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FSU FAD 3220 - Chapter 15 Physical and Cognitive Development in Mid Adulthood

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FAD 3220: Chapter 15Physical and Cognitive Development in Mid AdulthoodClass NotesMiddle Age - A social construct - Not recognized in other cultures - Developed as life- expectancy increased - Defined by book as ages 40-65 - Can be a time of loss, but also a time of growth Physical Changes - “Use it or lose it!” - The more people do, the more they can do- Loss in muscle tone, flexibility, stamina, speed and dexterity due to genetic aging, but also because of decreased use or activity - Gradual decrease in basal metabolism (basic metabolism that controls weight gain/ loss) Vision Changes - Presbyopia: age- related vision problems o Sensitivity to near vision, dynamic vision, light, visual search, speed of processing, visual acuity - Changes in pupil of the eye - Loss of elasticity in the lens - Reading glasses, bio- focals Hearing Changes - Presbycusis: gradual, age related hearing loss- Normally limited to higher pitch sounds used in speech - Proceeds quicker in males than females Taste and Smell- Sensitivity to taste and smell decreases - Foods may seems more bland - Women keep these senses longer than men - Sensitivity may change to different types of food (salty, sweet, bitter exc.) Structural/ Systemic Changes- Skin thins and becomes less taut - Hair thins and greys as melanin, the pigment agent, declines - Gain weight and lose height due to shrinking of intervertebral disks - Bone density decreases (shrinking as people age) Sexual/ Reproductive Issues - Sexual enjoyment continues throughout adult life- Menopause: Cessation of menstruation and of ability to bear children (45-55)o Symptoms: hot flashes, changes in sexual desire, depression, moodiness, tension - Decreases in testosterone and sperm count o Erectile dysfunction Physical Health - Most middle- aged adults report that they are healthy - Common health problems: o Hypertension- high blood pressure o Cancer leading cause of death o Heart Disease o Diabetes  body doesn’t properly produce insulin - Some health problems are within their control and some are not. Emotions and Health - Negative emotions associated w/ poorer physical and mental health - Positive emotions associated w/ good health and longer life - Middle- aged are more likely than younger or older adults to suffer from psychological distress: sadness, nervousness, restlessness, hopelessness, and worthlessnessCognitive Development- Used to believe that cognitive development declined during middle age - Longitudinal studies show that cognitive functioning stays the same or increases - Losses may be a sign of individual issues/ problems Types of Intelligence - Fluid: applied to novel problems; independent of culture and education (ability to adapt; older people using technology) o This type of intelligence is better for younger adults, does not increasein middle age, and becomes increasingly harder for older adults - Crystallized: ability to remember and use learned information; dependent on education and cultureo Improves through middle age and older age Adult Cognition - Expertise through experience (You can be an expert at anything if you work at it for 100,000 hours - Encapsulation: progressive dedication of information processing and fluid thinking to specific knowledge systems, making knowledge more readily accessible. (like a filing system that adults have to promote better mental organization) - Integrative: integrate logic with intuition or emotion.o Person who is expert (older) can use their integrative intuition instead of just following ‘by the book’ to solve problems. Creativity in Middle Age - Creative performance: What and how much a creative mind produces - Creativity peaks around late thirties o May vary upon the field o Losses in quantity may be compensated by increases in quality Book Notes *Reflects all bolded/ important information not presented in lecture Perimenopause: period of several years (3-5) during which a woman experiences physiological changes of menopause; includes first year after end of menstruation- Also called climacteric “change of life” Osteoporosis “porous bones”- condition in which the bones become thin and brittle as a result of rapid calcium depletion. - In women it accelerates 5 to 10 years after menopause b/c of rapid bone loss due to reduced levels of estrogen.Mammography: Diagnostic x- ray examination of the breasts. (greatly benefits women over 50) Hormone Therapy- treatment with artificial estrogen sometimes in combination w/ the hormone progesterone, to relieve or prevent symptoms caused by decline in estrogen levels after menopause. Stress is the damage that occurs when perceived environmental demands or stressors exceeds a person’s capacity to cope with. - Those in middle age experience higher and more frequent stress levels than younger adults or older adults. - Can lead to serious illness Definition of who is literate has changed over time. At the turn of the century, a person w/ a 4th grade reading level was considered literate. Now a high school diploma is barely acceptable to be an active part in the working world Literacy: In an adult, ability to use printed and written information to function in society, achieve goals, and develop knowledge and


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