PSYC 353 – January 13, 2014
Studying Adult Development and Aging
Gerontology – the study of aging from maturity through old age (scientific medical field)
- Myths of aging lead to the negative stereotypes of older people, which may result in
AGEISM, a form of discrimination against older adults based on their age
- “You can’t been seen outside at 10 pm because you’re an adolescent, and adolescents
are hooligans” for example
- Quality of life – what does quality of life mean to you or your old person?
The Life-Span Perspective
1. Early Phase (childhood and adolescence)
2. Later Phase (young adulthood, middle age, old age)
Paul Baltes (1987) identified FOUR key features of the life span perspective. (Just by living, you
a. Just by living, you will age.
b. As you grow, you also decline.
a. Human capability to be molded.
b. One’s capacity is not predetermined or set in stone.
c. Many skills can be learned or improved through practice, even late in life.
d. There are limits to the degree of potential improvements – be realistic.
3. Historical context
a. We all experience different circumstances.
b. Our experiences are all different, so we are a product of those experiences.
c. Affected by the historical time in which we are born and the culture in which we