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This is a study guide for Exam #3 in Lifespan Development.


Glaucoma affects nearly 15 percent of people over age 40


Women's hearing declines earlier and at a faster rate than men's


In middle age, weight gain and loss of muscle power are inevitable


EEG and other physiological measures reveal that menopause is linked to changes in quantity and quality of sleep


In one study, HRT slightly elevated the risk of mild cognitive declines and nearly doubled the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias


In middle adulthood, the best predictor of sexual frequency is good health


Cancer and cardiovascular disease are the leading causes of death in middle age


Because osteoporosis is considered a "woman's disease," men are far less likely to be screened and treated for it


Research pinpoints hostility as the toxic ingredient of the Type A behavior pattern


Low-hardy individuals are likely to use active-problem-centered coping strategies in situations they can control

Crystallized intelligence

Skills that depend on accumulated knowledge and experience, good judgment, and mastery of social conventions

Fluid intelligence

Depends on basic information processing skills--the ability to detect relationships among visual stimuli, the speed with which we can analyze information, and the capacity of working memory

Neural network view

As neurons in the brain die, breaks in mental networks occur. The brain adapts by forming bypasses (forms network)

Information-loss view

Suggests that older adults experience greater loss of information as it moves through the cognitive system

Practical problem solving

Requires people to size up real-world situations and analyze how best to achieve goals (solve problems) that have a high degree of uncertainty


An extensive, highly organized, and integrated knowledge base that can be used to support a high level of performance


Adults can be generative as parents and in other family relationships, as mentors in the workplace, in volunteer endeavors, and through many forms of productivity and creativity


Adults with a sence of generativity cannot contribute to society's welfare because they place their own comfort and security above challenge and sacrifice


Having children seems to foster women's generative development more than men's


During the midlife transition, some people make drastic revisions in family and occupational components of the life structure


Despite the double standard of aging, equal numbers of men and women express concern about appearing less attractive as they grow older


Middle age brings about greater rigidity in masculine and feminine parts of the self


In societies around the world, older people are guardians of traditions, laws, and cultural values


Research shows that the majority of adults experience a midlife crisis


Sharp disruption and agitation in midlife are the exception, not the rule


Midlifers who experience a crisis typically have had early adulthoods in which gender roles, family pressures, or low income and poverty severely limited their ability to fulfill personal needs and goals, at home or in the wider world


Research reveals only slight individual differences in cognitive functioning in late adulthood


Elders often have difficulty remembering the source of information


Age differences in implicit memory are much smaller than in explicit, or deliberate, memory


In old age, remote memory is clearer than memory for recent events


In the laboratory, older adults do better on time-based than on event-based prospective memory tasks


Language comprehension changes very little in late life as long as conversational partners do not speak very quickly and elders are given time to process written text accurately


Sacrificing efficiency for greater clarity, elders use more sentences to convey their message


As long as they perceive their problems as under control and as important, elders are active and effective in solving them


Few cultures around the world assume that age and wisdom go together


A wide range of chronic conditions, including vision and hearing impairments, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and arthritis, and are strongly associated with cognitive declines

Functional age

Unlike chronological age, this refers to actual competence and performance (functionality)

Average life expectancy

The number of years that an individual born in a particular year can expect to live

Active lifespan

The number of years of "vigorous, healthy life" an individual born in a particular year can expect

Life expectancy crossover

When surviving members of low-SES ethnic minority groups live longer than members of the white majority

Activities of daily living (ADL)

Basic self-care tasks required to live on one's own, such as bathing, dressing, getting in and out of bed or a chair, or eating

Instrumental activities of daily living (IADL)

Tasks necessary to conduct the business of daily life and that require some cognitive competence, such as telephoning, shopping, food preparation, housekeeping, and paying bills

Maximum lifespan

The genetic limit to length of life for a person free of external risk factors


Cloudy areas in the lens, resulting in foggy vision and (without surgery) eventual blindness

Macular degeneration

When light-sensitive cells in the macula break down, central vision blurs and gradually is lost

Autoimmune response

The immune system is more likely to malfunction by turning against normal body tissues

Assistive technology

The array of devices that permit people with disabilities to improve their functioning

Ego integrity versus despair

The final psychological conflict of Erikson's theory, which involves coming to terms with one's life

Body transcendence

Focusing on psychological strengths

Ego transcendence

Orienting towward a larger, more distant future


An additional psychosocial stage--a cosmic and transcendent perspective directed forward and outward, beyond the self

Affect optimization

The ability to maximize positive emotion and dampen negative emotion


Telling stories about people and events from the past and reporting associated thoughts and feelings

Life review

When a person calls up, reflects on, and reconsiders past experiences (reviews), contemplating their meaning with the goal of achieving greater self-understanding

Self-focused reminiscence

Reminiscence that is used to reduced boredom and revive bitter events (in one's own life)

Other-focused reminiscence

Reminiscence that is directed at social goals, such as solidifying family and friendship ties and reliving relationships with lost loved ones

Knowledge-based reminiscence

When elders draw upon their past for effective problem-solving strategies and for teaching younger people


Compared to younger couples, elderly couples married for many years disagree less often and--when they do disagree--resolve their differences in more constructive ways


The majority of gay and lesbian couples assume that family members will provide support in old age


Rather than remarrying, today more older adults who enter a new relationship choose cohabitation


Sex differences in the experience of widowhood contribute to women's higher remarriage rate


Same-sex friendships in never-married elderly women's lives tend to be unusually close and often involve joint travel, periods of co-residence, and associations with one another's extended families


Elderly siblings in industrialized nations are less likely to socialize than to provide each other with direct assistance


Older adults report more favorable experiences with friends than with family members


Quality rather than quantity of parent-child interaction affects older adults' life satisfaction


Even moderate support from adult children, with opportunities to reciprocate, is associated with poor psychological well-being


Elders are more likely to be abused by in-home caregivers than family members


The experience of losing a loved one by death


Intense physical and psychological distress following the loss of a loved one


The culturally specified "expressions of the bereaved" person's thoughts and feelings

Grief process

A set of tasks--or actions that must be taken--for the bereaved person to recover and return to a fulfilling life

Dual-process model of coping with loss

Effective coping requires people to oscillate between dealing with the emotional consequences of loss and attending to life changes, which have restorative, or healing, effects

Anticipatory grieving

Acknowledging that loss is inevitable and preparing emotionally for it

Bereavement overload

When a person experiences several deaths at once or in close succession


On learning of a terminal illness, most people move in and out of denial


Even when they realize the inevitability of death, few terminally ill people bargain for extra time


Most people who reach acceptance do so only in the last few weeks or days


Kubler-Ross maintains that her five stages should be viewed as a fixed sequence and that all people display each response


According to recent theorists, a single strategy, such as acceptance, is not best for every dying person


Only about one-fifth of cancer patients experience severe depression


A candid approach, in which everyone close to and caring for the dying person acknowledges the terminal illness, is best


Even when doctors want to inform patients of their prognosis, they may encounter resistance especially within certain ethnic groups


Dying patients who feel they have much unfinished business to attend to experience little anxiety about impending death


A strong sense of spirituality reduces fear of death

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