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Chapter 17

LATE
ADULTHOOD
OLD AGE TODAY
AGEISM – prejudice or discrimination
against a person (most commonly an
older person) based on age.
o Efforts to combat ageism are making
headway, thanks to the visibility of a
growing number of active, healthy older
adults.
o Today, many older people are healthy,
vigorous, and active. Although effects
of primary aging may be beyond
people’s control, they often can avoid
“YOUNG OLD” “ OLD OLD”
“OLDEST OLD”
o Primary Aging – Gradual, inevitable, process of bodily
deterioration throughout the life span.
o Secondary Aging – Aging processes that result from
disease and bodily abuse and disuse and are after
preventable.
o Functional Age – Measure of a person’s ability to
function effectively in his or her physical and social
environment in comparison with others of the same
chronological age.

GERONTOLOGY – study of the aged and the


process of aging.
GERIATRICS – branch of medicine concerned
PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT
LONGEVITY AND AGING
o Life expectancy is greater in developed countries than in
developing countries, among white Americans than among
African Americans, and among women as compared with men.
o Recent gains in life expectancy come largely from progress
toward reducing death rates from diseases affecting older
people. Further large improvements in life expectancy may
depend on whether scientists can learn to modify basic
processes of aging.
LIFE EXPECTANCY – age to which a person in a
particular cohort is statistically likely to live (given his
or her current age and health status), on the basis of
average longevity of a population.
LONGEVITY – length of an individual’s life.
LIFE SPAN – the longest period that members of a
SENESCENCE – period of the life span marked
by changes in physical functioning sometimes
associated with aging; begin at different ages for
different people.
GENETIC-PROGRAMMING THEORIES –
theories that explain biological aging as resulting
from a genetically determined developmental
timetable.
Hayflick Limit – genetically controlled
limit, proposed by Hayflick, on the number of
times cells can divide in members of a species.
VARIABLE – RATE THEORIES – theories that
explain biological aging as a result of processes
that vary from person to person and are
influenced by both the internal and the external
GENDER DIFFERENCES
Women are typically can live longer than
men, though there are exceptions in
developing countries where girls and
women face severe discrimination.

• Women’s longer life has been attributed to


several factors:
• Their greater tendency to take care of
themselves and to seek medical care.
• The higher level of social support they
enjoy.
• The greater biological vulnerability of males
throughout life.
THEORIES OF BIOLOGICAL
AGING
GENETIC-PROGRAMMING THEORIES

Programmed Senescence Theory. Aging is the result of the


sequential switching on and off of certain genes. Senescence is the time
when the resulting age-associated deficits become evident.
Endocrine Theory. Biological clocks act through hormones to control
the pace of aging.
Immunological Theory. A programmed decline in immune system
functions lead to increased vulnerability to infectious disease and thus
to aging and death.
 
VARIABLE-RATE THEORIES

Wear-and-Tear Theory. Cells and tissues have vital parts that wear
out.
Free-Radical Theory. Accumulated damage from oxygen radicals
causes cells and eventually organs to stop functioning.
Rate-of-Living Theory. The greater an organisms rate of metabolism,
the shorter its life span.
Autoimmune Theory. Immune system becomes confused and attacks
HOW FAR CAN THE LIFE
SPAN BE EXTENDED?
SURVIVAL CURVES – curves, plotted on a graph, showing
percentages of a population that survive at each age level.

Jeanne Louise
Calment

Born: 21 February
1875
Died: 4 August 1997

She was a French


woman with the
longest confirmed
lifespan in history at
age 122 years 164
PHYSICAL CHANGES
Changes in body systems and organs are highly variable and
may be results of disease, which in turn may be affected by
lifestyle.
vOlder skin tends to become paler, splotchier, and less
elastic and muscle shrink, the skin may wrinkle.

vVaricose Veins of the legs become more common.

vThe hair on the head turns white and becomes thinner,


and body hair becomes sparser.

vOlder people become shorter as the disks between their


spinal vertebrae, and stooped posture may make them look
even smaller.

vThinning bones may cause a “dowager’s hump” at the


back of the neck, especially in women with osteoporosis.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL
HEALTH
What health problems are common in late adulthood, and what
factors influence health at that time?

qMost older people are reasonably healthy, especially


if they follow a healthy lifestyle. Most do have chronic
conditions, but these usually do not greatly limit
activities or interfere with daily life. The proportion of
older adults with physical disabilities has declined.
Still, older adults do need more medical care than
younger ones.

qExercise and diet are important influences on health.


VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS
Cataracts – cloudy or opaque areas in the lens of the eye, which
cause blurred vision.
Glaucoma – Irreversible damage to the optic nerve caused by
increased pressure in the eye.
Age-Related Muscular Degeneration – Condition in which the
center of the retina gradually loses its ability to discern fine details;
leading cause of irreversible impairment in older adults.
Presbyopia or Old Sightedness – results in the elasticity in the
part of the lens due to old age

HEARING IMPAIRMENTS
Conduction Deafness – a defect caused by inability of the bones
and membranes to function out of old age
MENTAL
DISORDER
MENTAL AND BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS

Dementia – Deterioration in cognitive and


behavioral functioning due to physiological
causes.

Parkinson’s Disease – Progressive, irreversible


degenerative brain disorder, characterized by
tremor, stuffiness, slowed movement, and
unstable posture.

Alzheimer’s Disease – Progressive, irreversible


degenerative brain disorder characterized by
ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE VERSUS
NORMAL BEHAVIOR
COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
•Physical and psychological factors that influence older people's performance on
intelligence tests may lead to underestimation of their intelligence. Cross-
sectional research showing declines in intelligence may reflect cohort
differences.

•Measures of fluid and crystallized intelligence show a more encouraging pattern,


with crystallized abilities increasing into old age.

•In Baltes' dual-process model, the mechanics of intelligence often decline, but
the pragmatics of intelligence may continue to grow.

•A general slowdown in central nervous system functioning may affect the speed
of information processing. However, this slowdown may be limited to certain
processing tasks and may vary among individuals.
Measuring Older Adult’s Intelligence
Measuring older adult’s intelligence is complicated. A number of
physical and psychosocial factors may lower their test scores and lead to
underestimation of their intelligence.

Dual-Process Model – Model of cognitive functioning


proposed by Baltes, which identities and seeks to measure
two dimension of intelligence; mechanics and pragmatics.

Mechanics of Intelligence – In Baltes’ dual process


model, the dimension of intelligence that tends to grow
and includes practical thinking, application of
accumulated knowledge and skills, specialized expertise,
professional productivity, and wisdom.

Selective Optimization with Compensation – In


Baltes’ dual process model, strategy for maintaining or
enhancing overall cognitive functioning by using stronger
abilities to compensate for those that have weakened.
MEMORY: HOW DOES IT CHANGED?
Short-Term Memory – is a kind of memory that is kept in a short
duration of time.

Ex. Title of the first movie that you and your best friend watched
in the cinema.

Long-Term Memory – memory that is kept because of its


importance in your own life.

Ex. The day that your sibling was born.

Episodic Memory – Long-Term memory of specific experiences


or events, linked to time and place.

Semantic Memory – Long-Term memory of general factual


knowledge, social customs, and language.

Procedural/Explicit Memory – Long-Term memory of motor


skills, habits, and ways of doing things which often can be
CHAPTER 18

PSYCHOSOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
IN LATE ADULTHOOD
THEORY AND RESEARCH ON
PSYCHOSOCIAL
STABILITY OF PERSONAL
TRAITS
What happens to personality in old age?

•Personality traits tend to remain stable in late adulthood, but


cohort differences have been found.
•Emotionally tends to become more positive and less negative in
old age, but personality traits can modify this pattern.

Negative Emotions:
Restlessness, boredom,
loneliness, unhappiness, and
depression.

Positive Emotions: Excitement,


interest, pride and sense of
NORMATIVE ISSUES AND
TASKS
Erik Erikson’s final stage, EGO INTEGRITY VS
DESPAIR, culminates in the virtue of wisdom, or
acceptance of one’s life and impending death.

According to Erikson, the eight and final stage of


psychosocial development, in which people in late
adulthood either achieve a sense of integrity of the
self by accepting the lives they have lived, and
thus accept death, or yield to despair that their
lives cannot be relived.
MODELS OF COPING
How do older adults cope?

•George Vaillant found that the use of mature adaptive


mechanisms earlier in adulthood predicts psychosocial
adjustment in late life.

•In the cognitive-appraisal model, adults of all ages generally


prefer problem-focused coping, but older adults do more
emotion-focused coping than younger adults when the situation
calls for it.

•Religion is an important source of emotion-focused coping for


many older adults. Older African Americans are more involved

Coping – Adaptive thinking aimed at reducing stress


that arises from harmful or challenging conditions
Cognitive-Appraisal Model – Holds that,
on the basis of continuous appraisal of
their relationship with the environment.
Problem-Focused Coping – In the
Cognitive-Appraisal Model, coping strategy
directed toward eliminating, managing, or
improving a stressful situation.
Emotion-Focused Coping – In the
Cognitive-Appraisal Model, coping strategy
directed toward managing the emotional
response to a stressful situation so as to
lessen its physical impact.
Ambiguous Loss – A loss that is nit
MODELS OF “SUCCESSFUL” or
“OPTIMAL” AGING
What is successful aging and how can it be
measured?

- Two contrasting early models of "successful" or


"optimal" aging are disengagement theory and
activity theory. Disengagement theory has little
support, and findings on activity theory are mixed.
Newer refinements of activity theory are continuity
theory and a distinction between productive and
leisure activity.

- Baltes and his colleagues suggest that successful


Disengagement Theory VS
Activity Theory
Disengagement Theory – Holds that successful
aging is characterized by mutual withdrawal
between the older person and society.

Activity Theory – Holds that in order to age


successfully a person must remain as active as
possible.

Continuity Theory – Holds that in order to age


successfully people must maintain a balance of
continuity and change in both the internal ang
SELECTIVE OPTIMIZATION
WITH COMPENSATION
According to this concept, the aging
brain compensates for losses in certain
areas by selectively optimizing, or making
the most of, other abilities. The same
principle applies to Psychosocial
Development. As we have seen, older
adults often can be more flexible than the
younger ones in selecting coping strategies,
and thus can optimize well-being in the face
LIFESTYLE AND SOCIAL ISSUES
RELATED TO AGING
What are some issues regarding work and
retirement in late life, and how do older
adults handle time and money?

-Some older people continue to work for pay, but


most are retired. However, many retired people
start new careers or do part-time paid or
volunteer work. Often retirement is a phased
phenomenon.

- Age has both positive and negative effects on


job performance, and individual differences are
more significant than age differences. Older
-The financial situation of older people has improved,
but still about 30 percent can expect to live in poverty at
some point. For many of today's middle-aged adults,
retirement funding is shaky.

-Retirement is an ongoing process, and its emotional


impact must be assessed in context. Personal,
economic, and social resources, as well as the length
of time a person has been retired, may affect morale.

- Common lifestyle patterns after retirement include a


family-focused lifestyle, balanced investment, and
serious leisure.
LIFE AFTER RETIREMENT
Continuity Theory suggests that people who maintain their
earlier activities and lifestyles adjust most successfully.
Socioeconomic status may affect the way retired people use
their time.
Family-Focused Lifestyle – Pattern of
retirement activity that revolves around family,
home, and companions.

Balanced Investment – Pattern of retirement


activity allocated among family, work, and
leisure.

Serious Leisure – Leisure activity requiring


What options for living arrangements do
older adults have?

- In developing countries, the elderly often live


with children or grandchildren. In developed
countries, most older people live with a spouse,
and a growing minority live alone. Minority elders
are more likely than white elders to live with
extended family members.

- Most older Americans prefer to "age in place."


Most can remain in the community if they can
depend on a spouse or child for help.

- Older women are more likely than older men to


- Institutionalization is rare in developing countries. Its
extent varies in developed countries. In the United
States, only about 4.5 percent of the older population
are institutionalized at a given time, but the proportion
increases greatly with age. Most nursing home
residents are older widows.

- Fast-growing alternatives to institutionalization


include assisted-living facilities and other kinds of
group housing.

- Elder abuse is most often suffered by a frail or


demented older person living with a spouse or child.
Elder Abuse – Maltreatment of dependent older persons or
violation of their personal rights.
PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
SOCIAL
IN LATE LIFE
CONTACT
According to Social Convoy Theory, reductions or
changes in social contact in late life do not impair well-
being because a stable inner circle of social support is
maintained. According to Socioemotional Selectivity
Theory, older people prefer to spend time with people who
enhance their emotional well-being.
How do personal relationships change in old age, and
what is their effect on well-being?

- Relationships are very important to older people, even


though frequency of social contact declines in old age.
- Social support is associated with good health, and
isolation is a risk factor for mortality.
- The way multigenerational late-life families function
often has cultural roots.
CONSENSUAL
RELATIONSHIP
LONG-TERM MARRIAGE
This is a relatively new phenomenon. Most
marriages, like most people, need to have a shorter life
span.

Married couples who are still together in late


adulthood more likely than middle aged couples to
report their marriages as satisfying and many say it has
improved. It can be severely tested by advancing age
and physical ills. Spouses who must care for disabled
partners may feel isolated, angry, and frustrated
DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE
Divorce in late life is rare, congress who
takes this step usually do it much earlier.
Only 8% of women and 7% of men age 65
and over are divorced and not remarried.
However, since 1990, there’s numbers
have increased significantly and probably
will continue to increase as younger
cohorts with larger proportions of divorced
people reach late adulthood.
WIDOWHOOD
Just as older men are more likely than women to
be married, older women are much more likely than
men to be widowed and for similar reasons; women
tend to outlive their husbands and are less likely than
men to marry again.

SINGLE LIFE

In more than half of the world, 5% or less of elder


men and 10% or less of elderly women has never
married. Older never-married people are more likely
thank older divorced widowed people to prefer single
GAY AND LESBIAN RELATIONSHIP
There is little research on homosexual relationship in old
age. This is largely because the current cohort of older
adults grew up at a time when livingly opens as a
homosexuals who are rare.
Older homosexuals, like heterosexuals, have needs for
intimacy, social contact, and Generativity. Many gays and
lesbians adapt to aging with relative ease. Adjustment may
be influenced by coming-out status.

FRIENDSHIPS
Friendships in old age focus on companionship and
support, not on work and parenting. Older adults have close
friends and those who do are healthier and happier.
This is a mutual relationship including give and take –
changes over the life span, but its context and content
change.
People who can confide their feelings and thoughts and
NONMARITAL KINSHIP
RELATIONSHIP WITH ADULT CHILDREN – OR
THEIR ABSENCE
As Socioemotional Selectivity Theory predicts
aging adults seek to spend more of their time with such no
as their children.

•Children provide a link with other family members –


especially with grandchildren.

•Older parents continue to show strong concern about their


children, think about them often, and help them when
needed.

•Many elderly people whose adult children are mentally ill,


RELATIONSHIP WITH SIBLINGS
•Older adult siblings say they stand ready to
provide tangible help and would turn to a
sibling for such help if needed, but relatively
few actually do so expect in emergencies
such as illness or a death of a spouse.
•The nearer older people live to their siblings
and the more siblings they have the most
likely they are to confide in them.
BECOMING GREAT GRANDPARENTS

As grandchildren grow up,


grandparents generally see them less
often. Because of age declining health
and the scattering of families, great
grand parents tend to be less involved
thank grandparents in a child’s life.
END
By:
Junnel Rose O. Almario
Alexander Bruce SD. Ditangco
Ma. Cecilia Marteja
Lou Sigfried Serrano

PSY 1Y2-1