Late adulthoodCh 17-19Developmental PsychologyJen Wright
the aging process
what ages?Physical appearanceSense organsMuscles, joints, bonesSexual reproductive systemAll internal systemscardiovascular, respiratory, etc.Immune systemBrain SleepAttitudes
PositivesLess susceptibility to colds and allergiesFrequency of accidental deaths drops dramaticallyAging can be beautiful!
NegativesNatural aging processIncreased disabilityIncreased vulnerability to major diseasesDecreased capacity to respond to life stressorsAnd, even in the absence of these things, death.
Why is death the inevitable outcome?
how long is a normal life?maximum life spanthe oldest possible age that members of a species can liveunder ideal circumstances for humansapproximately 122 yearsaverage life expectancythe number of years the average newborn in a particular population group is likely to livewhat is the average life expectancy?
different kinds of agingUniversal agingPrimaryProbabilistic agingSecondary Chronological agingBiological agingSocial agingAgeismPopulation aging
universal/biological agingSenesenceThe universal biological processes of a living organism approaching an advanced age.Oganismal senescenceIncreased disabilityIncreased vulnerability to major diseasesDecreased capacity to respond to life stressorsIncreasing homeostatic instability
Cellular senescenceIt was once believed that normal cells were in principle immortalEnvironmental factors responsible for cell deathNow we know that most (but not all) cells dieHayflick limitNumber of times a cell will divide before dying52 times in 20% oxygen (normal air)70 times in 3% oxygen (human internal conditions)
what controls cell division?Cells possess molecular clocksTelomeresNon-coding appendix on ends of DNAShortened by mitosisAt certain length, cell will no longer divideProtective mechanism against chromosome destruction, mutation, and cancerOther forms of programmed cell deathE.g. apoptosisTriggered by mitochondria
biological theories of agingAging clock theoryWear and tear theoryAccumulated waste theoryError accumulation theoryEvolutionary explanationLate-acting deleterious mutations not selected againstPassing on genesEarly-acting diseaseLate-acting diseaseMiddle-acting disease
centenariansPeople living to be 100+ years old55,000 in US in 20051 in 50 women, 1 in 200 men30,000 in JapanOkinawans 5x more likely450,000 world-wideSuper-centenarians: 110+ years
Reviewing lives of different centenariansMany differences in lifestylesYet, they were similar in four waysdiet was moderatework continued throughout lifefamily, friends, community ties were importantexercise and relaxation were part of daily routine
aging preventionArtificial extension of telomeresTrade-off between aging and cancerVitamin D naturally lengthensIncreased sirtuins repairs damage to DNAOrgan/tissue repair and rejuvenationFree-radical therapyStem cellsOrgan/tissue replacementArtificial and cloned organs/tissue
Caloric Restriction45-75% of required caloriesExtension of life in all species testedin some cases, almost doubledReduction in Type2 diabetes, cancer, etc.Intermittent fasting
Healthy lifestyleDrinking!In moderation, drinking can increase lifespanreduction in coronary heart diseasealcohol increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the good cholesterol and reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol that causes clogged arteries and blood clots
Heavy drinking increases risk of death27,000 death from liver disease/yearIncreased risk from many other diseasesBrain damage, decreases fertility, osteoperosisAssociated with other bad habits: overeating, smokingIncreased risk of other forms of death: suicide, homocide, accidental
Healthy lifestyleRelaxing!Leisure time -- vacations12,338 men between 35 57 years21% less likely to die over 9 years32% less likely to die of coronary heart diseaseSocial involvementEngagement Activity Continuity
developmental stagesAdolescence: Identity achievementYoung Adulthood: Developed network of intimacyMid-life: Generativity vs. Stagnation Creating/giving vs. self-absorptionLate-life: Integrity vs. DespairLife-review
generativityProductivity and effectiveness Creative life projectsInfluence in community or area of interestFeeling needed by peopleHelping younger generation developAppreciation/awareness of older generationBroader, more global perspectiveInterest in things beyond family
integrityLife-review: was ones life meaningful or wasted?WisdomAcceptance of life circumstancesFinding meaning/purposeRegrets involve four major themes:Mistakes and bad decisionsHard timesSocial relationshipsMissed educational opportunitiesReminiscence therapy: discussing past activities and experiences with another individual or group.
personalityConscientiousness predicts lower mortality risk from childhood through late adulthood.Low conscientiousness and high neuroticism predicts earlier death.Older adults characterized by negative affect do not live as long as those characterized by more positive affect.
Older adults benefit from altruism and engaging in volunteer activities.Helping others may reduce stress hormones, which improves cardiovascular health and strengthens the immune system.Volunteering is associated with a number of positive outcomesMore satisfaction with lifeLess depression and anxietyBetter physical health
social agingUnlike gender/ethnicityDoesnt apply for entire life.(potentially) applies to everyone.AgeismNegative stereotypes associated with age negatively influence performance, function, and well-being.Stereotypes against older adults are often negativeMost frequent form is disrespect, followed by assumptions about ailments or frailty caused by agePositive stereotypes associated with age positively influence performance, function, and well-being.
cognitive decline is rooted not in the older persons body and brain but in the surrounding social context.cultural attitudes can lead directly to age differences in cognitiondoes most harm when individuals internalize other peoples prejudices and react with helplessness.if the elderly fear losing their minds because they have internalized the idea that old age always bring dementia, that fear may become a stereotype threat, undermining normal thinking.
Ageism among scientistsscientists measure age differences in memory in the same way they studied memory in generalin laboratoriesthese factors work against older adults, who tend to perform best in familiar settings
population agingIncreased age of populationTwo causal factorsRising life expectancyDeclining fertilityAsia/Europe face severe population agingAverage age approaching 50Economic implicationsMore savings/less spendingIncreased health careLess educationRetirement/social security