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Department
Family Relations and Human Development
Course
FRHD 2060
Professor
Gillian Joseph
Semester
Fall

Description
1 Chapter 1 Adult Development and Aging Perspectives on Adult Development and Aging - Only about 4% of Aboriginal people in Canada are over the age of 65, compare to about 13% of the non-Native population Gerontology: study of aging from maturity through old age - Aging involves both growth and decline - Many myths of aging lead to negative stereotypes of older people, which may result in ageism: a form of discrimination against older adults based on their age - Ex. believing that all old people are senile, or that they are incapable of making their own decisions - Ellis discovered that more than two-thirds of all birthday cards contain ageist jokes - Ex. as you are entering 50 new doors will open for you, for example: Geriatric crisis centre, cosmetic surgery clinic, and office of ageing The Life-Span Perspective - The life-span perspective divides human development into two phases: an early phase (child-hood and adolescence) and a later phase (young adulthood, middle age, and old age) the early phase is characterized by rapid age-related increases in people’s size and abilities. During the later phase, changed in size are slow, but the abilities con- tinue to develop as people continue adapting to the environment - Adult development is a lifelong process and human development never stops - Paul Baltes identified four key features of the life-span perspective: - Multidirectionality: Development involves both growth and decline; as people grow in one area they may lose in another ad at different rates. Ex. people’s vocab ability tends to increase throughout life, but reaction time tends to slow down - Plasticity: One’s capacity is not predetermined or set in concrete. Many skills can be learned or improved with practice, even later in life - Historical context: each of us develops within a particular set of circumstances deter- mined by the historical time in which we are born and the culture in which we grow up - Multiple causation: How we develop results from a wide variety of forces, which we consider later in this chapter. We will see that development is shaped by biological, psy- chological, sociocultural, and life-cycle forces - Based on these principles, Baltes’ argues that life-span development consists of the dy- namic interaction between growth, maintenance, and loss regulation - This is an age-related reduction in the amount and quality of biologically based re- sources, as people grow older 2 - There is an age-related increase in the amount and quality of culture needed to gener- ate continuously higher growth. Usually, this results in a net slowing of growth as people age - There is an age-related decline in the efficiency with which cultural resources are used - There is a lack of cultural, “old-age friendly” support structures Demographics of Aging - There have never been as many older adults in industrialized countries as there are now - The numbers increases dramatically during the 20 century because of better health care and the lowering of women’s mortality during childbirth - In 1976 there were more young people then old - In 2006 the distribution has lost its pyramid shape, as the generations following the baby boom are not as large - The projection for 2036 illustrates a pop. Distribution that is almost a column in appear- ance - First few decades of this century, older adults will be a major economic and political force - People over age 85 – need long-term care and home support (need more assistance) - The number of our oldest old increased by 58% between the census of 1981 and 2001 - Further increases are expected with the global trend on centenarians researching over three millions by 2050 People Tends around the World - Number of older adults will increase dramatically in nearly all parts of the world over the next several decades - “Oldest” area of the world will continue to be Europe - Italy has the world’s highest % of older adults (18.1% in 2000) with most of the rest of Europe over about 14% - “Youngest area” will continue to be Africa, where overall poor access to health care and high incidence of AIDS significantly shortens lives - Japan, trying to cope with rapid increase in number of older adults - In Japan by 2025 there will be twice as many adults over 65 as there will be children - Canada leads industrialized world in rate of increase in the older pop.: between 2000 and 2030, it will increase by 126% - Explosive increase in developing countries, Ex. Singapore will see a 372% increase in older adults by 2050, with Malaysia (277%), Columbia (258%) and Costa Rica (250%) all seeing rises of more than 250% - Main reasons these countries are “aging” is a significantly lower birth rate - Once larger older-adult pop. dies, pop. decreases are inevitable 3 - Canadian gerontologists have criticized the idea that an aging population will create in- evitable social chaos as “apocalyptic demography” - Inherent in this perspective of aging according to Gee and Gutman, are five interre- lated themes: 1. Aging is a social problem 2. All old people are the same 3. Older people overuse services and resources 4. Intergenerational inequity and conflict will result from this overuse 5. The welfare state will have to be dismantled and recreated to accommodate the needs of increasing numbers of older persons - Older women outnumber men in all ethic groups in Canada and in most other countries around the world - In most cases this is because men and women play different roles throughout their lives - By 2017 1 in 5 Canadians could be members of 1 of 10 minority groups: Chinese, South Asian, Black, Filipino, Latin American, Southeast Asian, Arab, West Asian, Japa- nese, or Korean, with the largest numbers coming from the first two groups - Less then half the people over age 65 have a high-school diploma, and only 17% have earned a college diploma or university degree - Future cohorts of older adults will be much better educated (84% of 20-24 year olds in 2001 have a high-school education) - Better-educated people tend to live longer, because of higher incomes, which gives them access to better health care and more healthful lifestyles The Forces of Development - Developmentalists typically consider four interactive forces: Biological forces: Include all genetic and health-related factors that affect develop- ment, Ex. of biological forces include menopause, facial wrinkling, and changes in the major organ systems Psychological forces: include all internal perceptual, cognitive, emotional, and person- ality factors that affect development. Collectively, psychological forcers provide the char- acteristics we notice about people that make them individuals Sociocultural forces: include interpersonal, societal, cultural, and ethic factors that af- fect development. Sociocultural forces provide the overall contexts in which we develop Life-cycle forces: Reflect differences in how the same event or combination of biologi- cal, psychological, and sociocultural forces affects people at different point in their lives. Life-cycle forces provide the context for the developmental differences of interest in adult development and aging - Each person is the product of the interaction of biological, psychological, sociocultural and life-cycle forces 4 - Baltes, Lindenberger, and Staudinger identify 3 sets of influences that interact to pro- duce developmental change over the life span: normative age-graded influences, norma- tive history-graded influences, and non-normative influences Normative-age graded influences: are experiences caused by biological, psycholog- ical and sociocultural forces that are highly correlated with chronological age, Ex, puber- ty, menopause and menchare and biological – indicate major change in persons life - Menopause- indicator that women can no longer bear child w/o medical intervention - Sociocultural-Time when first marriage occurs and the age at which one retires Normative-history graded influences: are events that most people in a specific cul- ture experience at the same time, events may be biological (such as epidemics), psy- chological (such as particular serotypes), or sociocultural (such as changing attitudes to- ward sexuality) - Normative-history graded influences often give a generation its unique identity, such as the baby boom generation (people b
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