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Chapter 1

Psy aging- Chapter 1.doc

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Gillian Rowe

Chapter 1: studying adult development and aging perspective on adult development and aging ageism: a form of discrimination against older adults based on their age  they are senile and incapable of making decisions  it can be presented as humour The life span perspectives Life span perspectives: divide human development into two phases: an early phase (childhood and adolescence) and later phase (young adulthood and middle age and old age)  early phase – rapid age related increase in people's size and abilities  later phase – change in size are slow, but abilities to continue to develop as people continue adapting to the environment aging is a lifelong process meaning that human development never stops Paul Baltes – four key feature of life span perspective 1. multidirectionality: development involve both growth and decline; as people grow in one area they may lose in another and at different rates - e.g. People vocabulary grows but they reaction time stops 2. plasticity: one capacity is not concrete – many skills can be learned or improved with practice eve late at life. There are limits to the degree of potential improvements 3. historical context: each of us develop within a particular set of circumstances determined by the historical time in which we are born and the culture in which we grow up 4. multiple causation: we develop results from a wide variety of forces,- shaped by biological, psychological, sociocultural and life cycle forces  development takes a lifetime to complete  development consists of dynamic interaction between growth, maintenance, loss regulation 1. there is an age related reduction in the amount and quality of biologically based resources as people grow older 2. there is an age related increase in the amount and quality of culture needed to generate continuously higher growth = net slowing of growth as people age 3. there is an age related decline in the efficiency with which cultural resources are used 4. there is a lack of cultural, “old age friendly support structure  Factors above--- show the need to shift more and more resources to maintain function and deal with biologically related losses as we grow old The demographics of aging  the number of old people increase due to better health care and lower women's mortality during childbirth  there are more old people now  older adults will be the major economic and political force  they will access pension and health care system to a greater extent then when they were young  the cost is from their contribution and young taxpayers  long term care needed for ages over 85 Population trends around the world  europe continue to have most of the oldest people  Africa have the youngest due to poor access to health care and high incidence ofAIDS  population shift is the greatest in Japan, by 2025 there will be twice as many adults over 65 as there will be children  Why certain countries have net population decrease: the main reason these countries are “aging” is lower birth rate  once the larger adult population dies, population decrease are inevitable. These countries are beginning to face the problem of how their economies will handle a shrinking supply of workers  the increase of older adults results in more adults in health system that are already inadequate and strained and trying to absorb more workers in fragile economies Idea that an aging population will credate inevitable social chaos 1. aging is a social problem 2. all old people are the same 3. old people overuse service and resources 4. intergenerational inequality and conflict will result from this overuse 5. the welfare state will have to be dismantled and recreate to accommodate the needs of increasing numbers of older people  the above ignores the fact that old people are the ones who establish our current health care and social safety net - a net that will also be the support for the young when they get old Te diversity of older adults  old people are not all the same  men and women experience aging differently – they each play different roles  visible minority is increasing – due to immigration, higher fertility rates, longer life expectancy and younger age structure among the minority groups our future cohort will be much more educated - the need for formal school and more opportunities – to obtain a job  better educated people live longer – they have higher income and give s them better access to health care and lifestyle Issues in studying adult development and aging Developmentalist emphasizes – biological, psychological, sociocultural and life cycle The Force of development  Biological forces: include all genetic and health related factors that affect development. Example: biological forces include menopause, facial , wrinkling and changes in the major organ system  psychological forces: include all internal perceptual cognitive, emotional, and personality factors that affect development. - the characteristics we notice about people that make them individuals  sociocultural forces: include interpersonal, societal, cultural and ethnic factors that affect development, sociocultural forces provide the overall contexts in which we develop  Life-cycle forces: reflect differences in how the same event or combination of biological, psychological and sociocultural force affects people at different points in their lives= provide content for the development differences of inters in adult development and aging Only focusing on one factor is incomplete Interrelation between the forces: developmental influences Baltes, Lindenberger, and staudiner: identify three sets of influences that interact to produce developmental changes over the life span 1. Normative age-graded influences: are experiences caused by biological, psychological, and sociocultural forces that are highly correlated with chronological age.  Are major time marker events  eg. turning 18, getting married, retirement 2. Normative history graded influences: are events that most people in a specific culture experience at the same time  it may be biological, psychological, sociocultural  gives a generation a unique identity e.g. Baby boom generation , generation X and Echo boomer 3. Non- Normative influences: are random or rare events that be important for a specific individual but are not experience by most people  e.g. Winning the lottery or election, getting layoff  the unpredictability makes these events unique Controversies in development The nature- nurture controversy Nature – nurture controversy: the extent to which inborn, hereditary characteristic (nature) and experiential or environmental, influences (nurture) determine who we are make up “”  nature and nurture do interact - need to take both into account of why we behave the way we do  e.g. Alzheimer's disease : can be trigger by environment of support from the environment can help the patient The stability- change controversy  The stability change controversy: conversy the degree to which people remain the same over time  controversy whether adult change- stems from how specific characteristic are defined and measured  its objective whether personality of an adult changed since adolescence The continuity- discontinuity controversy : concerns whether a particular developmental phenomenon reporestn a smooth progression over time (continuity) or a series of abrupt shifts ( discontinuity)  continuity focus on the amount of a characteristic a person has  discontinuity focus on kinds of characteristic a person has The universal versus context- specific development controversy The universal versus context- specific development controversy: concerns whether there is just on path of development of sev
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