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PSY313H1 CH 1 .docx

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Gabriela Ilie

PSY313H1 CH1 Studying adult development and aging 9/8/2013 9:06:00 PM o This chapter: fundamental issues related to adult development and aging (who older ppl are, forces that shape them, current developmental controversies, how gerontologists study adult dev and aging) o PERSPECTIVE ON ADULT DEV AND AGING o Gerontology : the study of aging from maturity through old age o Myths of aging lead to negative stereotypes of older ppl, which may result in ageism a form of discrimination against older adults based on age  All old ppl are senile/incapable of making decisions The Life Span Perspective o We cant understand adults’ experiences without appreciating what came before in childhood and adolescence Life span perspective : divides human development into 2 phases  Early phase (childhood and adolescence) o Rapid age related increases people’s size + abilities  Later phase (young adulthoot, middle age, old age) o Changes in size are slow, abilities continue to develop as ppl continue adapting to env Paul Baltes  Identified 4 key features of life span perspective  Multidirectionality :development involves both growth and decline; as ppl grow in one area they may lose in another and at diff rates o Ex) ppl’s vocab ability tends to increase through life, rxn time tends to slow down  Plasticity : capacity is not predetermined or set in concrete. Skills can be learned or improved w/ practice, even late in life. BUT there are limits to degree of potential improvement  Historical Context: each of us develops within a particular set of circumstances determined by historical time born and the culture  Multiple Causation: Development is shaped by biological, psychological, sociocultural, life cycle forces o The life span perspective emphasizes that human dev takes lifetime to complete setting the stage for understanding the many influences we experience and points out that no one part of life is any more or less imp than another o Baltes argues that lifespan dev consists of dynamic interaction between growth maintenance and loss regulation o 4 factors are critical 1. There is an age related reduction in the amount and quality of biologically bases resources as people grow older 2. There is an age related increase in amnt and quality of culture needed to generate continuously higher growth. Usually, this results in a net slowing of growth as people age 3. There is an age related decline in the efficiency w/ which cultural resources are used 4. There is a lack of cultural “old age friendly” support structures o These four create the need to shift more and more resources to maintain function and deal w/ biologically related losses as we grow old, and few resources devoted to continue growth o The Demographics of Aging o Number of adults increased dramatically during 20 thcentury b/c of better health care and lowering of women’s mortality during childbirth o No more pyramid shape, baby booms are not as large, 2036 looks more like a column o Older adults will be a major economic/political force= access pension +health care systems o Number of oldest old increased by 58% between census of 1981 and that of 2001 Population Trends around the World o Number of older adults will increase dramatically in nearly all areas of the world over the next several decades o Oldest area – Europe (Italy), Youngest area- Africa (poor access to health care, AIDS shorten life) o Canada leads the industrialed world in the rate of increase in the older population: between 2000 and 2030, increase by 126%  BUT, this increase is not as greast as increase in pop of older adults in developing countries ex) Singapore, Malaysia, Colombia, Costra Rica  Main reason these countries are aging is a signlifciantly lower birth rate  Once old pop dies, pop decreases = PROBLEM w/ economy (decrease in workers, consumers)  ANOTHER PROBLEM = dramatic increase in old adults of most of rest of world is problem to care for them in health care systems that are already inadequate and strained o Gee and Gutman perspective 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  this ignores fact that older adults were responsible for establishment of our current health care and social safety net used to support young when old too Fougere and Merette o have helped reute this idea by considering + changes to ecnomy brought by aging pop o in “older” countries, there will be more inclination to invest in human capital (skilled knowledge sector workers) than in physical capital, thereby stimulating economic growth The Diversity of Older Adults o Older adults are not all alike o Older women >Older men in Canada and most countries o Men and women experience aging diff, bc men and women play diff roles o #of visible minorties in Canadian pop has increased in last 2 decades , trend is to continue, this is due to immigration, higher fertily rates, longer life expectancy and younger age structure among the minority groups o Older adults’ educational levels continue to improve o Less than half the ppl over age 65 have a high school diplma, 17% earned college/uni diploma o BUT 84% of Canadians 20-24 already had high school diploma in 2001 o Future- more educated , caused by better educational opportunies for more ppl and greater need for formal schooling o Better educated tend to live longer due to higher incomes, access to better health are and healthful lifestyles o ISSUES IN STUDYING ADULT DEV AND AGING o The Forces of Development o Developmentalists typically consider 4 interactive forces o Biological forces: include all genetic and health related factors that affect dev. Ex) Menopause, wrinkling, changes in major organ systems o Psychological forces: internal perepetual, cognitive, emotional, personality factors that affect development. They provide the characteristics we notice about ppl that make them individuals o Sociocultural forces: interpersonal, societal cultural, and ethnic factors that affect dev. Provide overall contexts in which we develop o Life-cycle forces: differences in how the same event or combination of biological, psychological, and sociocultural forces affects ppl at diff points in their lives. Provides the context for developmental differences of interest in adult development and aging o -each of us is a product of a unique combo of these forces o Interrelations Between the Forces: Developmental Influences o All forces combine to create people’s developmental experiences Baltes, Lindenberger, Satudinger Identify 3 sets of influences that interact to produce a developmental change over the life span: normative age graded influences, normative history graded influences, and non normative influences Normative age-graded influences : experiences caused by biological psychological, and sociocultural forces that are highly correlated w/ chronological age. Ex) puberty, menarche, menopause are biological (they indicate a change in a person’s life, no more child bearing)  Normative psychological events; focusing on certain concerns at diff pts in adult hood (middle age person’s concern w/ socializing the younger generation  Social cultural normative forces; time when first marriage occurs and age at which one retires  Normative age graded influences typically correspond to major time marker events, which are often ritualized ex) turning 12 o Normative history graded influences: events that most ppl in a specific culture experience at the same time o Biological (epidemics), Psychological (particular stereotypes), Sociocultural (changing attitudes toward sexuality) o Often give a generation its unique identit
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