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Lecture 10

Adult Development and Aging - Lecture 10 - March 17, 2014.doc

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PSYC 3490
Ehud Avitzur

Lecture 8 Middle Adulthood (age of your parents) March 17, 2014 Economics If you were to win 1000000, how would you invest it? +5% guaranteed? Or -5% guaranteed? You would invest it in the +5% guaranteed. An Analogy -The 1000000 is your self esteem -In what qualities/assets do you invest your self-esteem? -You can establish your self-esteem on your taste for music, your style and so forth. -You can base your self-esteem on accomplishments, relationship skills and relations, skills, internal factors (things you control on your own), physical appearance, and physical strength -Do you link your self-esteem to something that will grow in time? Or to something that is guaranteed to depreciate in time? Social Skills (friendships) – grow in time – good investment Accomplishments – accumulates on one of top of another – good investment Physical appearance and strength – not good investment in long term as beauty and strength (faster runner, or swimmer) deteriorates overtime; thus it is not a good investment. However, it all depends on how you acknowledge your strength. -Self-esteem can be established on something that it is strong, has the potential to grow or something that is depreciating. Overvalued Ideas – in some unconscious way we tend to establish some ideas that lead our life. That actually has the power to push and pull us forward to get various things from life. Those typically are not rational, they are not really good values; they are overvalued values and they pull us to places that actually don’t serve us to get our best interest fulfilled. For example: to be the fastest athlete  good for a short time but its temporary (it’s an overvalued idea), if you try to pursue this and live with this, you can find yourself quite depleted after you achieve that goal. If you define your goal only to be a fastest runner or swimmer, what will be your next goal once you achieve that goal or if your body deteriorates and no longer allows your body to pursue in that direction? If there is only one goal in life and once you achieve it, you start to feel empty. What are the typical overvalued ideas in our culture? Money – money is important to live and survive. Lack of money does bring misery but having more than enough money doesn’t necessarily bring happiness. Physical Beauty and Youth – cherished in our western society but it doesn’t give you satisfaction in the long run. Eg: African Oscar Winner – letter from a fan about being dark. Internal vs External Beauty - Inner beauty can sustain, not the outer beauty. Physical Development in Middle Adulthood is not a very good investment for self-esteem because: Height: Getting shorter Weight: getting fatter, “middle-aged spread” Strength: declines Senses: Vision – less visual acuity Hearing – hearing impairment, often damages hearing in high frequencies Reaction time - 20% slowing in reaction time from 20 to 60 years Implications to driving – middle aged adults are actually better drivers than young adults because of their roles of skills, experience and mature attitude while driving. Anti-Aging Phenomenon of Ageism – being prejudice against getting older (ageism). Why so? People think that growing old is something bad but growing old is natural; it’s part of life – it’s in our genes Overvalued Ideas: Youth (Anti-Aging search results: almost 17 million hits in less than 0.40 seconds on google) -Our society (especially in the west) are extremely obsessed with youth and physical appearance; Anti-Aging puts emphasis on appearance; we are obsessed with youth, thus we strive to look younger and to offer cosmetics, plastic surgeries, face creams in attempt to change our appearance to not look old or your age, which goes against rational thinking we try to establish when we think about our self-esteem; however self-esteem should be based on something that is sustainable therefore it should be inner beauty not external beauty that fades quickly -Instead of anti-aging movement, a more reasonable movement is health enhancement - a concept that healthy lifestyle can counter some of the problematic aspects of age because our lifestyle is totally unhealthy; our body is designed to be active, to run, to walk to do something physical. Thus to enhance our life and our health, we should exercise or become active to counter our bad lifestyle that accumulates overtime. Healthy life style: The importance of exercise:- On muscles: slows the decline of muscle strength, muscle cell thickness, number of muscle cells, muscle mass, blood supply to the muscles, the speed of movement, the stamina, it slows the increase in fat and fibers, slows the deterioration in reaction time and development of muscles storing ability Has positive impact on the nervous system – slows the decline in the processing impulses by the central nervous system On circulatory system: it lowers the LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and increases the good cholesterol (HDL): it lowers hyper tension and as a result we have less atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke On skeletal system: it creates a slower decline in bone marrow, and decreases the risk of fractures, and osteoporosis On psychological state: exercise has incredible effect on stress - it decreases your vulnerability to stress, decreases hostility and aggression, decreases level of anxiety and mild depression (note: exercise is good for mild depression, not for acute depression) Middle Adulthood Sexuality decline in the frequency; have less sex Positive: Impact of grown up kids  provides privacy to the parents Impact of menopause  there is no or little risk of getting pregnant Negative: In men there is more difficulty to fully reach erection, ejaculating fluid has less volume In women: some of them find it painful to have full intercourse but becomes easy to get around with simple treatment Female Climacteric: -only 10% of female experience severe distress in menopause and about 15% of women experience no symptoms. Cross Cultural aspects: In term of Race: -Asian women have fewer symptoms than other races – because of their social values and standards, their culture doesn’t allow them to complain too much, they don’t get social acceptance and that’s why these symptoms can be repressed or denied and therefore these symptoms will not be reported by them. -African American report more hot flashes (no explanation) -Hispanic and Caucasian report overall more symptoms in general In term of Culture: In some culture, (in the west) women expect menopause with dread. However, in other cultures, women may look forward to the menopause as the end to child bearing and getting higher social status because menopause and becoming an older women is to be considered to be positive in terms of becoming wiser; there is no taboo during menstrual and it is very frequent in those cultures -In the west women see this as a big problem and they are often engage in hormone replacement therapy or HRT (drug for menopause); Estrogen and progesterone – replacement given to the women and as a result it is very effective and helpful in terms of eliminating symptoms. However, the risks to this are higher risk of cancer, heart attack, strokes, and blood clots Conclusion: HRT should be taken with care while considering pros and cons and it should be taken on individual basis. Psychological Consequences: The myth – women experience emotional suffering; however, researchers show that only minority of women suffer from severe emotional difficulty such as aggression, anxiety, lack of concentration, and irritability. Expectations - The research also suggests that expectations may play a great role in the symptomology such as in self-fulfilling prophecy because this is part of the culture women expect to feel badly about it and it can already be produced..(?)But if you get out of self-fulfilling prophecy, you may go through that period without any special symptomology. In terms of culture background – culture also plays a major role in symptomology, and there are definite beliefs of menopause frequencies in symptomology Male Climacteric: -Starts late in middle age men – closer to age 60 and it is a very gradual decline -Problem with men is the occurrence of enlargement of prostate glands– that is typical of 10% of men around the age of 40 years, but 50% of men around the age of 80 years shows the enlargement of prostate glands. -Prostate enlargement causes problems in terms of urination. Health in middle adulthood -It becomes an issue of great concern not because people at this age are very sick but because people at this age are much more aware of the potential to become sick and they are more aware of the finality of life. The younger adults usually tend to repress or deny these thought of feelings, about deterioration in health and death. But this denial does not typically prolong into middle aged and people during that period of time to be far more aware about health issues. -For most people between the age of 45 and 65, health is actually quite good; people at that age less tend to be infected by infections of other things and digestive problems than younger adults; in these problems they are superior to younger adults. However, chronic problems may come up to the surface; however the vast majority of people during this phase of life don’t experience chronic problems. Health: The threat of deterioration is strongly experienced by middle age people Increased vulnerability of chronically disorders and diseases; the prevention and procedures (tests, examinations) are important to go through such as blood pressure, mammogram and pap test is highly recommended for women during middle aged, physician and breast self- examination is very important, and prostate pse for men, cholesterol should be monitored, regular rectal exam should be done for both men and women and so forth… Death rates: -Between the ages of 40 – 50 years is only 3% -Between the ages of 50 – 60 years is 8% For most people this is the period for relative health. Health and Illness: Ethnic and Gender Differences - In the US, African-Americans vs. Caucasians –the African-Americans are very inferior to Caucasians in terms of their health due to intervening socio-economic factor; lower socio- economic level, lower income, lower education, more dangerous working environments and more stressful lives those in relative more risky positions than Caucasians. -Women tend to get more sick but less likely to die; they may have minor short term and chronic diseases, but men usually suffer from more severe diseases or illnesses. -Different life styles that is characteristic to both African-Americans and particular to men in general which involves cigarette smoking, alcohol consumptions, dangerous working environment, and the experience of stress Cancer -Breast Cancer is the most common of cancer and death in women and a major fear for middle aged population -There is a misconception of reality regarding cancer – people in the past had the tendency to relate to cancer as a death sentence; it is not anymore. Most people now who are diagnosed with cancer can benefit from treatments that are offered to them in terms of quality of life; the figures of effectiveness is only getting better with time, a lot of progress is now being made. Risk Factors: Cancer is usually related to genetics – eg: breast cancer Environmental factors – poor nutrition, exposure to sunlight, radiation, chemicals and/or asbestos, smoking, over alcohol consumption -Since we are now aware of these risks and by taking the right measures we can decrease the risk of cancer -It is important to have awareness of what causes cancer in terms of environmental factors and taking them into consideration and healthy lifestyle is worthwhile investment in in order to prevent cancer. This prevention can be done through early identification: Regular check-ups are recommended such as mammograms, routine self-examinations of breasts are extremely important to prevent breast cancer. Cancer and psychology -Researchers show that emotions and attitudes are important: “fighting spirits” and positive thinking are important because it increases your chances of overcoming terminal diseases such as cancer; being optimistic, accepting and having the “fighting spirit” helps recruit killer cells in the immune system that can have a positive effect in fighting the cancer cells. -On the other hand, passive acceptance and hopelessness may have an opposite effect on terminal disease. -Psychotherapy is useful in coping with cancer in adjunct to medical treatments; it increases both your capacity to cope with cancer and at the same time there is an option for you to express you negative feelings or your bad emotions in order to get it out of your way and recruit your positive thinking. Note: For cognitive development – refer back to what you learned in the previous lectures. Personality and Emotional Development Two theoretical models: Normative Crisis Model – refers to universal stages tied to a sequence of age
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