and taste
Smell and taste
  • Losses begin about age 60
  • Decline reduces enjoyment of food and life satisfaction
  • Can result in increased consumption of sweeter, saltier and spicier foods
touch and pain 388
Touch and pain (388)
  • Decreasing sensitivity to touch in lower extremities more so than upper extremities
  • Lower sensitivity to pain can help coping with disease and injury and
  • Can also mask injury and illness requiring treatment
circulatory system and lungs
Circulatory system and lungs
  • Consistent blood pressures above 120/80 can lead to heart attack, stroke or kidney disease
  • Rise in blood pressure linked to illness, obesity, anxiety and stiffening of blood vessels
  • Lung capacity decreases 40% between 20-80
  • Lung tissue loses elasticity, chest shrinks and diaphragm weakens
  • Can be lifelong with absence of disease and belief that older people should be asexual
  • Orgasm becomes less frequent with age
  • More direct stimulation needed to achieve erection
health problems 389
Health problems (389)
  • Aging increases likelihood of developing disease symptoms
  • Chronic diseases increase in older adulthood
  • Arthritis and hypertension most common chronic problems
  • Risk factors for disease include low income and relationship conflicts
causes of death in older adults
Causes of death in older adults
  • Heart disease, cancer or stroke leading causes
  • Also chronic lung diseases, pneumonia and influenza and diabetes next in line
  • Decrease in frequency of cardiovascular disease and kidney problems could increase longevity by as much as 10 years
  • inflammation around joints accompanied by pain, stiffness, movement problems
  • Incurable
  • Affects knees, hips, ankles and vertebrae
  • Symptoms can be reduced by medication and range-of-motion exercises as well as weight reduction and surgery
  • Associated with severe loss of bone tissue
  • Main reason many adults walk with stooped posture
  • Women especially vulnerable
  • Linked to deficiencies of calcium, Vitamin D, estrogen and lack of exercise

To prevent osteoporosis -

  • Eat foods rich in calcium
  • Exercise more
  • Avoid smoking
exercise nutrition and weight
Exercise, nutrition and weight
  • Exercise
  • Can literally be difference between life and death
  • Positive effects for both men and women
  • Strength training and stretching also recommended

Exercise - continued

  • Can prevent falling down and being institutionalized
  • Linked to increased longevity
nutrition and weight 391
Nutrition and weight (391)
  • Calorie restriction can increase longevity in some animals
  • CR linked to delayed appearance of chronic problems
  • CR can delay age-related rise in cholesterol and triglycerides
  • CR may also delay aging symptoms in CNS
health treatment
Health treatment
  • Adequate health treatment received about ½ the time
  • Aging increases likelihood of being in a nursing home or other extended care facility
  • Quality of nursing home care varies widely
  • 1/3 seriously deficient
concerns relating to nursing home care
Concerns relating to nursing home care
  • Patient’s medical care
  • Right to privacy
  • Access to medical information
  • Safety
  • Lifestyle freedom within physical and mental capability
alternatives to nursing facilities
Alternatives to nursing facilities
  • Home health care
  • Day care centers
  • Preventive medicine clinics
rodin and langer 1977 nursing home study
Rodin and Langer (1977) nursing home study
  • (393)
  • Found important factor relating to health and even survival -
  • Patients’ feelings of control and self-determination
  • Perceived control can make the difference between life and death in a nursing facility
cognitive functioning
Cognitive functioning
  • Multidimensionality and multidirectionality
  • Cognition is complex
  • Cognition may decline, improve or remain stable during late adulthood
sensory motor and speed of processing dimensions
Sensory/motor and speed-of-processing dimensions
  • Speed of processing declines during late adulthood
  • Wide variety in decline
  • Likely because of declining functioning in brain and central nervous system
attention 394
Attention (394)
  • Selective attention – focusing on specific aspect of experience while ignoring others
  • Divided attention – concentrating on 2 or more activities at one time
  • Sustained attention – state of readiness to detect and respond to small changes in environment occurring at random - vigilance

Older adults less adept at selective attention compared to younger adults

  • less age difference in divided attention if tasks are easy or automatic
  • Few age differences in sustained attention
  • Changes with age
  • Different types of memory change in different ways

Episodic and semantic memory

  • Episodic – remembering information relating to where and when events occurred
  • Semantic memory – general knowledge about the world
  • Fields of expertise, academic and everyday knowledge, meanings of words, places and things

Younger adults better at episodic memory compared to older adults

  • In general, the older the memory, the less accurate it is
  • Older adults take longer to retrieve semantic memory but usually can remember it
  • Episodic memory declines more in older adults compared to semantic memory

Working memory and perceptual speed

  • Working memory linked to short-term memory
  • More emphasis on memory as a place for mental work
perceptual speed
Perceptual speed
  • amount of time needed to perform simple perceptual-motor tasks
  • Considerable decline in late adulthood
  • Linked to decline in working memory
explicit and implicit memory
Explicit and implicit memory
  • Explicit memory = memory of facts and experiences we consciously know and can state
  • Also known as declarative memory
  • Declines as we age

Implicit memory = memory without conscious recollection

  • Involves skills and routine procedures performed automatically
  • Less likely to decline as we age
  • (396)
  • expert knowledge about practical aspects of life
  • Permits excellent judgment about important matters
  • Involves insight into human development and life matters

Wisdom – continued

  • Involves coping with difficult life problems
  • Focuses on pragmatic concerns
  • Findings :
  • 1) high levels of wisdom are rare
  • 2)factors other than age critical for wisdom
  • 3)personality factors linked (openness to experience, generativity and creativity)
use it or lose it
Use it or lose it
  • Mental activities likely to benefit cognitive abilities:
  • Reading books,
  • doing crossword puzzles,
  • going to lectures and concerts

Several studies support the use it or lose it idea – (396)

  • Victoria Longitudinal study – middle aged and older adults participated in intellectually challenging activities
  • Longitudinal study of 801 priests aged 65+ - those who exercised their minds less likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease
training cognitive skills 397
Training cognitive skills (397)
  • 2 key conclusions – improvement through cognitive and physical fitness training
  • 1) training can improve cognitive functioning
  • 2)some loss in plasticity in late adulthood, especially in 85+ group
  • Evidence from Willis and Schaie, 1986
  • Improved spatial orientation and reasoning skills
cognitive neuroscience and aging
Cognitive neuroscience and aging
  • Cognitive neuroscience – links brain and cognitive functioning
  • Relies on brain-imaging techniques, including fMRI and PET scans
  • Reveals areas of brain active during various cognitive activities
work and retirement
Work and retirement
  • What percentage of adults continue to work?
  • How productive are adults who work during late old age?
  • Who adjusts best to retirement?
work 398
Work (398)
  • Beginning of 21st century, percentage of men 65+ who work full time is less than at the beginning of 20th century
  • Important change in adult work patterns is increase in part-time work after retirement

Important characteristics predicting working after retirement:

  • Good health
  • Strong psychological commitment to work after retirement
  • Distaste for retirement
  • Probability of employment positively linked to educational attainment and married to working wife

Older workers have lower absenteeism

  • Fewer accidents
  • Increased job satisfaction
  • Compared to younger workers
  • Increasing number of middle and older adults entering second and third career fields
  • Sometimes completely different type of work or a continuation of previous work

Many older adults volunteer or work in active volunteer organizations

  • Unpaid work activities
  • Options give opportunities for productive activity, social interaction, and positive identity
best adjustment to retirement
Best adjustment to retirement -
  • Healthy
  • Well-educated
  • Have extended social network
  • Satisfied with their lives before retirement
worst adjustment to retirement
Worst adjustment to retirement-
  • Inadequate income
  • Poor health
  • Making adjustments to other stressors, such as death of spouse
  • Strong attachment to full-time work
  • Lack control over retirement transition
mental health
Mental health
  • Depression
  • Major depression is mood disorder, deeply unhappy, very low morale, self-derogatory and bored
  • Does not feel well, easily fatigued, poor appetite, listless and weak motivation
  • Symptoms linked to more economic hardships, more negative social interactions, decreased religious or spiritual tendencies

Depression links – continued

  • Low level physical exercise
  • Poor health
  • Experiencing pain

Depression – continued

  • Treatable condition
  • 80% older adults with depressive symptoms receive no treatment
  • Combination of medication and psychotherapy most effective
dementia alzheimer disease and parkinson disease
Dementia, Alzheimer Disease and Parkinson disease
  • (400)
  • Dementia = global term for neurological disorder in which primary symptom involves deterioration of cognitive functioning
  • Lose ability to care for self, can lose ability to recognize familiar surroundings and people

Alzheimer disease

  • Progressive and irreversible brain disorder
  • Gradual deterioration of memory, reasoning, language and physical functioning
  • 2 types distinguished -
  • Early onset – before age 65
  • Late-onset – after age 65

Early onset Alzheimer is rare

  • AD involves brain chemical acetylcholine
  • Brain shrinks and deteriorates
  • Deterioration associated with development of amyloid plaques (dense deposits of protein accumulating in blood vessels) and neurofibrillary tangles (twisted fibers that build up in neurons)

AD cause uncertain

  • Age is a factor
  • Genes likely contribute
  • Lifestyle can influence risk
  • Lower risk associated with good diet, exercise, weight control
  • Higher risk – obesity, smoking, atherosclerosis and high cholesterol
early detection and treatment of ad
Early detection and treatment of AD
  • Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) represents transitional state
  • Deficits in episodic memory can be important early indicator of AD risk
  • Special brain scans (MRI) can detect changes in brain indicating early AD
drugs approved for ad treatment
Drugs approved for AD treatment
  • Donepezil (Aricept)
  • Rivastigmine (Excelon)
  • Galantamine (Razadyne)
  • Designed to improve memory and other cognitive functions
  • Increase levels of acetylcholine
caring for individual with ad 402
Caring for individual with AD (402)
  • Family can be important social support system
  • Has costs for family members who can become emotionally and physically drained
  • Can result in higher levels of caregiver burden and depression
  • Lower levels of well-being and physical health

Respite care – services provide temporary relief for caregivers of those with diseases and disabilities or who are elderly

  • Important break away from providing chronic care
parkinson disease
Parkinson disease
  • chronic, progressive disease
  • Characterized by muscle tremors
  • Slowing movement
  • Partial facial paralysis
  • Triggered by deterioration of neurons producing dopamine in brain

Dopamine necessary for normal brain function

  • Main treatment for PD – administering drugs enhancing effect of dopamine
  • Later treatment – administer L-dopa, converted by brain into dopamine
personality and society
Personality and society
  • Personality (409)

Older adults in society (410)

  • Stereotyping
  • Policy issues in aging society


  • Income
  • technology
families and social relationships
Families and social relationships
  • 412
  • Lifestyle diversity
  • Married older adults
  • Divorced and remarried older adults


  • Cohabiting older adults
  • Older adults and their adult children


  • Friendship
  • Social support and social integration


  • Altruism and volunteerism


  • culture


  • Successful aging
defining death and life death issues
Defining death and life/death issues
  • 422
  • Determining death
  • Decisions regarding life, death and health care
  • Natural death act and advance directive


  • Euthanasia


  • needed: better care for dying individuals
death and sociohistorical cultural contexts
Death and sociohistorical cultural contexts
  • 424
  • Changing historical circumstances


  • Death in different cultures
facing one s own death
Facing one’s own death
  • 426-7
  • Kubler-ross stages of dying


  • Perceived control and denial
coping with death of someone else
Coping with death of someone else
  • 428-9
  • Communicating with a dying person


  • Grieving
  • Dimensions of grieving


  • Coping and type of death
  • Making sense of the world


  • Losing a life partner


  • Forms of mourning