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Emotional and social development in late adulthood

ego integrity versus despair

eighth and final stage of Erikson's model of development in which the goal is to develop a sense of wholeness that comes from having lived a full life and the ability to let go of regrets, the final completion of the ego


According to Joan Erikson, a psychosocial stage beyond ego integrity, which characterizes the very old, that involves a cosmic and transcendent perspective directed forward and outward, beyond the self. (evident in heightened inner calm and contentment) (472)

affect optimization

ability to maximize positive emotion and dampen negative emotion


telling stories about people and events from their past and reporting associated thoughts and feelings

third age

added years of longevity and health plus financial stability have granted this active, opportunistic time of life to so many contemporary seniors that some experts believe a new phase of late adulthood has evolved called this

dependency-support script

typical pattern of interaction in which elders' dependency behaviors are attended to immediately, thereby reinforcing those behaviors. (475)

independence-ignore script

typical pattern of interaction in which elders' independent behaviors are mostly ignored, thereby leading them to occur less often. (475)

disengagement theory

a theory of aging that suggests that society and the aging individual mutually sever many of their relationships

activity theory

The view that elderly people need to remain active in a variety of social spheres with relatives, friends, and community groups and become withdrawn only unwillingly, as a result of ageism.

continuity theory

This Theory of aging is based on the premise that successful methods used throughout life for adjusting and adapting to life events are repeated. Traits, habits, values, association & goals remain stable throughout the lifetime, regardless of life changes.

socioemotional selectivity theory

Older adults become more selective about their social networks - spend time with familiar people.

aging place

in late adulthood, remaining in a familiar setting where one has control over one's everyday life

congregate housing

an increasingly popular long term care option provides a variety of support services including meals in a common dining room, along with watchful oversight of residents with physical and mental disabilities

life-care communities

offer a range of housing alternatives, from independent or congregate housing to full nursing home care. For a large initial payment and additonal monthly fees, life care guarantees that elder's changing needs will be met in one place as they age.

social convoy

an influential model of changes in our social networks as we move through life

secondary friends

people who are intimates but with whom they spend time occasionally, such as a group that meets for lunch, bridge, or museum tours

optimal aging

gains are maximized and losses minimized

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