Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Is There More Change in Childhood or Later? The changes in an infant over a period of months are striking. Height and weight increase dramatically, the child becomes increasingly more interact - Wridemy Bestessaypapers

Is There More Change in Childhood or Later? The changes in an infant over a period of months are striking. Height and weight increase dramatically, the child becomes increasingly more interact

Is There More Change in Childhood or Later?
The changes in an infant over a period of months are striking. Height and weight increase dramatically, the child becomes increasingly more interactive with others in the environment, and communication becomes more fluent and complex. There is often the perception that beyond childhood, we don’t change very much. For example, Freud and Piaget both suggested that we are in virtually final form by the end of adolescence. This picture seems quite simple because there is quite a bit of change into and throughout adulthood.

Questions
1. Is there physical change after adolescence? 2. Is there psychological change after adolescence? 3. Do any theories deal with such changes?

at least 6 sentences 

Reference:

Ettinger, R. H., & Herbert-McZeal, S. (2023). Introduction to Psychology Ii (5th ed.). BVT Publishing. 

In-text citation:

(Ettinger & Herbert-McZeal, 2023 p.)

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 7.1 – Adolescence

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7.2 Adulthood

If you have recently entered adulthood or are presently making this important transition, you may be wondering what lies ahead in the remaining 70 percent of your life. Will you continue to grow and change, or has the die already been cast? Will you be the same person at age forty or age seventy that you are today?

It is now widely acknowledged that development continues throughout life and that this growth is not limited merely to physical changes. Contemporary developmental psychologists have been amazed at the extent of psychosocial change, and to a lesser degree cognitive development, that continues during the adult years. In all, we can say with some con�dence that you will not be the same person at age forty that you are at nineteen or twenty.

Most psychologists divide the adult years into three periods: early adulthood (roughly twenty to forty), middle adulthood (forty to about sixty-�ve), and late adulthood (after sixty-�ve). Although these categories are convenient, they are somewhat arbitrary and carry the danger of promoting the notion of age-based expectations (the tendency to associate certain developmental tasks or appropriate behaviors with each phase of adult life). Young adults may be expected to marry and start families and careers, and people in the middle adult years are often expected to reach the top of their careers. However, as we noted at the beginning of this chapter, not all of us experience the phases of our lives in the same orderly fashion.

In fact, many age-based expectations in our society have begun to break. People often postpone marriage or decide not to marry at all; in addition, many people are becoming �rst-time parents in middle adulthood, and gray-haired retirees are now a common sight in many college classrooms. In all, we seem to be moving in the direction of what might be called an age-irrelevant society, and it can be argued that age, like race or sex, is diminishing in importance as a regulator of behavior.

One reason for this shift is that age, per se, is not the cause of changes in our lives. A thirty-year-old advertising executive is not more mature than she was as a college student simply because she is older. Rather, her increased maturity re�ects the experiences she has encountered in her personal and professional life. Thus, instead of measuring development only by age categories, many of us �nd it useful to de�ne our phase of adult development in terms of perceived age—how old we feel and behave. Page 312 Back to top 

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In keeping with this reduced emphasis on age, the following sections describe physical, cognitive, and social development in fairly general terms during the years between the twenties and the sixties. We begin with the physical changes that take place during adulthood.

7.2a Physical Development in Early and Middle Adulthood

During early adulthood—the twenties and thirties—people reach the peak of their biological ef�ciency. These are typically years of good health and high energy, which is fortunate considering that this is the time of life when most of us are busy establishing careers, adjusting to marriage, and perhaps responding to the boundless needs of small children.

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Physical Capacities

A number of physical attributes are likely to reach their high point during early adulthood. During this period, most of us reach the peak of our reproductive capacities and enjoy the best health of any time of our lives. The speed with which we can react to complex stimuli is fastest at around age twenty and then gradually declines from the midtwenties on. However, simple re�ex time (such as the knee jerk when tapped with a mallet) remains relatively constant from age twenty to eighty. Vision and hearing are at their best at around age twenty; as we move into our middle adult years, we can expect to become gradually more farsighted and to lose our ability to hear higher notes. Sensitivity to taste and smell also decline with age. Sweet and salty tastes decrease most rapidly, while the tastes of bitter and sour are actually heightened. There is about a tenfold increase in smell thresholds from age twenty to age eighty, with most of this increase occurring after age sixty (Wysocki & Preti, 2004).

Physical strength also tends to peak sometime in the mid-to late twenties. It then declines gradually, dropping about 10 percent between ages thirty and sixty (Bassey, 1998). Unless you happen to compete in swimming, cycling, running, or some other athletic endeavor requiring peak performance, you may hardly notice the barely perceptible decline in physical strength, stamina, and cardiac output over the third and fourth decades of your life. In fact, a number of world-class endurance athletes remain quite competitive throughout their forties and �fties. Among endurance athletes, the decrease in VO2 max (a measure of oxygen utilization) between twenty-four and �fty years of age is only about 4 percent. In addition, individuals who maintain �tness can expect to have VO2 max values far higher than younger, less athletic individuals. In fact, maintaining physical activity can slow the rate of decline in VO2 max by as much as 50 percent (Fox, 2011). Maintaining a level of physical �tness may also contribute to fewer health problems and a reduction in the brain cell loss that normally occurs during aging. Numerous studies have revealed that physical �tness and continuing education protect against normal brain cell losses that occur during aging (Di Liegro et al., 2019; Gordon et al., 2008).

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Over time, however, middle adulthood brings a gradual decline in physical functioning and perhaps a corresponding increase in health problems. We may begin to notice that it is not so easy to rebound the morning after a late party, or that the body protests more after a hard workout on the tennis courts. Some of the most notable changes, particularly for women, have to do with changing hormonal patterns that, among other things, alter reproductive capacity.

Hormonal Changes and the Climacteric

The term climacteric refers to the physiological changes that occur during a woman’s transition from fertility to infertility. Menopause, one of the events of the female climacteric, refers to the cessation of menstruation. Menopause results from certain physiological changes, most notably a reduction in estrogen levels. It can take place anytime between forty and sixty, but most commonly occurs between forty-�ve and �fty (Crooks & Baur, 2011). Many women consider the cessation of menstruation and fertility to be the most signi�cant biological change related to aging.

Key term: climacteric Physiological changes, including menopause, that occur during a woman’s transition from fertility to infertility

Key term: Menopause Cessation of menstruation that takes place during the climacteric

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Do men also undergo a climacteric? Not in the same sense as women. For one thing, men often retain their reproductive capacity well into the older years (although with declining fertility). The hormonal changes, called andropause, men undergo are much more gradual. Male testosterone levels usually reach their peak sometime between the ages of seventeen and twenty, and then steadily, but slowly, decline at a rate of about 1 to 2 percent per year until around age sixty, when they level off. In recent years, there has been increasing interest in hormone replacement therapy for men. Evidence suggests that testosterone supplements in older men increase lean body mass, bone density, and libido.

Key term: andropause A condition of low testosterone often attributed to the natural loss of testosterone production in older men; also referred to as male menopause

The Double Standard of Aging

In a society that places a premium on youth, it can be dif�cult for both men and women to grow older. This process is usually more dif�cult for women than for men because of another double standard of our society—this one related to aging. Although a woman’s

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erotic and orgasmic capabilities continue after menopause, it is not uncommon for her to be considered past her sexual prime relatively early in the aging process. The cultural image of an erotically appealing woman is commonly one of youth. As a woman grows away from this image, she is usually considered less and less attractive. Cosmetics, Botox injections, and plastic surgery are often used to maintain a youthful appearance for as long as possible.

In contrast, men’s physical and sexual attractiveness are often considered to be enhanced by age. Gray hairs and wrinkles may be thought to look “distinguished” on men, signs of accumulated life experience and wisdom. Likewise, while the professional achievements of women may be perceived as threatening to some males, a man’s sexual attractiveness is often closely associated with his achievements and social status, both of which may increase with age (Buss, 1989; Shackelford et al., 2005).

7.2b Cognitive Development in Early and Middle Adulthood

Intelligence

At one time, intellectual ability was believed to peak in young adulthood just as do most aspects of physical functioning. This view was supported by an early large-scale study that administered standardized intelligence tests to large samples of adults of varying ages. Young adults were found to score higher than middle-aged adults, who in turn outperformed older adults (Jones & Conrad, 1933). More recent longitudinal studies all suggest that there is an age-associated decline in intelligence, but all do not agree on just when this decline occurs and whether some aspects of intelligence are less susceptible to age-related change.

Crystallized Versus Fluid Intelligence

Some changes in speci�c kinds of intelligence do appear to be age-related, however. Psychologists distinguish between crystallized and �uid intelligence. Crystallized intelligence results from accumulated knowledge, including knowledge of how to reason, language skills, and understanding of technology; it is linked closely to education, Page 315 experience, and cultural background. Crystallized intelligence is measured by tests of general information. Research indicates that crystallized intelligence increases with age and that people tend to continue improving their performance on tests of this form of intelligence until near the ends of their lives.

Key term: Crystallized intelligence Intelligence that results from accumulated knowledge, including knowledge of how to reason, language skills, and understanding of technology

Fluid intelligence allows us to perceive and draw inferences about relationships among patterns of stimuli, to conceptualize abstract information, and to solve problems. It is measured by various kinds of test problems to which people are unlikely to have been exposed previously, such as grouping numbers and symbols according to some

®

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abstract principle. Fluid intelligence seems to be relatively independent of education and cultural in�uences. Recent evidence suggests that �uid intelligence may not decline during aging in individuals with healthy brains (Zuo et al., 2020).

Key term: Fluid intelligence Ability to perceive and draw inferences about relationships among patterns of stimuli, to conceptualize abstract information, and to solve problems

A Fifth Stage of Cognitive Development

Recall that Piaget saw formal operations as the highest level of cognitive functioning. Some critics disagree, maintaining that many adults progress beyond formal operations to what might be called a �fth stage of intellectual development. One theorist, Patricia Arlin (1989), believes that adults develop cognitively to the level of problem �nding. Someone at the problem-�nding stage is concerned with posing new questions about the world and trying to discover novel solutions to old problems. Arlin believes that problem �nding allows intellectually maturing adults to progress beyond Piaget’s formal operations to the level of creative thinking.

7.2c Psychosocial Development in Early and Middle Adulthood

We saw in Chapter 6 that Erik Erikson described two primary developmental tasks in early and middle adulthood: �rst the establishment of intimacy, and then the achievement of generativity through commitments to family, work, and future generations. The two major topics in this section—“Single and Married Lifestyles” and “Does Cohabitation Lead to Better Marriages?”—explore some of the ways in which people respond to these challenges.

Single and Married Lifestyles

As we make the transition from adolescent to young adult, the central focus of our psychosocial adjustment is likely to shift from wanting to be liked by people to needing a loving relationship with someone special. Establishing an intimate relationship requires courage, and a certain amount of self-abandon, and willingness to compromise personal preferences. In Erikson’s view, two people who achieve true intimacy are able to fuse their identities while at the same time retaining a sense of self. Too much independence may prevent the establishment of intimacy and result in a state of isolation.

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According to Erik Erikson, two people who achieve true intimacy are able to fuse their identities while at the same time retaining a sense of self.

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Erikson emphasized traditional marriage as a vehicle for ful�lling intimacy needs, but there is plenty of statistical evidence that the commitment to marriage is changing in our society. Can the decision to remain single or cohabit also provide a satisfactory adjustment? The following discussions explore the evidence.

Single Living. Increasing numbers of young and middle-aged adults in our society live alone, many out of choice. This increase is most pronounced among people in their twenties and early thirties. For example, a comparison of census �gures between 1965 and 2020 reveals that the marriage rate of young adults has decreased from about 9.3 per one thousand in 1965 to about 6.5 per one thousand adults in 2018 (Curtin & Sutton, 2020). This is the lowest marriage rate in the past hundred years. In addition to fewer adults getting married, marriage is more often postponed into one’s thirties, compared to the early twenties a few decades ago.

Figure 7-1 Marriage Rates

The percentage of young adults (twenty-�ve to thirty-�ve years old) who are married has declined over the past �fty years from approximately 80 percent to about 33 percent.

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Sources: Marriage data prior to 2010 based on CDC/NCHS National Vital Statistics. Unmarried population includes those who have never been married, divorced, or widowed. Current data based on “Number 1 in 2020: The U.S. Divorce Rate Has Hit a 50-Year Low,” by Wendy Want, Institute for Family Studies, November 2020. https://ifstudies.org/blog/number-1-in-2020-the-us-divorce-rate-has-hit-a-50-year-low

Although single life is still often seen as the period before, in between, or after marriage, these societal attitudes may be changing. Until recently in the United States, a stigma was often attached to remaining single, especially for women. Today it seems quite possible that more and more people will remain single, either as an option to marriage or following a divorce. There may also be a reduction in the number of people who marry primarily for convention’s sake.

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Various conditions contribute to the increasing numbers of single adults. These factors include people marrying at a later age, more women placing career objectives ahead of marriage, an increase in the number of cohabiting couples, high divorce rates, a greater emphasis on advanced education, and an increase in the number of women who need not depend on marriage to ensure economic stability.

Although single living is common in our society, most adults still choose to enter into a long-term relationship with a partner, even though it may not be a lifelong bond. There are several kinds of long-term intimate relationships. We will look at the most common: cohabitation and marriage.

Cohabitation. The past few decades have seen a signi�cant increase in the number of couples choosing to cohabitate (living together in a sexual relationship without being married). Between 1974 and 2020, the percentage of marriages preceded by cohabitation increased from 10 percent to about 60 percent—rates higher than marriage (Sasler & Lichter, 2020). This dramatic increase in cohabitation has been attributed to a growing inclination to question traditional mores, particularly those pertaining to marriage, as well as to our recessed economy. Today, many people believe that sexuality is an

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important part of life, and that marriage is not the only lifestyle that legitimizes sexual relations.

Key term: cohabitate Living together in a sexual relationship without being married

Does Cohabitation Lead to Better Marriages?

Does the experience of living together have a measurable effect on the longevity and happiness of a subsequent marriage? There are two opposing views, one arguing that living together has a positive effect on marriage and the other arguing just the opposite— cohabitation leads to less stable marriages. What do you think? Can you think of arguments to support each of these opposing viewpoints? Consider these questions before reading on.

The more popular point of view among college students is that living together will result in happier and more stable marriages. Over 80 percent of college seniors now believe that it is a good idea to cohabitate before marriage. In this view, cohabiting allows the couple to explore their compatibility before making a long-term commitment. Trial experiences with the struggles and joys of an everyday relationship allow individuals to identify their own needs and expectations.

The opposing view suggests that living together will have an overall negative impact on the institution of marriage, particularly its long-term stability (Copen et al., 2012). Faced with con�ict, a couple that is living together may �nd it easier to end the relationship than to make a grand effort to resolve their problems. Once the pattern of breaking up has been established, people may be more likely to respond to marital con�ict in the same way.

U.S. Census data on the outcome of cohabitation reveals that about 50 percent enter marriage within �ve years of cohabitation and more than 40 percent of these cohabitations involve children. Most research suggests that couples who live together prior to marriage are at a greater risk of divorce after the �rst year than non-cohabitating couples. In summary, we can conclude that cohabitation is now occurring more frequently than marriage in young adults and that most of these relationships involve children (Sasler & Lichter, 2020). The reasons for declining marriage rates and increasing cohabitation rates are complex, but include both increases in acceptance of cohabitation and the economy.

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Marriage. In spite of rapidly changing mores, people do not seem to be permanently substituting single living, cohabitation, or other alternative lifestyles for traditional marriage. As discussed above, statistics show that the percent of young people who are married has begun to decline over the forty-nine-year period from 1970 to 2019 (see Table 7–3). Divorce rates during this period have also decreased, but they still represent about one in two marriages.

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Table 7-3 Number of Marriages and Divorces per 1,000 Resident Population (US Data)

While both marriage and divorce rates appear to have declined over the past few decades,

the percentage of marriages that end in divorce remains about 50 percent.

Year 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 2004 2006 2012 2014 2019

Marriages 10.6 10.0 10.6 10.1 9.4 7.8 7.5 6.8 6.9 6.1

Divorces 4.0 4.8 5.2 5.0 4.7 3.7 3.7 3.4 3.2 2.7

Sources: Marriage data 1970–2014: “Marriage rates in the United States,” 1900–2018, by S.C. Curtin and P.D. Sutton, 2020, National Center for Health Statistics Health E-Stat. Divorce data 1970–2014: “Marriage and Divorces,” by E. Ortiz-Ospina and M. Roser, 2020, Divorces per 1,000 people (table), Our-WorldInData.org. Marriage and divorce data 2019: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021e, Marriage and Divorce, [data for US].

There are good reasons why the institution of marriage is found in virtually every society; it serves several personal and social functions. It provides societies with stable family units that help to perpetuate social norms, as children learn society’s rules and expectations from parents or kinship groups. It also structures an economic partnership that ties child support and subsistence tasks into one family unit. Marriage regulates sexual behavior and also provides a framework for ful�lling people’s needs for social and emotional support.

While people’s expectations for marriage have increased, our society’s supportive network for marriage has decreased. In a mobile, urban society in which a couple often settles down far from their extended families, many married couples are isolated from their families and neighbors. This geographical distance puts further demands on the marriage, for there is often no place else to turn for such things as childcare assistance, emotional support, and �nancial or household help.

Another development in�uencing marital patterns is increased longevity. “Till death do us part” now means many more years than it did in the past, raising the question of how long even the best marriage can be expected to ful�ll so many functions.

The World of Work. If you were to pick at random any young or middle-aged adult today and ask, “Who are you?” the chances are good that most would reply, “I am a teacher” (or computer programmer, medical technologist, or some other profession). Adults are inclined to de�ne or identify who they are by what they do. This tendency has probably always been true of men; now, it is also true of most women, since the majority of adult women in the US have occupations outside the home. Beyond the sense of competence that successful parenting can provide, much of what people do to ful�ll generativity needs involves their work.

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During late adolescence, many individuals struggle with developing a career track— one reason why so many college students change their majors one or more times. By young adulthood, most of us accomplish the crucial task of choosing a career. In some ways, careers have become more accessible to both sexes than at any previous time in history. Earlier in this century, advanced education was a privilege enjoyed mostly by the af�uent, but today almost any motivated high school graduate can attend college. Traditional pressures for sons to follow in their fathers’ footsteps and for women to become homemakers are diminishing, and new �elds of specialization provide many more potential careers for both sexes.

The virtually unlimited number of career possibilities can seem overwhelming to young adults and can lead to uncertainty and job dissatisfaction.

However, this increased freedom has also been the source of new frustrations and anxieties. As we saw in the discussion of decision-making in Chapter 5, virtually unlimited opportunities can seem overwhelming, and young adults are often unsure what to do about their careers. This uncertainty may carry over into the work situation and contribute to a tendency of young workers to be less satis�ed with their jobs than middle-aged or older adults.

How many Americans are satis�ed with their jobs? According to a government survey, only half of the respondents answered yes. This is down from about 90 percent reported in surveys conducted in 1980.

One of the most noteworthy recent trends is the dramatic increase in the number of women in the workforce. Today, roughly two out of every three women age twenty-�ve to forty-four work outside the home, a �gure that has doubled since the early 1950s. In mid-2020, about 50 percent of the workforce was made up of women (Bureau of Labor

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 Report a problem

 Report a problem

Statistics, 2021). However, more women than men left the workforce during the COVID- 19 pandemic (2020–2021). It remains to be seen how many of these women return to working.

There are

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