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Chapter 8: Middle Adulthood:

Chapter 8: Middle Adulthood Module 8.1: Physical Development in Middle Adulthood

Looking Ahead :

Looking Ahead What physical changes affect people in middle adulthood? What changes occur in sexuality for midlife men and women? Is midlife a time of health or disease for men and women? Who is likely to get coronary disease? What causes cancer, and what tools are available to diagnose and treat it?

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Physical Development: Faster, Higher, Older

Age Changes:

Age Changes

Physical Transitions in Middle Adulthood:

Physical Transitions in Middle Adulthood Gradual psychological and emotional changes in body’s capabilities Depends in part on self-concept and lifestyle

Height, Weight, and Strength: Benchmarks of Change:

Height, Weight, and Strength: Benchmarks of Change After age 55, bones become less dense Ultimately women lose 2 inches and men lose 1 inch in height Women are more prone to declining height due to OSTEOPOROSIS Both men and women continue to gain weight in middle adulthood

There was an old lady….:

There was an old lady…. Society applies a double standard to men and women in terms of appearance Older women tend to be viewed in unflattering terms Aging men more frequently perceived as displaying a maturity that enhances status

Sights and Sounds of Middle Age:

Sights and Sounds of Middle Age Starting at age 40, visual acuity declines Changing eye's lenses in shape and elasticity results in loss of near vision, called presbyopia Declining depth perception and night vision Glaucoma

Do you hear what I hear?:

Do you hear what I hear? Presbycusis About 12 percent of people between 45 and 65 suffer from presbycusis Men more prone to hearing loss Sound localization is diminished

Reaction time: Not-so-Slowing Down:

Reaction time: Not-so-Slowing Down Decreases slightly in middle adulthood Improves or compensated for by being more careful and practicing the skill Exercise can slow this loss

“Use It or Lose It”:

“Use It or Lose It”

Review and Apply:

Review and Apply REVIEW People in middle adulthood experience gradual changes in physical characteristics and appearance. The acuity of the senses, particularly vision and hearing, and speed of reaction declines slightly during middle age. Weight gain — commonly referred to as “middle age spread” — can be controlled through regular exercise and a healthy diet.

Review and Apply:

Review and Apply APPLY Would you rather fly on an airplane with a middle-aged pilot or a young one? Why?

Sexuality in Middle Adulthood:

Sexuality in Middle Adulthood Frequency of sexual intercourse decreases with age

Sexual Intercourse:

Sexual Intercourse Men typically need more time to get an erection Volume of fluid in ejaculation declines Production of testosterone also declines In women, walls of the vagina become less elastic and thinner Vagina shrinks, potentially making intercourse painful

Female Climacteric:

Female Climacteric Starting about age 45, transition from being able to bear children to being unable to do so Lasting about 15 to 20 years Menopause


Menopause Estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) Women's expectations about menopause relate to their experience of menopause Variations by race and culture

What do you think?:

? ? ? What do you think? How might the fact that the medical advice of experts on hormone therapy has changed frequently over the last decade affect women’s decisions about what course of action to follow? What are the most important factors a woman should take into account in deciding whether or not to embark on a course of hormone therapy?

The Psychological Consequences of Menopause :

The Psychological Consequences of Menopause Early research Menopause was linked directly to depression, anxiety, crying spells, lack of concentration, and irritability Current research Normal part of aging that does not, by itself, produce psychological symptoms Effects influenced by personal and cultural expectations of menopause

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Do men experience the equivalent of menopause? ? ? ?

Male Climacteric:

Male Climacteric Male changes during middle age Period of physical and psychological change relating to male reproductive system that occurs during late middle age. Enlargement of the prostate gland Problems with urination, including difficulty starting to urinate and frequent need to urinate during night Men still produce sperm and can father children through middle age

Review and Apply:

Review and Apply REVIEW Sexuality in middle adulthood changes slightly, but middle-aged couples, freed from concerns about children, can enjoy a new level of intimacy and enjoyment. Physical changes affecting sexuality occur in both genders. Both the female climacteric, which includes menopause, and the male climacteric seem to have physical and perhaps psychological symptoms.

Review and Apply:

Review and Apply REVIEW While some research has found that long-term risks of hormone therapy, including breast cancer, stroke, and heart disease, outweigh the benefits, current thinking among medical experts is that some women are better candidates for HT than others.

Review and Apply:

Review and Apply APPLY How do you think society’s view of women as losing their sexual allure in middle age affects women’s physical and psychological experience of menopause?

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Health and Wellness:

Health and Wellness American College of Sports Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity daily: Reduces risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, weight gain, and hypertension Provides psychological benefits of sense of control and well-being

Did you know?:

Did you know? Vast majority of people in middle age

Chronic Diseases in Middle Adulthood:

Chronic Diseases in Middle Adulthood Arthritis typically begins after age 40 Diabetes is most likely to occur in people between the ages of 50 and 60 Hypertension (high blood pressure) is one of the most frequent chronic disorders found in middle age

Recommended Diagnostic Tests:

Recommended Diagnostic Tests See Table 8-1 for adult preventative health care screening recommendations

Cultural Dimensions: Individual Variation in Health:

Cultural Dimensions: Individual Variation in Health Ethnic differences African Americans’ death rate is twice the rate for Caucasians Lower family’s income  higher likelihood of disabling illness, more dangerous occupations, inferior health coverage Gender differences Women’s overall mortality rate is lower than men’s

Gender Differences:

Gender Differences During middle age, women experience more non-life threatening illnesses than men but men experience more serious illnesses Women smoke less; drink less alcohol; have less dangerous jobs Medical research has typically studied diseases of men with all male samples; the medical community is only now beginning to study women's health issues

What are the consequences of stress in middle adulthood?:

What are the consequences of stress in middle adulthood?

Stress in Middle Adulthood:

Stress in Middle Adulthood Stress continues to have a significant impact on health in middle age According to psychoneuroimmunologists , who study the relationship between the brain, the immune system, and psychological factors, stress produces consequences Leads to unhealthy behaviors

True or False?:

True or False? Heart and circulatory disease in middle age are responsible for more loss of work and disability days due to hospitalization than any other cause. ? ? ?

Coronary Heart Disease:

Coronary Heart Disease More men die in middle age of diseases of the heart and circulatory system than any other cause Both genetic and experiential characteristics are involved Heart disease runs in families Men are more likely to suffer than women, and risks increase with age

Type A Behavior Pattern:

Type A Behavior Pattern Characterized by Competitiveness, impatience, and a tendency toward frustration and hostility, are more susceptible to heart disease Evidence is only correlational so cannot say Type A behavior causes heart disease

Type B Behavior Pattern:

Type B Behavior Pattern Characterized by Non-competitiveness, patience, and a lack of aggression Evidence that Type B people have less than half the risk of coronary disease that Type A people have

The Threat of Cancer:

The Threat of Cancer Cancer is associated with genetic and environmental risks Poor nutrition, smoking, alcohol use, exposure to sunlight, exposure to radiation, and particular occupational hazards Early treatment is related to higher survival rate

Cancer Treatment:

Cancer Treatment Takes a variety of forms Radiation therapy involves the use of radiation to destroy a tumor Chemotherapy involves the controlled ingestion of toxic substances meant to poison the tumor Surgery may be used to remove the tumor Early diagnosis is crucial

Breast Cancer:

Breast Cancer Mammography, a weak X-ray, is used to detect breast cancer Death rate lower for those who had a "fighting spirit" or those who denied they had the disease A positive psychological outlook may boost the body's immune system

Review and Apply:

Review and Apply REVIEW In general, middle adulthood is a period of good health, although susceptibility to chronic diseases, such as arthritis, diabetes, and hypertension, increases. Heart disease is a risk for middle-aged adults. Both genetic and environmental factors contribute to heart disease, including the Type A behavior pattern.

Review and Apply:

Review and Apply REVIEW Therapies such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery can successfully treat cancer, and psychological factors.

Review and Apply:

Review and Apply APPLY What social policies might be developed to lower the incidence of disabling illness among members of lower-socioeconomic groups?

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