BESC1120 Final: Developmental Psychology - Middle Adulthood Physcial and Cognitive Development

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Department
Behavioural Science
Course Code
BESC1120
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EXAM NOTES - Developmental Psychology
Middle adulthood
Lecture 10
Chapter 14: Physical and Cognitive Development in Middle Adulthood
- Baby boomers have now reached middle adulthood – (40-60)
- They are much more modern – youthful - than the generation before them
- More have remained single, more have divorced, more have remained child-free
- Smaller families
- 2 working parents in more families
- 5.5 million baby boomers (largest cohort)
- Better educated compared to their parents
Physical Development
- Period characterised by changes in appearance, and functioning of the body
- Roughly age 40-60
- Expectations of middle age have become more diverse – different for different people
- Enormous variability in when and how changes show up
- Eg. People from privileged backgrounds, see it as continuation of early adulthood, whereas people
who have worked in physically wearing jobs see it as time to begin slowing their pace
Physical Functioning:
Chronological age not a good indicator of level of functioning – everyone’s different
More useful to measure distance from birth and distance from death
By age 50, almost all adults show enough bodily change to mark them being in middle adulthood
Physical functioning peaks in early adulthood, plateaus then starts to gradually decline around 50
Timing of middle adulthood depends on life expectancy
Life expectancy = statistical estimate of the probable number of years remaining in life of an
individual based on likelihood members of particular cohort will die at various ages. Changes from
each cohort year to year as some die and some survive
Increased life expectancy now – medical advances, change in lifestyle, public health policy, etc
Middle adulthood now later, because people live longer
Longer stages in adulthood now
Woman have longer life expectancy than men
Ageing…
Primary ageing = normal age-related changes that everyone experiences, such as menopause in
women and hormonal changes in men … difference exist in when it occurs exactly, but experience is
universal and falls within normal age range
Secondary ageing = pathological ageing, effects of illness/disease on the body, more variable …
some might experience it early in their 20/30’s, others 70/80’s … varies
Organ reserve = the extra capacity of lungs, heart and other organs, to respond to particularly
demanding situations/unusually stressful events, most people first notice decline under these
conditions
Strength:
Until 70, loss of strength is in order of 10-20% of early adulthood peak
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Loss of grip strength (linear decline from age 50)
People differ with the amount of strength lost with age
People find strategies to expand their max effort, use strength more wisely, so loss of it isn’t
noticeable for most people
External and internal age-related changes:
Outward signs of ageing become apparent
Changes in skin, hair colour, body build (result from combo of primary and secondary ageing)
Skin more elastic with age, but lifestyle factors such as smoking, exposure to UV radiation can
accelerate these changes
Sun and wind exposure is damaging but doesn’t show till middle adulthood
Hair colour and distribution of hair growth, hair tends to darken with age, but but process is
reversed when greying of hair begins due to loss of pigment – can occur as early as 30’s
Both sexes experience thinning of hair
People tend to gain weight through mid to late 50’s, as fatty tissue and muscle are redistributed
throughout the body
When individuals begin to lose muscle, fat replaces it if they don’t increase exercise or decrease kjs
Cardiovascular changes:
Max oxygen consumption, and heart rate attained during max levels of exertion starts to decline in
early adulthood and proceeds to drop by 10% per decade through adult years
Decreased capacity of the left ventricle of the heart to contract, lessens amount of blood pumped
in each heartbeat
Increasing rigidity of arterial walls
Respiratory system changes:
Measures of lung function decline after age 40
Primary ageing includes – changes in breathing apparatus and tissues of lungs
Amount of oxygen in blood after it passes through lungs decreases with age
Loss of elasticity in lung tissue
Structural changes in the alveoli (sacs in lungs where exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes
place)
Resistance to expansion of the chest wall during breathing
Regular exercise, and not smoking, can prevent some but not all of these changes
Sensory system changes:
By age 50, most people need reading glasses
Lens of the eye continually grows new fibres without shedding old ones , so lens thickens and losses
its capacity to accommodate ( which is changing lens shape to focus on close things)
Hearing loss begins early adulthood, progresses until old age
Loss greatest in high frequency range
Several changes in inner ear – loss of receptor cells, atrophy of the nerve fibres, changes in
conducting fluid, deficiency in vibrating motion
Men poorer in the high frequencies than woman
Taste and smell sensitivity both decrease slowly
Reducing age related physical changes:
regular body maintenance from early adulthood can keep bodily systems in optimal shape so
ageing doesn’t take serious toll on functioning
secondary ageing can accelerate overall ageing by adding pathological changes to age related ones
exercise, avoiding pollutants and over-exposure to sun, not over using alcohol – health habits to
reduce age related changes
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3
EXAM NOTES - Developmental Psychology
Health:
middle aged adults become more aware of health issues than they were in younger years
morbidity and mortality rates both increase in middle adulthood
morbidity = measure of health that refers to number of cases of a disease in given population
mortality = proportion of persons who die at given age, the rate of death
Health, and health compromising behaviours:
complex interplay between psychological, social and physical factors in midlife
decisions in early adulthood, health compromising behaviours – contribute to the secondary ageing
16% adults are smokers (aus)
20% of drinkers consume alcohol at risky level
63% overweight – 28% obese
Health compromising behaviours often linked (smoke heavily, likely to drink heavily)
Health promoting behaviours – positively effect health in multiple ways. – not only benefit the body
systems, control weight, also improves immune function and enhances ability to cope with stress
Health and inequality:
Differences between indigenous and non indigenous groups
They have lower life expectancy
Risk of death higher for them than for total aus population in all age groups
Particularly in young and middle ages
Mortality rates about 3x more
Significant social disadvantage – lower rates of employment, lower levels of education and income
Alcohol, smoking, bad diet, all more prevalent
Lower socioeconomic status is linked to higher mortality rates
Inequality limits access to economic resources, which leads to more health compromising
behaviours
Breast Cancer:
Most commonly diagnosed cancer
Most common cause of cancer related death in aus woman
Annual number of new cases has doubled in last 20 years
But mortality rate has declined
1/8 will develop it in her lifetime (for women who live to be 85 yrs old)
For under 75, is 1/11
Can occur at any age, but lower for young people – 75% are over 50
Cause is unknown, rising incidence linked to increased lifetime exposure to oestrogen
Prostate cancer:
Most common cancer in aus men
Second leading cause of cancer deaths
The 5th ranked cause of death for males
Incidence has risen in aus
Cause is unknown – risk increased from family history of disease and with age
Slow cancer to grow
Mental health and wellbeing:
Mental health and emotional wellbeing are also important factor of health at midlife
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Description
1 EXAM NOTES Developmental Psychology Middle adulthood Lecture 10 Chapter 14: Physical and Cognitive Development in Middle Adulthood Baby boomers have now reached middle adulthood (4060) They are much more modern youthful than the generation before them More have remained single, more have divorced, more have remained childfree Smaller families 2 working parents in more families 5.5 million baby boomers (largest cohort) Better educated compared to their parents Physical Development Period characterised by changes in appearance, and functioning of the body Roughly age 4060 Expectations of middle age have become more diverse different for different people Enormous variability in when and how changes show up Eg. People from privileged backgrounds, see it as continuation of early adulthood, whereas people who have worked in physically wearing jobs see it as time to begin slowing their pace Physical Functioning: Chronological age not a good indicator of level of functioning everyones different More useful to measure distance from birth and distance from death By age 50, almost all adults show enough bodily change to mark them being in middle adulthood Physical functioning peaks in early adulthood, plateaus then starts to gradually decline around 50 Timing of middle adulthood depends on life expectancy Life expectancy = statistical estimate of the probable number of years remaining in life of an individual based on likelihood members of particular cohort will die at various ages. Changes from each cohort year to year as some die and some survive Increased life expectancy now medical advances, change in lifestyle, public health policy, etc Middle adulthood now later, because people live longer Longer stages in adulthood now Woman have longer life expectancy than men Ageing Primary ageing = normal agerelated changes that everyone experiences, such as menopause in women and hormonal changes in men difference exist in when it occurs exactly, but experience is universal and falls within normal age range Secondary ageing = pathological ageing, effects of illnessdisease on the body, more variable some might experience it early in their 2030s, others 7080s varies Organ reserve = the extra capacity of lungs, heart and other organs, to respond to particularly demanding situationsunusually stressful events, most people first notice decline under these conditions Strength: Until 70, loss of strength is in order of 1020 of early adulthood peak
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