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PSYC 3490 (60)
Chapter 3

Chapter 3 - notes.docx

6 Pages

Course Code
PSYC 3490
Laurie Mc Nelles

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Chapter Three: Longevity, Health and Functioning  How Long Will We Live?  How long we live depends on complex interactions between biological, psychological and sociocultural and lifestyle forces  Both short and long life tendencies run in families, although environment also plays a role  Two types of longevity: 1. Average Life Expectancy = refers to age at which a particular age cohort can expect to live 2. Maximum Longevity (life span) = the oldest age to which any individual of a species lives o Active Life Expectancy: living to a healthy old age; ends when one loses independence and has to rely on others for most activities on a daily living o Dependent Life Expectancy: living a long time; remaining years of life, living in a dependent state  Genetic and Environmental Factors in Average Life Expectancy  Genetic Factors – good way to increase one’s chance of long life is to come from a family with a history of long lived individuals  Environmental Factors – diseases, toxins, lifestyles and social class  Ethnic Differences in Average Life Expectancy  Ethnicity – in Canada, there is an “Immigrant advantage” in life expectancy, meaning, members of visible minorities have a higher life expectancy than do the rest of the population  Gender Differences in Average Longevity  Women have nearly a seven year edge over men. Why? o More male babies die in infancy or are stillborn o Men are more vulnerable to disease than women o Men are risk-takers? o Men smoke and use alcohol more than women? o Men allow stress to enter their lives more than women?  Health and Illness  Health: absence of acute and chronic physical and mental disease and impairments  Illness: presence of a physical or mental disease or impairment  Quality of Life  Quality of life: multidimensional concept that ties biological, psychological and sociocultural domains at any point in the life cycle  Two aspects: 1. Quality of life in context of specific diseases or conditions 2. Quality of life relating to end-of-life-issues o Functioning and well-being o Alzheimer's (and related dementia)  To what extent does distress from illness or side effects associated with treatment reduce the person’s will to live? o That depends on a person’s Valuation of Life: degree to which a person is attached to his/her present life  Changes in the Immune System  Immune system: defence against foreign invaders  Composed of three major cell types that interact and form a network 1. Cell-mediated immunity 2. Humoral immunity 3. Non-specific immunity  How does the defence system work?  How does aging affect the immune system? o Not well understood  Aging is related to how well the system works o Older adult’s immune system takes longer to build up defences  Autoimmunity - immune system can attack the body itself o Rheumatoid arthritis  Psychoneuroimmunology: study of relations between psychological, neurological and immunological systems that raise or lower our susceptibility to and ability to recover from disease  AIDS and Older Adults o Public Health Agency of Canada reported that in first six months of 2004 there were 177 new cases of HIV identified among adults over age of 50 o Because of social stereotype that older adults are not sexually active, many physicians do not test older patients  Chronic and Acute Diseases  Acute Diseases: conditions that develop over a short period of time and cause a rapid change in health  Chronic Diseases: conditions that last a longer period of time (at least three months) and may be accompanied by residual functional impairment that necessitates long-term management  Rate of acute diseases go down and chronic diseases go up as you age  The Role of Stress  Stress: result of people’s evaluation of events in the context of the various resources they have; stress is defined by the person and no two people experience the same event in exactly the same way  Stress and copying paradigm: views stress not as an environmental stimulus or as a response but as an interaction of a thinking person and an event o How people deal with stress reflect the influence of biological, psychological, sociocultural and life cycle  Appraisal  (Lazarus and Folkman, 1984)  Primary appraisal – categorize the event into three groups – irrelevant, bengin, or positive and stressful  Secondary appraisal – evaluates our perceived ability to cope with harm, threat or challenge  Reappraisal – involves making a new primary or secondary appraisal resulting from changes in the situation o Coping – dealing with stressful vents o Death of a spouse o Problem-focused coping: attempts to tackle the problem head on o Emotion-focused coping: dealing with one’s feelings about the stressful event  Aging and the Stress and Coping Paradigm
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