Answer & Explanation:Each
Question must be answered separately.
Developmental psychologist Robert Havighurst
stated that the developmental tasks for middle-aged adults are threefold: 1)
managing a household, 2) child rearing, and 3) managing a career. speculate on how you will
accomplish these tasks.
****250 words,2 scholarly
articles. Must synthesize the quotes *******
Discuss the physical and cognitive changes that take place in
late adulthood, and explain how to offset some of the negative developments of
adulthood and late adulthood.
****250 words, 2 scholarly articles. Must
synthesize the quotes *******I have also attached notes that can be of help .
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Notes on Topic
Psychosocial Development in Adulthood info for question 1
Erikson’s seventh stage of generativity vs. stagnation occurs during this stage. Being generative
means truly caring about the next generation (e.g., being a parent, teacher, coach, or
conservationist) (Boeree, 2006b). The idea of a mid-life crisis has been a popular notion since
the 1970s (see Berger’s description of Levinson’s research on page 459), but very little evidence
for it exists. Modern personality theorists have backed off the word crisis, which implies a door-die decision point, and instead have started using terms like marker events, turning
points, or passages (Sheehy, 1976).
Abraham Maslow created another prominent theory of personality development (examine his
five stages of the hierarchy of needs in Berger, 2010, Figure 13.1, p. 457). The lowest
level, physiological needs, must be satisfied first, followed by the others in ascending order.
Because people spend so much time satisfying the four lowest needs, very few reach the
highest stage of self-actualization, where people live up to their potential; at one point, Maslow
estimated the percentage of self-actualizers to be around 2% (Boeree, 2006a). Numerous
longitudinal studies have shown evidence of considerable stability and continuity in personality
across the adult years (see Berger’s discussion of Costa and McCrae’s research).
Robert Havighurst (cited in Newman & Newman, 2010) states that adults in their 20s and 30s
must face four developmental tasks. Tasks 1 and 2, marriage and childbearing, are affected by
societal expectations (called the social clock). The probability of divorce hits its peak 2 to 4
years after marriage. Qualities for a successful marriage include similarity in personal
characteristics, trust, sensitivity, and adjustment (including a mutually satisfying sexual
relationship, economic factors, sleep patterns, food patterns, and toilet habits) (Kimmel, cited
in Newman & Newman, 2010). Task 3 involves work, and includes four components: having
technical skills, handling authority relationships, coping with unique demands of the job, and
establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationships. Task 4 involves establishing a lifestyle
that is compatible for both spouses (as well as dealing with constraints placed on the marriage
by the children) (Newman & Newman, 2010).
For adults in their 40s and 50s, Havighurst (cited in Newman and Newman, 2010) discusses
three crucial developmental tasks. Task 1 involves managing a household, including the
following sub-tasks: 1) decision-making (about finances, shelter, education, daily activities,
vacations and recreations, social life, and child-rearing activities), 2) future planning (including
short-term, intermediate, and long-range goals), 3) assessing needs and abilities of household
members, 4) assigning responsibilities (single-parent power, both parents’ power, or group
power), 5) organizing time, and 6) establishing relationships with other organized social
structures (e.g., community, religious, and political groups). Task 2 examines the different
stages of child-rearing: 1) pre-parental (whether or not to have children), 2) childbearing and
postnatal years (both adults are tense and exhausted, but they must convey love and trust to
the infant), 3) years in which children are toddlers (parents must learn self-control, as children
assert their rudimentary authority), 4) years in which children are in elementary and middle
school (parents act as chauffeurs, secretaries, and buffers between their children and the
outside world; parents may join PTA), 5) years in which the children are in high school (in these
very trying years, parents must give support as well as freedom), 6) years in which the children
have just left home (“empty nest” years, in which parents must redefine their roles), 7) years in
which children begin their own households (parents must accept new people into the family,
including the new son- or daughter-in-law and in-laws), and 8) grandparenthood (see Module
8). The original research on the empty nest syndrome reported parental sadness when the last
child left. Today’s research shows that marital satisfaction increases after the last child has left
(the upswing hypothesis) (Santrock, 2009; Berger, 2010, Table 13.2, p. 469). Task 3 includes
managing a career, including being a manager or mentor as well as an employee (adapted from
Newman & Newman, 2010). Researchers explore both the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards
associated with work. In addition, the many alternatives of working schedules (e.g., flextime,
job sharing, and telecommuting) are also factors that affect job satisfaction and productivity
Coping with stress is essential (see Module 6 for the research on PNI). Lazarus (in Berger, 2010)
discovered that problem-focused coping techniques (designed to reduce the problem) are
generally more effective than emotion-focused copingstrategies (designed to reduce anxiety,
but not the problem). Social support provides an important buffer from stress; this perhaps
contributes to the fact that married persons live longer than singles (Santrock, 2009). Sarason
reported that the chief stressor for men is work, whereas for women, the top two are health
and family (Santrock, 2009).
Religion is important for the majority of Americans. Allport divided people into two categories:
those with intrinsic (or devout) faith, and those with extrinsic (or superficial) faith. James Fowler
(cited in Hood, Hill, & Spilka, 2009) constructed a theory of religious development, which
consists of seven stages. 1) In primal faith (infancy), the child is beginning to trust others. 2)
intuitive-projective faith (early childhood) is where the child is becoming aware of the sacred,
prohibitions, and morality. 3) In mythical/literal faith (elementary school years), the child is
thinking more logically about faith matters; religious beliefs and symbols are accepted literally.
4) synthetic/conventional faith (early adolescence) is where the teenager is thinking more
abstractly, which can lead to a desire for a personal relationship with God. 5)
With individuative/ reflective faith (late adolescence/early adulthood), the person can critically
examine his/her values and beliefs. 6) conjunctive faith (middle adulthood or beyond) is where
the person appreciates that truth is both multidimensional and interdependent. 7)
In universalizing faith (unspecified age), only a few people (e.g., Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Martin
Luther King) arrive at this last stage; this stage involves a commitment of love and justice for all
people, and overcoming oppression and violence. See Berger’s discussion of Fowler’s theory on
pages 448-449 of the textbook.
Physical Development in Late Adulthood Info for question 2
This last stage of life (roughly age 60 to death) abounds with negative stereotypes and
prejudice (called ageism). However, as the “Baby Boomers” (those born between 1946 and
1964) are starting to reach retirement, our society is paying more attention to this stage
(Quadagno, 2005). The fields of gerontology (scientific study of the aged) and geriatrics (the
medical equivalent) are increasing. Some researchers have even speculated that this last period
is perhaps two or even three stages (e.g., 60 to 75, “young-olds,” 75 to 85, “old-olds,” and 85+,
“oldest olds”) (Berger, 2010). Interestingly, while average life expectancy has increased by
about 30 years over the last century (currently 75.4 for men and 80.7 for women), themaximum
life span still hovers around 120 to 125 years (Santrock, 2009; Quadagno, 2005).
Numerous theories exist as to why people age. Microbiological theories include speculations
about intracellular changes, such as mutations in DNA and RNA, autoimmunity, and the
increase of cellular garbage, free radicals, and toxins. Another theory, cellular clock theory,
holds that cells can only divide about 75 to 80 times. A theory generating a lot of current
interest is mitochondrial theory, which holds that aging is due to the destruction of
mitochondria, the cell’s chief energy source. Macrobiological theories point to a decrease in
one’s organ reserve and an increase in homeostatic imbalance and stress-related hormones
Several physical changes occur in this stage, some of which occur in everyone (primary
aging) and others that occur due to poor health and/or genetic factors (secondary aging). The
elderly person thinks and moves more slowly, resulting in increased cautiousness. The skin
becomes drier and loses its elasticity. Sensory acuity diminishes in sensitivity of touch, hearing,
and vision (in the form of cataracts, macular degeneration,and/or glaucoma) (see Berger, 2010,
Table 14.1, p. 503). Gums recede, and loss of teeth may change one’s facial appearance. Hair
color changes to gray and white, and wrinkles abound. The most common physical complaint
is arthritis. One type of arthritis, osteoporosis, the loss of bone calcium, can become a serious
health threat, especially in women (Silverstone & Hyman, 1982). The leading causes of death
are cardiovascular disease (including myocardial infarction, or heart attack, and angina pectoris,
or severe pain over midchest), cancer (an uncontrolled growth of a tissue or portion of an
organ, which may be benign or malignant), and stroke (death of part of the brain). Other
common diseases of the elderly include 1) AlzheimerDisease, an incurable degeneration of the
cortex, causing personality changes and loss of memory, 2) atherosclerosis, a narrowing and
closing of the arteries supplying blood to the brain, 3) congestive heart failure, a weakened
heart muscle, 4) hypertension, high blood pressure, which can lead to arterial disease, and
5) Type II diabetes, a deficiency of insulin or a disturbance in the action of insulin (Silverstone &
Hyman, 1982, pp. 340-344). For the majority of older adults, proper nutrition, regular exercise,
and physical activity will slow down the deteriorative effects of aging (Santrock, 2009).
Cognitive Development in Late Adulthood
One way to test cognitive abilities is to use selective attention and divided attention tasks.
Selective attention is the ability to focus on a particular stimulus, among competing ones, while
divided attention is the ability to shift back and forth between two competing stimuli. Elderly
adults can perform selective attention tasks, but have significant problems with the
latter. Mnemonics techniques are good strategies to help senior adults memorize
materials. Elaboration is another good strategy, although senior adults generally need more
time for a technique like this. Recognition memory (e.g., performance on a multiple-choice test)
is usually superior to recall memory (e.g., performance on an essay test). Riegel and Riegel have
found that often, there is a drop in intellectual ability about 5 years before death (the terminal
drop hypothesis) (Santrock, 2009).
There are numerous examples of elderly accomplishments: as examples, Sophocles wrote his
first play at age 75, Freud wrote his last book at age 83, Franklin invented the bifocal lens at age
78, Wright completed the Guggenheim museum at age 91, and Michelangelo painted the
Sistine Chapel from ages 71 to 89 (Berger, 2010). Taylor (1974) found that a different type of
creativity is seen in the elderly; he termed it emergentive creativity, a creation of totally new or
Productivity remains high in late adulthood, and older workers have lower rates of accidents
and job turnover, compared to young adults. Nevertheless, the problems
of ageism and obsolescence (work skills becoming obsolete) occur.
Depression is a significant problem in late adulthood. The rate of suicide (25%) is higher for
those over age 65 than for any other stage of life. One’s spirituality is often a comfort in helping
the person adjust to all of the changes occurring in this stage (Santrock, 2009).
Psychosocial development in adulthood was examined and late adulthood was touched upon.
In the last module, additional research on late adulthood will be examined. Some of the issues
that will be discussed include retirement, grandparenting, life satisfaction, widowhood/
widowerhood, and frail elderly. The topic of death and dying will also be discussed, with a focus
on definitions of death, near-death experiences, theories of death, dying, and bereavement,and
Berger, K. S. (2010). Invitation to the life span. New York: Worth Publishers.
Boeree, C. G. (2006a). Abraham Maslow. Retrieved August 23, 2010 from
Boeree, C. G. (2006b). Erik Erikson. Retrieved August 23, 2010 from
Hood, R. W., Hill, P. C., & Spilka, B. (2009). The psychology of religion (4th ed.). New York: The
Newman, P. R., & Newman, B. (2010). Development through life: A psychosocial
approach (10th ed). Boston: Wadsworth.
Quadagno, J. (2005). Aging and the life course (3rd ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Santrock, J. W. (2009). Life-span development (12th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Sheehy, G. (1976). Passages. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc.
Silverstone, B., & Hyman, H. K. (1982). You and your aging parent. New York:Pantheon Books.
Taylor, I. (1974). Creativity and aging. In E. Pfeiffer (Ed.), Successful aging: A conference
report. Durham, NC: Center for the Study of Aging and Development.
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