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Physical development in midlife is:

a continuation of the gradual changes under way in early adulthood: Hair grays and thins, new lines appear on the face, and a fuller, less youthful body shape is evident.

Orientation from _________ to ___________

"years since birth" to "years left to live"

The gradual physical changes beginning early in adulthood continue into midlife, this contributes to:

a revised physical self-image with less emphasis on hoped for gains and more on feared declines.

Prominent concerns among 40-65 year olds. Include:

Getting a fatal disease, being too ill to maintain independence, and losing mental capacities

Decrease in fine print reading due to:

thickening of the lens combined with weakening of the muscles that enables the eye to accommodate (adjust its focus) to nearby objects.

As new fibers appear on the surface of the lens, they compress older fibers toward the center, creating a:

thicker, denser, less pliable structure that eventually cannot be transformed at all.

By age 50, the accommodative ability of the lens is ___ of what it was at age 20


Presbyopia: Around age 60, the lens loses its capacity to:

adjust to objects at varying distances entirely.

Presbyopia is the loss of the ___________ of the lens

accommodative ability

More vision changes: limiting ability to see in ___ light; which declines at twice the rate of daylight vision


What are the changes to vision in midlife?

-Yellowing of the lens
-Pupil shrinks
-Increased sensitivity to glare
-Diminished color discrimination

Vitreous causes a development of:

opaque areas, which reduces the amount of light that reaches the retina. It also causes an increasing sensitivity to glare, and limits color discrimination

Vitreous is the _______________ that fills the eye

transparent gelatin-like substance

Besides structural changes in the eye, neural changes in the visual system occur as well. There is:

a gradual loss of rods and cones (light and color receptor cells) in the retina and of neurons in the optic nerve (the pathway between the retina and the cerebral cortex) contributes to visual declines


a disease in which poor fluid drainage leads to a buildup of pressure within the eye that damages the optic nerve.

*Glaucoma affects nearly __ percent of people over age 40, more often women than men.


*The leading cause of blindness:


About __ % of Americans between ages 45 and 64 suffer from hearing loss


Presbycusis: The Leading Cause of Hearing Loss. Is:

the age-related hearing loss, and is the slow loss of hearing that occurs as people get older. First affects detection of high frequencies and then spreads to other/all tones

As we age, inner-ear structures that transform mechanical sound waves into nearual impulses deteriorate through natural cell death or reduced blood supply caused by _____________.


Processing of neural messages in the auditory cortex also ________.


Why does men's hearing decline earlier and more rapidly than women's?

Men's hearing loss is associated to cigarette smoking, intense noise, and chemical pollutants in some male-dominated occupations, and high blood pressure and cerebrovascular disease, or stokes that damage brain tissue.

What are the changes in the skin during midlife?

As we age, the epidermis becomes less firmly attached to the dermis, fibers in the dermis thin, cells in both the epidermis and dermis decline in water content, and fat in the hypodermis diminishes, leading the skin to wrinkle, loosen, and feel dry. Age spots appear, muscle mass declines, and fat deposits increase.

Skin's Three Layers:

Epidermis, which is the outer protective layer where new skin cells are constantly produces, the dermis, which is the middle supportive layer that consists of connective tissue that stretches and bounces back giving the skin flexibility, and the hypodermis, which is an inner fatty layer that adds to the soft lines and shape of the skin

As we age the epidermis becomes:

less firmly attached to the dermis, fibers in the dermis then, cells in both the epidermis and dermis decline in water content, and fat in the hypodermis diminishes, leading the skin to wrinkle, loosen, and feel dry

In the 30s what happens to the skin?

Lines develop on the forehead as a result of smiling, furrowing the brow, and other facial expressions

In the 40s what happens to the skin?

Crow's feet appear around the eyes. The skin begins to lose elasticity and starts to sag, especially on the face, arms, and legs

In the 50s what happens to the skin?

Age spots appear, which are collections of pigments under the skin. Blood vessels in the skin become more visible as the fatty layer thins

Why does women's skin age more quickly than men's?

Because the dermis of women is not as thick

Weight Gain:

"middle-age spread" is an increase in body fat

In 40s/50s there is a decline in muscle mass due to:

atrophy of fast-twitch fibers, that are responsible for speed and explosive stregth

Size of abdomen increases by _____% in women from early through middle adulthood


There is going to be a reduction in metabolic rate:

Thus it's suggested you have a reduced caloric intake.

Bones broaden, but their mineral content _______


The loss of bone density/strength causes:

the disks in the spinal column to collapse (height can drop an inch)

Mineral content declines, bones become more _______


Who has more bone density loss, men or women?

Women's reserve of bone minerals is lower than men's and also, after menopause, the loss of estrogen means there the bone mineral absorption is lost

What are the changes in the skeletal system during midlife?

Bone density declines in both sexes, but to a greater extent for women, especially after menopause. Height loss and bone fractures can occur.


midlife transition in which fertility declines.

-Decline in estrogen production results in:

decreased elasticity of the skin, loss of bone mass, increase in cholesterol


the end of menstruation and reproductive capacity (around early 50s).*

Menopause side effects

-Hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, sleep disturbance, gas

-Evolutionary Theory:

Timing of hormone therapies have implications for risk of cardiovascular disease and onset of Alzheimer's (i.e. prior to menopause).*

Hormone Therapy:

a low daily dos of estrogen, which will reduce the physical discomforts of menopause. It has remained controversial because of increased risks of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and cognitive declines

-Erectile dysfunction (ED):

formerly known as impotence: Inability of a man to maintain an erection sufficient for satisfying sexual activity

_____ and ______ are the leading causes of death in middle age

Cancer and cardiovascular disease

Men are ____ vulnerable than women to most health problems.


Among women, ______ is by far the leading cause of death.


Leading causes of death among people 45-65 in the US:

-Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease (which is highest among Men)
-Cancer is a much higher cause of death for women than cardiovascular disease, which is relatively low

Cancer occurs when:

a cells' genetic program is disrupted, leading to uncontrolled growth and spead of abnormal cells that crowd out normal tissues and organs

Cancer mutations can be either _____ or ______

Germline or Somatic


due to an inherited predisposition


occurring in a single cell, which them multiplies.

Leading causes of cancer deaths:

Lung Cancer

Although cardiovascular disease has declined in recent decades, it remains a major cause of death in middle adulthood, especially among men. Symptoms include ____________. Quitting smoking, reducing blood cholesterol through diet and drug therapy, exercising and reducing stress can decrease risk and aid in treatment.

high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart attack, arrhythmia, and angina pectoris.

Each year, about ___% of middle-aged American deaths are caused by cardiovascular disease



"silent killer" a buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries.

Heart Attack:

blockage of normal blood supply to an area of the heart


irregular heartbeat.

Angia Pectoris:

oxygen-deprived heart


procedure in which a surgeon threads a needle-thin catheter into arteries and inflates balloon at its time to allow blood to flow more freely, suppressing fatty deposits.

Because men account for over 70% of cases of cardiovascular disease in middle adulthood, doctors often view a heart condition as a "male problem" and frequently overlook women's symptoms, which tend to be milder, more often taking the form of ______ than a heart attack.

angina (oxygen-deprived heart)

Rehospitalization and death tend to be worse for women with cardiovascular disease since there is:

less research and less recognition for them

*Cardiovascular disease is viewed as a _____ problem


*Osteoporosis is viewed as a _____ problem



*Severe bone loss.
*Affects 12% of people over age 50, most being post-menopausal women
-Slumped-over posture, a shuffling gait, and "dowager's hump."
-Fracture in the spine, hips, and wrists.
-Decrease in testosterone for men
-Diet enriched with calcium and vitamin D + weight-bearing exercise is recommended.

___% of people with osteoporosis are women.


Women lose about __% of their bone mass.


Nearly __% of US middle-aged adults are sedentary, and half of those who begin an exercise program discontinue it within the first six months.


Recommend exercising in:.


Besides health problems and daily stressors, low-SES adults often mention:

inconvenient access to facilities, expense, unsafe neighborhoods, and unclean streets as barriers to exercise.

Expressed hostility is a component of the _______________ that predicts heart disease and other health problems. Because anger suppression is also related to health problems, a better alternative is to develop effective ways of handling stress and conflict

type A behavior pattern

Effective stress management includes both:

*Problem-Centered Coping: seeing the situation as changeable, indentifying what is difficult and deciding what to do about it
*Emotion-Centered Coping: it is internal and aimed at controlling distress when little can be done about a situation

Effective stress management also includes:

-constructive approaches to anger
-social support


is made up of 3 personal qualities: control, commitment, and challenge. By inducing a generally optimistic outlook on life, hardiness helps people cope with stress adaptively

Although negative stereotypes of aging discourage older adults of both sexes, middle aged women are more likely to be viewed ________, especially by men. New surveys suggest that the double standard of aging is declining as both genders view middle age more positively


Research using intelligence tests shed light on the widely held belief that intelligence inevitably ______ in middle and late adulthood as the brain deteriorates.*


Adults can often compensate for cognitive limitations by drawing on their cognitive strengths. Finally, as people discover that they are no longer as good as they once were at certain tasks, they accommodate, shifting to activities that depend less on:

cognitive efficiency and more on accumulated knowledge.

Information Processing

Speed of cognitive processing slows with age, a change explained by either the neural network view or the information loss view. As reaction time slows, people perform less well on complex memory, reasoning, and problem-solving tasks, and especially on fluid ability items. But other factors also predict diverse, age-related cognitive changes

Response time ______ steadily from the early 20s into the 90s. But declines in speed do take place


Neural Network view:

as neurons in the brain die, breaks in neural networks occur. The brain adapts by forming bypasses-new synaptic connections that go around the breaks but are less efficient.

Information-Loss View:

suggests that older adults experience greater loss of information as it moves through the cognitive system. As a result, the whole system must slow down to inspect and interpret the information.

Processing speed is a ____ predictor of the skill with which older adults perform complex, familiar tasks in everyday life, which they continue to do with considerable proficiency.


Knowledge and experience can also compensate for impairments in __________.

processing speed


Middle-aged people show declines in ability to divide their attention, focus on relevant stimuli, and switch from one task to another as the situation demands. Cognitive inhibition becomes more difficult, at times prompting distractibility

Laboratory research reveals that sustaining two complex tasks at once becomes _____ challenging with age.


People with ____ cognitive demanding jobs tend to show smaller age related attention declines. Older adults focus on relevant information and handle two tasks proficiently when they have extensive practice over their lifetimes.


As adults get older, _____ occurs, which is the resistance to interfere from irrelevant information


Adults in midlife retain ____ information in working memory, largely due to a decline in use of memory strategies. But training, improved design of tasks, and metacognitive knowledge enable older adults to compensate for age-related decrements


Middle-aged and older adults recall ____ than young adults

less; Reduced working-memory capacity is another likely influence; They find it harder to retrieve information from long-term memory.


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

Compared to younger adults with similar years of experience, middle-aged employees performed more:

competently, serving customers in especially adept, attentive ways.

Adults place greater emphasis on thinking through a practical problem - trying to understand it better, interpreting it from different __________, and solving it through logical analysis.



Creative works produced after age 40 often appear more deliberately thoughtful

A transition from a largely egocentric concern with self expression to more ________ goals.


These changes may contribute to an overall decline in creative output in later decades; HOWEVER, creativity still takes

new forms

*As expertise ________, middle-aged adults in all walks of life often become good at practical problem solving. Creativity becomes more deliberately thoughtful, and it shifts from generating unusual products to integrating ideas and from concern with self expression to more altruistic goals"


Vocational Life

Cognitively flexible men seek work that offer challenge and autonomy

Adults are returning to undergraduate and graduate study

in record numbers

At all ages and in different cultures, the relationship between vocational life and cognitive development is _______. Stimulating, complex work and flexible, abstract thinking support each other


About ___% of adult learners are women

60; Many express high motivation!*; Need social support

Adults are returning to college and graduate school in record numbers. The majority are women, who are often motivated by ________.

life transitions

Returning students must cope with:

a lack of recent practice at academic work, stereotypes of aging, gender, and ethnicity and demands of multiple roles

What can help returning students succeed?

Social support from family and friends and institutional services suited to their needs can help returning students succeed.

Further education results in enhanced:

competencies, new relationships, and reshaped life paths.

Erikson's Theory: Generativity Verses Stagnation

*Erikon's psychological conflict of midlife is called generativity versus stagnation.


involves reaching out to others in ways that give to and guide the next generation.

Key points to Generativity

*to attain symbolic immortality by making a contribution that will survive their death
*A belief in the species

*Generativity combines need for ___________- with the need for communion, integrating personal goals with the welfare of the larger social world


Generativity expands greatly when commitment extends beyond oneself and one's life partner to:

a larger group, family, community, or social

Generativity encompasses everything generated that can outlive the self and ensure society's continuity and improvement of:

ideas, products, and works of art

*People can realize generativity as:

parents, in family relationships, mentors, volunteers, etc.

Generativity combines personal desires with

cultural demands; *This desire may stem from a deep-seated evolutionary urge to protect and advance the next generation

*High generative people appear especially well-adjusted as well have:

low anxiety, low depression, high autonomy, positive self-acceptance, and greater life satisfaction.

Generativity allows people to be more likely to have successful

marriages and close friends

Generativity allows people to be ____ open to differing viewpoints


Generativity: People posses

*Leadership qualities, desire more from work than financial rewards, and care greatly about the welfare of their children, their partner, their aging parents, and the wider society
*High value of trust, open communication, transmisiion of values to children

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



once people attain certain life goals, they may become self-centered and self-indulgent.

Levinson's Seasons of Life

-Early adulthood, middle adulthood, which begins with a transitional period, age 40 to 45, during which people evaluate their success in meeting early adulthood goals

*most people turn inward for a period of time, focusing on

personally meaningful living

Regard the remaining years as increasingly ______.*


Flexible to modifying identities: Four Developmental Tasks:

-Young-old: seeks new ways of being both young and old. Give up certain youthful qualities, retaining and transforming others, and finding positive meaning in being older
-Destruction/creation: focuses on ways they've been destructive.
-Masculinity/femininity: create a better balance between masculine/feminine parts of the self.
-Engage/separate: Forge better balance between engagement with external word and separateness.

People who flexibly modify their identities in response to age-related changes, yet maintain a sense of self-continuity are more aware of their own thoughts and feelings and are ______ in self esteem


*According to Levinson, middle-aged adults reassess their relation to themselves, and the external world.. They confront four developmental tasks, each requiring them to reconcile two opposing tendencies within the self:

young-old, destruction-creation, masculinity-femininity, and engagement-separateness.

Midlife Crisis Definition

*Most people respond to midlife with changes that are better described as "turning points" than as a crisis. Only a minority experience a midlife crisis characterized by intense self-doubt and stress that lead to drastic life alterations

Restructuring of one's personality is often a:

slow and steady change.

Consists of life evaluation

Middle-aged people may evaluate life regrets

Possible selves:

future-oriented representations of what one hopes to become and what one is afraid of becoming

Social roles at work and in community tend to ____ in midage.


*Vaillant found that adults in their late 40s/50s take on responsibility as guardians of their culture, seeking to "____________" to later generations

pass the torch

*Middle-aged individuals maintain self-esteem and stay motivated by

revising their possible selves, which become fewer in number as well as more modest and concrete as people adjust their hopes and fears to their life circumstances

*Middle age = "_________"

prime of life

Gender Identity

Identity in mid-life becomes more androgynous

Parental imperative theory holds that identification with traditional gender roles is maintained during the active parenting years to help ensue the survival of children. After children read adulthood, parents are free to express the

"other-gender" side of their personalities.

Compared with men, a greater number of women remain divorced, are widowed, and encounter _______ in the workplace.


*In adulthood, ________ is associated with advanced moral reasoning and psychosocial maturity


*Perhaps because of the double standard of aging, women express concern about appearing less attractive. But non-college educated men, even more than women, show a rise in sensitivity to:

physical aging

*Middle-aged men may adopt "feminine" traits of _____ and ________, while women may take on "masculine" traits of _______ and _________. Men and successful career oriented women often reduce their focus on ambition and achievement. Women who have devoted themselves to child rearing or an unfulfilling job typically increase their involvement in work and community

nurturance and caring; autonomy and assertiveness

___% in the US live in families, most with a spouse.



Gathering the family for celebrations and making sure everyone stays in tough.

Americans between __________ have the highest average annual income.

45 and 54

Marital breakup severely _____ standard of living.


Wide variations exist in the social clock for children's departure. Many young people from low-SES homes and with cultural traditions of extended-family living do not leave home early. In Southern European countries, parents often actively ______ their children's leaving.


In Italy, parents believe that moving out without a "_______" reason signifies that something is wrong in the family. *


Average age of becoming a grandparent is __ yrs for American Women, __ for American men

50; 52

Valued elder:

being perceived as a wise, helpful person.


having fun with children without major child-rearing responsibilities.

"________ grandmothers report more frequent visits with grandchildren than do parental grandmothers, who are lightly advantaged over both maternal and paternal grandfathers. Typically, relationships are closer between grandparents and grandchildren of the same sex and, especially, between maternal grandmothers and granddaughters. Grandmothers also report higher satisfaction with the grandparent role than grandfathers, perhaps because grandmothers are more likely to participate in recreational, religious, and family activities with grandchildren. The grandparent role may be a vital means through which women satisfy their kinkeeping function." *


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