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Physical and Cognitive Development in Midlife

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					Physical and Cognitive
Development in Midlife
Physical Development
Top Barriers to Physical
Activity
   How would they vary by:
       Age, Gender, Ethnicity?
Top Barriers (King, et al, 2000)

    3000 women 40 & over
    Native American, Older age, less
     education, fatigue, absence of
     enjoyable scenery, few role models
     in ones neighborhood
    Across all ethnicities:
        Caregiving duties & Lack of energy
         were top
    “No one to exercise with” or “lack of
     facilities” most infrequent
Senses

   Vision
       Difficulty in reading small print
            Weakening in eye accomodation
       Yellowing of the lens
            color discrimination
   Hearing
     14% hearing loss
     Greater for high tones
     Men>women
 Skin, Muscle, & Bones

3   layers of skin: epidermis, dermis,
 hypodermis

 Ageepi   less attached to
 dermis, dermis fibers thin,
 fat in hypo diminshes
 wrinkles & loose skin
  Women       & outdoors folks
    Skin, Muscle, & Bones
   ↑Body fat ↓ lean body mass
       Muscle- atrophy of fast twitch fibers
   Reduction in bone density-esp
    women
       osteoporosis
   Disks in spine collapse ↓ height
    by 60
   Weakened bones fracture more
    easily, heal more slowly
    Reproductive changes

   Climacteric-midlife transition and fertility
    change
       Ends ability in women
       Diminishes fertility in men- ↓ semen & sperm
   Women
       Production of estrogen drops
            Cycles shorten, more irregular
            Concludes w/ menopause
   Doctors recommend ERT or HRT
       Protects from bone deterioration, hot flashes
       HRT comes w/ risks
Psychological Reaction to
Menopause
   Can be traumatic
       Physical competence=ability to
        have children

   Physical Discomfort + percieved
    loss of sex appeal

   Many find it is no trouble

   What does your mother think?
Questions for Mom
   Talk to your mother or other women who
    are close to menopause about their
    expectations and attitudes.
   Are/were they excited about it?
   Will/were they be relieved when it is/was
    over?
   Were expectations realized by the actual
    process of menopause?
       Or, how accurate do you feel your expectations
        are?
   Did they experience any physical or
    psychological symptoms?
       Or, how are the feeling about the potential
        physical and/or psychological symptoms?
Cognitive Development
Changes in Mental Abilities

   Focus on deficits, neglecting
    cog stability and gains

   Cog dev is multi-dimensional,
    multi-directional, & plastic
Crystallized and Fluid
Intelligence
   Crystallized- depend on accumulated
    knowledge & experience
       Acquired b/c valued by culture
       Vocabulary, general info, verbal
        analogy, logical reasoning
   Fluid- Basic info-processing skills:
    speed of analysis, working memory
       Less influence by culture, more by
        conditions in the brain and unique
        learning.
       Spatial visualization, picture series, etc
Intelligence in Mid Adulthood

   Crystallized increases steadily
    into late adulthood
   Fluid declines in late twenties
    and early thirties
   Found x-cult
   Perceptual speed drops
   Adults compensate for these
    drops by using strengths
       Shift from efficiency to
        accumulated knowledge activities
Young Adult, Middle Adult,
Late Adult?
   Adult A is making a cake that will ultimately turn out
    almost perfect. He does not refer consistently to the
    instructions, and tends to “eyeball” measures. For
    example, instead of measuring out a cup or a tablespoon,
    he simply pours in the amount that he thinks is correct
    (his calculations are very accurate).

   Adult B is making a cake that will ultimately turn out
    almost perfect. He is very careful to read every instruction
    of the recipe, and performs every step in the exact order.
    He is careful to measure out each item using measuring
    spoons and cups.

   Adult C is making a cake that will ultimately turn out
    almost perfect. He follows the instructions pretty
    consistently; however, he adjusts the oven temperature
    slightly to allow for a moister cake. In terms of liquid
    measures, he uses cups to make sure everything is
    accurate; however, anything requiring a teaspoon amount
    he simply “eyeballs.”
Young, Middle, or Late Adult?
   Adult A, who is married to adult B, wants
    to remodel the basement. Adult B
    disagrees, and states that the remodeling
    project will be too expensive and time-
    consuming. Adult A is faced with several
    options:
    a.   Accept the situation and let it go.
    b.   Try to understand B’s perspective and decide
         whether it really is worth all of the time and
         effort. Attempt to consider B’s perspective from
         several angles (expenses, less time for
         marriage and children, etc.).
    c.   Try to convince B to change his/her mind.
    d.   Bring in a third party to arbitrate the dispute.
   Three students, ages 18, 35, and 50, are taking a
    multiple-choice exam. When interviewed at a later
    date, the instructor receives the following student
    assessments:

   “I thought the exam was fair and straightforward. I chose the
    answers that seemed to be the most correct, that’s what multiple-
    choice exams are all about.”

   “I thought the exam was unfair. If you really dissected all of the
    responses to the questions, you could generate arguments for
    multiple responses. I really confused myself because I generated
    arguments and counterarguments for just about every response
    to every question.”

   “Somewhat tough exam; I noticed that there were a number of
    places where you could generate arguments for more than one
    response. However, I know there is a time and place for such
    thinking, and a multiple-choice exam does not represent such a
    context. You really have to just go with what seems most logical
    and practical in situations that require more simple,
    straightforward thinking.”

				
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