A full four page academic introspection on self reflecting as it relates to what you learned about your self as it relates to your semester of study under Psychology of Adulthood and Aging.
You can chose to write on each chapter or you may chose to pick what impacted you in any way etc.
Changes in the Classroom
Courses in adult development are offered in all major colleges and universities in the
United States and are becoming popular around the world. It is safe to say that graduates in almost all majors will be working in fields that deal with the changes that occur
during adulthood. It is also safe to say that students in all majors will be dealing with the
topic on a personal level, both their own progress through adulthood and that of their
parents. My students at Florida Atlantic University this semester are majoring in psychology, counseling, nursing, criminal justice, premedical sciences, prelaw, social work,
occupational therapy, sociology, and education. About one half are bilingual, and about
one third speak English as a second language. The majority will be the first in their
families to graduate from college. I no longer assume that they have the same academic
backgrounds as students a decade ago. For these reasons, I include basic definitions of
key terms in the text of each chapter, clear explanations of relevant statistical methods,
and basic details of major theories. I meet the readers knowing that the â€œtypical studentâ€
is an outdated stereotype, but I meet them with respect for their intelligence and motivation. I firmly believe that it is possible to explain complex ideas clearly and connect
with students from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. I do it every week in my
lectures, and I do it in this book.
Highlights of Chapters in This Edition
Chapter 1 serves as an introduction to the study of adult development, beginning with
the concept of development being both stable and changing. I use my own journey of
adulthood as an example of these concepts and invite students to think of their own lives
in these terms. Two guiding perspectives are introduced, Baltesâ€™s life-span developmental
approach and Bronfenbrennerâ€™s bioecological model. Hopefully students will feel comfortable with those straightforward theories and move smoothly into the next section on
developmental research. I donâ€™t assume that all students have taken a research methods
class, so I limit the methods, measures, analyses, and designs to those that are used in later
chapters. In fact, I use some of these later studies as examples, hoping that students will
feel comfortable with them when they encounter them later in the book.
New in this chapter:
â€¢ Current events added to table of normative history-graded influences.
â€¢ The role of methylation in epigenetic inheritance.
The theme of Chapter 2 is primary aging, the physical changes that take place predictably in most of us when we reach certain milestones in our journeys of adulthood.
Again, I begin with some basic theories, including Harmonâ€™s theory of oxidative damage,
Hayflickâ€™s theory of genetic limits, and the theory of caloric restriction. Then I cover
age-related physical changes, including outward appearance, the senses, the bones and
muscles, the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, the brain and nervous system, the
immune system, and the hormonal system. Most of the age-related changes in these systems are gradual, but much can be done to avoid premature aging (and much of that can
be done in early adulthood, such as avoiding excessive exposure to sunlight and tobacco
use). Next I cover four areas of more complex functioningâ€”(a) athletic abilities; (b) stamina, dexterity, and balance; (c) sleep; and (d) sexual activity, all of which decline gradually
with age. I cover some of the ways these declines can be slowed, but end the chapter with
the caution that so far, we have no proven way to â€œturn back the clockâ€ of time.
New in this chapter:
â€¢ Research on noise exposure levels for MP3 players.
â€¢ Evidence that high levels of sports participation in adolescents is a risk factor for
osteoarthritis in young and middle adulthood.
â€¢ Studies of master athletes (up to age 90) and their oxygen uptake abilities.
â€¢ The connection between blue screens (smart phones, tablets, e-games) and insomnia.
â€¢ The prevalence of hookupsâ€”casual sex without commitmentâ€”among emerging adults.
â€¢ The concept of food desertsâ€”neighborhoods with a high number of fast-food restaurants and a low number of stores selling healthy food.
â€¢ Results of a new national survey on sexual activities for adults aged 70 to 94.
â€¢ The question of resveratrol as an anti-aging supplement.
Chapter 3 is about age-related disease, or secondary aging. I try to keep this separate
from the normal changes discussed in the previous chapter. Not everyone suffers from
these diseases no matter how long they live, and many age-related conditions can be
prevented or cured. I start with data of mortality rates by age because I think it helps
students put the risk of death and disease into perspective. For most of our students, the
risk of premature death is very low, and the top cause of death is accidents. I then discuss
four of the top age-related diseases and explain their causes, their risk factors, and some
preventative measures. These are heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimerâ€™s disease.
I try to balance good news (lower rates of cancer deaths due to early detection and treatment, lower disability rates in the United States) with the bad (rising rates of diabetes at all
ages, still no cure for Alzheimerâ€™s disease). The second part of the chapter is about mental
health disorders. I try to impress on the students that most of these disorders begin early in
adulthood (or even in adolescence) and that most can be treated. However, the individuals
suffering from these disorders (or their families) need to seek help and seek competent
help. I end the chapter by telling that these physical and mental health disorders are not
distributed randomly. Some groups are more apt to suffer than others, depending on their
genes, socioeconomic background, gender, lifestyle, personality patterns, and events that
happened to them in very early childhood or even before birth.
New in this chapter:
â€¢ New findings on genes that are associated with Alzheimerâ€™s disease.
â€¢ The relationship between sports-related head injury and Alzheimerâ€™s disease.
â€¢ The prevalence of head injury in combat veterans and the increased risk of PTSD
and Alzheimerâ€™s disease.
â€¢ The health risk of perceived racial discrimination.
â€¢ The rising use of assistance animals and comfort animals to foster independence in
people with disability.
â€¢ The increased number of people living with chronic disease in our communities and
how we are learning to put the emphasis on the people part of the label.
Cognitive aging is covered in Chapter 4. I had discussed a little about primary aging
of the brain in Chapter 2 and Alzheimerâ€™s disease in Chapter 3, but this chapter is about
age-related changes in intelligence, as measured by IQ tests, and changes in specific components of memory, in terms of information processing theory. I explain how flaws in early
research led to the conclusions that intelligence declines sharply with age, starting about
age 40. Newer longitudinal studies with improved methodology show an increase in IQ
scores until about 65, then a gradual decline, growing steeper around age 80. For components of intelligence, the fluid abilities that are controlled by biological processes show
more of a decline than the crystallized abilities, which depend on formal schooling. Various
memory components follow the same patternâ€”some decline more sharply than others. It
is possible to train older people to show limited improvement in some memory processes.
Decision making and problem solving are more real-world tasks, and older people are able
to do them well while using less time and less examination of facts than younger people.
New in this chapter:
â€¢ New research on executive function and working memory.
â€¢ Evidence of stereotype threat affecting memory abilities of older people.
â€¢ Assistance with medication adherence provided by electronic devices and pharmacy
â€¢ Increased use of social networking by older adults, along with cell phone use and
e-games; e-readers have not gained as much in popularity.
â€¢ New research on effective driverâ€™s training for older adults.
Chapter 5 is about social roles and the changes that takes place during adulthood. Social
roles refer to the attitudes and behaviors we adopt when we make a transition into a particular role, such as worker, husband, or grandmother. This chapter covers changes within a
person due to these life transitions. Gender is a major part of social roles, and several theories
suggest how we learn what attitudes and behaviors fit the gender roles we fill. Bemâ€™s learning schema theory, Eaglyâ€™s social role theory, and Bussâ€™s evolutionary psychology theory
are presented. Various social roles, arranged chronologically, are discussed that include the
transition from living in oneâ€™s parentsâ€™ home to living independently to living with a romantic partner in a cohabitation relationship or a marriage. Being part of a committed couple
is related to good mental and physical health. Another role transition is from being part of
a couple to being a parent. Social role transitions in middle adulthood involve going from
having children living in your home to having children who are independently living adults
to becoming a grandparent. Another role in middle adulthood is often as caregiver for oneâ€™s
own parents. In late adulthood, many move into the role of living alone and becoming a
care receiver. Not everyone fits these role transitions. Some adults never marry, and some
never have children but still have happy and productive lives. Lots of new social roles appear
when there is a divorce in a family and then a remarriage, as most students know firsthand.
New in this chapter:
â€¢ Research on emerging adults and young adults who return to their parentsâ€™ home
due to the poor economy in the last decade. Findings show that it fosters intergenerational solidarity.
â€¢ Increased cohabitation rates in the United States and other countries that have more
progressive attitudes toward women and lower religious involvement.
â€¢ New studies about the toll of long-term unhappy marriages on self-esteem and
â€¢ Lower birthrates for teens and higher birthrates for women over 40 in the United States.
â€¢ More gender equality in housework and child-care tasks for dual-career parents.
â€¢ Research on how same-sex parents divide up housework and child-care tasks.
â€¢ Racial inequality in how roles in middle adulthood are experienced.
â€¢ The concept of grandfamilies, children being raised by grandparents when parents
are not present in the household.
â€¢ Increase in one-person households.
Social relationships are covered in Chapter 6 and differ from social roles because they
involve two-way interactions between individuals, not just the behavior a person performs
in a certain role. This is a difficult distinction, but there is just too much material on
social-related topics for one chapter, so this seems like a good division. It also roughly
fits the division between sociology studies (roles) and psychology studies (relationships).
I begin this chapter with Bowlbyâ€™s attachment theory, Ainsworthâ€™s model of attachment
behaviors, Anotnucciâ€™s convoy model, Carstensenâ€™s socioemotional selectivity theory,
and Bussâ€™s evolutionary psychology approach. Then I start with various relationships
adults participate in, beginning with intimate partnerships, which includes opposite sex
cohabitation, marriage, and same-sex partnerships. Next is parentâ€“child relationships in
adulthood, grandparentâ€“grandchild relationships, and sibling relationships in adulthood.
The chapter ends up with a section on friendship. Students of all ages relate to this chapter
personally and it works well in the middle of the book.
New in this chapter:
â€¢ Several studies investigating online dating services along with some advice about how
best to use them.
â€¢ Comparison of social convoys for age groups up to 90 years.
â€¢ Longitudinal study of attachment from birth to 18 years.
â€¢ Five key components that predict very accurately a coupleâ€™s relationship quality 5
years into the future.
â€¢ Long-term married couplesâ€”almost half report being â€œvery intensely in love.â€
â€¢ Long-term unhappily married couplesâ€”lower mental and physical health than those
who divorced and remarried or divorced and did not remarry.
â€¢ New research on gay, lesbian, and bisexual couples.
â€¢ Increase in late-life divorces and their effect on adult children.
â€¢ The effect adult childrenâ€™s problems have on older parents.
â€¢ Increase in contributions from grandparents in time, gifts, and money.
â€¢ The effect involved grandparents have on young families.
â€¢ Adult siblings raising younger siblings.
â€¢ The role of pets as part of oneâ€™s social network.
â€¢ The role of Facebook friends as part of oneâ€™s social network.
The topics of work and retirement are covered in Chapter 7. When I started writing
this textbook, students applied the information in this chapter to their futures or to their
parents lives, but recently many apply it to themselves because they are part of the labor
force, and some are retraining for a second career. A few are even retired and attending college as a pastime. I start the chapter with Superâ€™s theory of career development and Hollandâ€™s
theory of career selection. Students are usually familiar with vocational preference tests and
interested in finding out what type of work they would enjoy most. Gender differences are
an important part of career selection, and I question the reasons that even though women
are found in almost every line of work and attend college in greater numbers than men, they
still make less money and are not equally represented in top-paying, high-prestige jobs. The
next section deals with age differences in job performance and job satisfaction. The section
on work and personal life includes how jobs can affect individuals, intimate relationships,
and responsibilities for other family members, including how household chores are divided
up. The section on retirement includes reasons a person decides to retire or not, the effects of
retirement, and some middle ground between full-time work and full-time retirement. I try
to impress on the young student that much of oneâ€™s quality of life in retirement depends on
early planning ahead, and I hope they take that more seriously than I would have at their age.
New in this chapter:
â€¢ New research on gender differences in the workplace, including childrenâ€™s reactions
to parentsâ€™ sexism.
â€¢ Recent data on workforce participation at different ages.
â€¢ Discussion of how the recent recession affected people in the workplace, including
an increase in suicides that match the downturn in the economy.
â€¢ Increase in â€œnontraditionalâ€ students in college (38%).
â€¢ The concept of work engagement, as opposed to work burnout.
â€¢ Increase in number of dual-employed parents and increase in fathersâ€™ participation
in child care and household chores.
â€¢ Increase in older adults in the U.S. workforce and in some European countries.
â€¢ New studies of the benefits of doing volunteer work after retirement.
The topic of Chapter 8 is personality. I divide the chapter into two partsâ€”first the
research on personality structures, featuring Costa and McCraeâ€™s Five-Factor Model, and
then I discuss some of the grand theories of personality, including Eriksonâ€™s theory of
psychosocial development, Loevingerâ€™s theory of ego development, Vaillantâ€™s theory of
mature adaptation, Gutmannâ€™s theory of gender crossover, and Maslowâ€™s theory of positive well-being. I selected these from the many because they have continued to inform
research into age-related personality stability and change.
New in this chapter:
â€¢ A new study of cohort effects in the way personality factors are expressed.
â€¢ New cross-cultural research that yields different personality factors for people in
â€¢ Eriksonâ€™s stage of identity versus role confusion applied to age of self-identification
by gay, lesbian, and bisexual youths.
Chapter 9 presents information on the quest for meaning and how it is manifested
at different stages of adult life. This continues to be the most controversial chapter in the
book, with some adopters rating it as the best chapter in the book and others questioning
why it is included. My belief is that it fills an important place in the journey of adulthood
as we question how this journey started and where, exactly, we are going. Itâ€™s a chance to
look a little further up the road and a little further back than the other chapters give us.
I start by showing how the topic of religion and spirituality has ballooned in empirical
journals over the last four decades and the importance of having a sense of the sacred
in our lives. Then I cover some diverse theories, including Kohlbergâ€™s theory of moral
reasoning and Fowlerâ€™s theory of faith development, showing the similarities in those
and two of the theories from the personality chapter we just covered, Loevingerâ€™s theory
of ego development and Maslowâ€™s theory of positive well-being. I illustrate this complex
comparison in a table that lays them out side-by-side to make it easier to understand.
I conclude the chapter with material about mystical experiences and transitions, which
William James, one of the founding fathers of psychology, wrote about in 1902.
New in this edition:
â€¢ Increase in the percent of people in the United States who report belief in God.
â€¢ Argument that spirituality is an evolved trait in humans.
â€¢ Research on the relationship of religious beliefs and sound mental health, even when
SES, health behaviors, and specific religious practices are considered.
The related topics of stress and resilience comprise the subject matter for Chapter 10.
This type of research is usually done by health psychologists and medical researchers but
has recently been of interest to social psychologists, sociologists, forensic psychologists, and
military leaders. This is another chapter that students take very personally because most are
dealing with more than their fair share of stressors. I begin with Selyeâ€™s concept of the general adaptation syndrome and then present Holmes and Raheâ€™s measurement of life-change
events. Research is cited to show that high levels of stress are related to physical and mental
disorders. The timely topic of PTSD is covered, and individual differences, such as gender
and age, are included. I cover racial discrimination as a source of chronic stress and talk about
stress-related growthâ€”the idea that what doesnâ€™t kill you makes you stronger. Types of coping mechanisms are presented, followed by the topic of resilience. Recent studies have shown
that the most frequent reaction to trauma is resilience and that some people are more apt to
be resilient than others.
New in this chapter:
â€¢ Research using the life-change events scale predicts heart disease and diabetes 5 years
â€¢ A new study showing that people with long-lasting reactions to stress are more susceptible to mood disorders.
â€¢ Evidence showing that 10% of people who experience trauma will have PTSD a year
â€¢ Studies done with 2,000 people who survived the September 11 terrorist attack show
that the older group (75 to 102 years of age) had higher stress symptoms immediately
after the event, but declined rapidly to the level of younger adults after 12 months.
â€¢ All age groups of survivors of the September 11 terrorist attack showed a return of
stress symptoms on anniversaries of 9/11.
â€¢ The concept of human social genomicsâ€”stressful life events can change our genomes.
â€¢ General Assessment Toolâ€”an assessment tool the U.S. Army has worked on with the
American Psychological Association to evaluate soldiers in terms of emotional, social,
family, and spiritual fitness. Those who are low in any aspect can get counseling. It
predicts PTSD risk and may be put into use in the near future.
Chapter 11 covers deathâ€”how we think about it at different ages, how we cope with
the death of loved ones, and how we face the reality of our own deaths. There are mixed
opinions about where this chapter belongs in this book. Some reviewers suggest that it
be placed earlier in the book because it leaves a depressed feeling at the end of the course.
I donâ€™t disagree with that, but I canâ€™t find any agreement about what would be a better
placement. I begin the chapter with a discussion of how we acquire an understanding of
death, both the deaths of others and the eventual death of ourselves. This includes abstract
methods like overcoming the fear of death as well as practical methods, like making a
living will and becoming an organ donor. The place of oneâ€™s death is important to many
people, and most want to die at home with their families. That is becoming more feasible
because of the hospice approach, and I explain that in detail. Others who are terminally
ill would like to choose the time of their deaths, and that has become possible in several
states that have legalized physician-assisted suicide, and I explain how that is arranged and
what types of people make that decision. For the next section, I have compiled numerous
mourning rituals that take place in different cultures in the United States. It is not an
exhaustive list, and there may be many exceptions, but it is a good way to start a discussion
about our multicultural society and about respecting and understanding others at these
most personal times. The chapter ends on a hopeful note with a study of bereavement
that shows that the most common response to the loss of a spouse in older adulthood is
New in this chapter:
â€¢ Cross-cultural studies show that the attitudes toward death are similar in many
countries (United States, Egypt, Kuwait, Syria, Malaysia, Turkey).
â€¢ Increase in number of people who have living wills at all ages.
â€¢ Information that Facebook lets you announce your status as an organ donor on your
In Chapter 12, the final chapter, I wrap up everything in the previous 11 chapters and
do so in a chronological order rather than the topical arrangement these chapters feature.
I add in the relevant new material and present my own model of adult development complete with a flowchart of how we move from disequilibrium to equilibrium in several areas
of our lives. I also include a master table of age-related changes throughout adulthood.
Suggested Reading, Critical Thinking Questions, and Key Terms
At the end of each chapter is a list of Suggested Reading. These books and journal articles are arranged in three categories. First is Reading for Personal Interest, which includes
29 popular books that are new to this edition and written for the educated layperson
(which our students are). Many of these are written by researchers featured in the chapter.
I try to include books that reflect a wide age range of adulthood. Some are how-to books,
some are memoirs or biographies, and I also snuck in a few novels. I have personally
read every one of these books myself, a nice bonus of this job! Following those books are
Classic Works. I try not to forget the â€œgiants on whose shoulders we stand.â€ This collection consists of 28 books and articles. Finally, I have a section of 26 new Contemporary
Scholarly Works that give students some good review articles or book chapters for a more
in-depth account of some of the topics in the chapter.
As the students read through the chapters, they are met with Critical Thinking Questions in boxes in the margins. They are designed for students to stop and consider the
information they are reading in a different light. Many involve relating the information
presented in the text to the studentsâ€™ own experiences. Others encourage the students
to design a study that challenges the findings in the text or come up with an alternate
explanation. Some students wait and use the Critical Thinking Questions as a review after
they complete the chapter.
Key terms are set in boldface type and defined immediately in the text. This is how
I learned best as a student, and my students agree. (I poll them about various features of
this textbook every time I teach this class.) The vast majority do not like definitions in
boxes in the margins. I believe we learn best by seeing a term in context. Definitions are
offered in the Glossary.
No book is complete without an instructor support package. The Journey of Adulthood is
accompanied by the following ancillaries.
â€¢ Instructorâ€™s Manual and Test Bank. The Instructorâ€™s Resource Manual and Test
Bank have been thoroughly revised for the eighth edition. The Instructorâ€™s Manual
includes resources such as discussion topics and suggestions for additional reading. The
Test Bank contains over 50 questions per chapter, including multiple-choice, true/
false, short answer, and essay questions. The Test Bank is accompanied by a Total
Assessment Guide for each chapter that divides questions by topic into factual, conceptual, or applied categories. The Instructorâ€™s Manual and Test Bank are available for
download via the Pearson Instructorâ€™s Resource Center (www.pearsonglobaleditions
â€¢ PowerPoint Lecture Slides The lecture slides have been wholly reworked and
completely revised by Julie McIntyre, Associate Professor of Psychology, Russell
Sage College, and feature prominent figures and tables from the text. The PowerPoint Lecture Slides are available for download via the Pearson Instructorâ€™s Resource
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