PSYC 3490 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Heredity, Paul Baltes, Dependent And Independent Variables

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Published on 18 Apr 2013
Chapter One: Studying Adult Development and Aging
Perspectives on Adult Development and Aging
Gerontology: the scientific study of aging from maturity through old
Ageism: form of discrimination against older adults based on their age
The Life-Span Perspective: appreciating and understanding what came in
childhood and adolescence in order to understand adult experiences
Life-span perspective divides human development into two phases:
1. Early Phase young child and young adult
2. Later Phase young adult, middle age and old age
Four features (Paul Baltes 1987)
1. Multi-directionality development involves both growth and
decline; as people grow in one area they lose in another area
2. Plasticity skills can be learnt or improved, even later on in life;
although there are limits to the degree of potential improvements
3. Historical Context birth time and culture determine our
development circumstances
4. Multiple Causation development is shaped by biological,
psychological, socio-cultural and life cycle forces
o Bates argues that the life-span development consists no
dynamic interaction between growth, maintenance and loss
There is an age-related reduction in the amount and quality of
biologically based resources as people grow older
There is an age-related increase in the amount and quality of culture
needed to generate continuously higher growth
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 struc tures
The Demographics of Aging
Numbers of old age adults increased dramatically during 20th century
because of better healt h care and lowerin g of womens mortality d uring
Population Trends Around the World
Oldest area of world will continue to be Europe
Youn gest area will continue to be Africa
Implications of Population Shifts
o Main reason countries are agin g due to lower birthrate
o With decreasing birthrate comes shrinking supply of
workers (and consumers)
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o Increase in older adults presents multiple problems in
health system
The Diversity of Older Adults
Older women out-number older men in all ethnic groups in Canada
Better educated people tend to live longer
Issues in Studying Adult Development and Aging
Forces of Development:
1. Biological Forces all genetic and health related factors
o Menopause
o Facial wrinkling
o Changes in major organ systems
2. Psychological Forces all internal, perceptual, cognitive, emotional and
personality factors
o characteristics are unique to individuals and are noticeable
3. Socio-cultural Forces contexts in which we develop
o interpersonal, societal, cultural and ethnic
4. Life-cycle Forces some force (from the above that were stated) or
combination of forces affect people at different points in their life
Each person is a product of the interaction of ALL the forces! = Persons
Developmental Experience
Interrelations Between the Forces: Developmental Influences
There are 3 sets influences that interact to produce developmental change
over the life-span:
1. Normative Age-Graded Influences: experiences caused by biological,
psychological and socio-cultural; correlated with chronological age
o Usually indicate a major change in a persons life; ex. Menopause
o Major time marker events
o These event provide the most convenient way to judge where we are
on our social clock
2. Normative History-Graded Influences: events that most people in a
specific culture experience at the same time
o Can be psychological, biological or socio-cultural
o Ex. Baby boomers, generation X, echo boomers
Biological Force
Psychological Force
Socio-cultural Force
Life Cycle
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Document Summary

Chapt er o ne: st ud yi ng a dul t de vel opm en t and agi ng. Perspect i ves on adul t de vel op ment and a gi n g. Geront ol og y: t he sci e nt i fi c st udy of a gi n g f ro m mat uri t y t hro u gh ol d age. Agei sm : for m of di scri mi nat i on a gai nst ol de r adul t s based on t hei r age. T here i s an age -rel at e d decl i ne i n t he effi ci e ncy wi t h whi ch cul t ur al resources are used. T here i s a l ack of cul t ural , ol d -a ge fri endl y support st ruc t ures.

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