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PSYC 357 (50)
Chapter 1


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PSYC 357
Wendy Thornton

CHAPTER 1: THEMES AND ISSUES IN ADULT DEVELOPMENT AND AGING Biopsychosocial Model - Biological o Physiological factors o Genetics - Psychological o Cognition o Emotions o Personality - Sociocultural o Social context o History o Culture The 4 principles of adulthood and aging Principle Meaning Changes are continuous over the life span Individuals remain the ‘same’ even though they change Only the survivors grow old Aging individuals are increasingly self-selective Individuality matters People vary within and between age groups “Normal” aging is different from disease Intrinsic aging processes are different from those associated with illness. FOUR PRINCIPLES (p. 4) 1. Changes are continuous over the life span – continuity principle o Changes that occur in later adulthood build on what has occurred in one’s past o Though appearance changes throughout life, people still tend to feel they are the ‘same’ inside 2. Only the survivors grow old. o Consider that very old individuals were not involved in fatal car accidents, natural disasters, did not engage in risky bahvior i.e. drug, alcohol abuse o May be because they may have good genes (bio), are emotionally healthy (psych), or have surrounded themselves with a good support system (social) + good luck 3. Individuality matters. (inter-individual differences) o Variability, or how differently people responded to the measures, was far greater in older adults than younger adults. o As people age, they become more different from one another rather than more alike o Increasing differences in people as they grow older ties into the importance of experiences in shaping development  i.e. college or not? Marry or not? Kids or not? Job or masters degree? o Intra-individual differences  The differences within an individual  The multidirectionality of development – not all systems develop at the same rate within the person 4. “Normal” aging is different from disease. o Three types of aging  Normal – primary aging • Set of changes built into the hardwiring of the organism, which progress at different rates among individuals, but are nevertheless universal, intrinsic and progressive  Impaired – secondary aging • Changes due to disease • Abnormal set of changes affecting a segment rather than the entirety of the older population  Optimal – successful aging • Refers to the way the aging process is slowed or altered because the individual has engaged in preventative and compensatory strategies to avoid negative changes that would otherwise occur with normal or impaired aging Identity – composite of how people view themselves in the biological, psychological and social domains of life  interaction of these domains create an overall view of the “self” (p. 4) Five Ways to Shorten Your Life (p. 5) 1. Being overweight. 2. Drinking and driving. 3. Eating inadequate fruits and vegetables. 4. Being physically inactive. 5. Smoking. Using Age to Define “Adult” (p. 8) - Can be defined by legal age to drive, drink, vote, rent a car, marry, etc but thes
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