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Ch. 17: Physical Development in Late Adulthood Ch. 18: Cognitive Development in Late Adulthood Ch. 19: Socioemotional Development in Late Adulthood CH. 20: Death, Dying and Grieving Amberton Dr. Paul

Life Span

maximum number of years an individual can love, about 120-125 years of age

Life Expectancy

number of years that will probably be lived by the average person born in a particular year; US is 78 years

Cellular Clock Theory

Leonard Hayflick's theory that the maximum number of times that human cells can divide is about 75-80; as we age our cells have less capability to divide


DNA sequences that cap chromosomes, each time a cell divides, these become shorter, after 70-80 replications these are dramatically reduced and the cell no longer can reproduce

Free Radical Theory

a microbiological theory of aging that states that people age because inside their cells normal metabolism produces unstable oxygen molecules that ricochet around inside cells, damaging DNA and other cellular structures

Mitochondrial Theory

the theory that again is caused by the decay of mitochondria, tiny cellular bodies that supply energy for function, growth and repair

Hormonal Stress Theory

the theory that aging in the body's hormonal system can lower resistance to stress and increase the likelihood of disease

Brain Loss

average brain loses 5%-10% of its weight between the ages of 20 and 90, brain volume also decreases; both physical and intellectual performance are affected- 90 most reflexes are much slower; reduction in neurotransmitters like acetylcholine and dopamine

Middle Aged Adults Causes of Death

65-74 years old; cancer is leading cause of death, and then heart disease

Late Adulthood Causes of Death

75-85+; cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death

Paul Baltes

clarified the distinction between those aspects of the aging mind that show decline and those that remain stable or even improve

Cognitive Mechanisms

the "hardware" of the mind, reflecting the neurophysiological architecture of the brain, cognitive mechanisms involve the speed and accuracy of the processes involving sensory input, comparison, and categorization; this declines

Cognitive Pragmatics

the "software programs" of the mind, includes reading, writing, language, comprehension, educational qualifications, professional skills, and skills that help us cope with life; this improves

Episodic Memory

the retention of information about the where and when of life's happenings; old people think they know more about when they grew up than what happened last week, really their mind is making things up

Semantic Memory

a person's knowledge about the world- including a person's field of expertise, general academic knowledge and everyday knowledge; starting a car, playing chess, capitol of Peru; take longer to retrieve this information, but can retrieve it

Major Depression

a mood disorder in which the individual is deeply unhappy, demoralized, self-derogatory and bored, the person does not feel well, loses stamina easily, has poor appetite and is listless and unmotivated; "common cold" of mental disorders


a global term for any neurological disorder in which the primary symptoms involve a deterioration of mental functioning

Alzheimer Disease

a progressive, irreversible brain disorder characterized by a gradual deterioration of memory, reasoning, language, and eventually physical function; deficiency of acetylcholine- exciteatory neurotransmitter

Amyloid Plaques

dense deposits of protein that accumulate in the blood vessels which causes Alzheimer disease

Neurofibrillary Tangles

twisted fibers that build up in neurons which leads to Alzheimer disease

Parkinson Disease

a chronic, progressive disease characterized by muscle tremors, slowing of movement, and partial facial paralysis; triggered by degeneration of dopamine- producing neurons in the brain, needed for normal bring functioning; L-Dopa is given to treat the symptoms

Integrity vs Despair

Erikson's eighth and final stage of development in late adulthood, involves reflecting on the past and either piecing together a positive review or concluding that one's life has not been well spent

Activity Theory

the theory that the more active and involved older adults are, the more likely they are to be satisfied with their lives

Brain Death

a neurological definition of death, a person considered this when all electrical activity of the brain has ceased for a specified period of time; a flat EEG recording is one criterion of this


"easy death"- the act of painlessly ending the lives of persons who are suffering from incurable diseases or severe disabilities; sometimes called "mercy killing"

Passive Euthanasia

withholding available treatments, such as life-sustaining devices which allows the person to die

Active Euthanasia

death induced deliberately, like by injecting a lethal dose of a drug; crime in most countries and states, except Washington and Oregon- passed Death with Dignity Act


a program committed to making the end of life as free from pain, anxiety, and depression as possible; the goals of hospice contrast with those of a hospital, which are to cure disease and prolong life

Palliative Care

care emphasized in a hospice, which involves reducing pain and suffering and helping individuals die with dignity

Elisabeth Kubker-Ross

divided the behavior and thinking of a dying person into five stages

5 Stages of Dying

denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance

Denial and Isolation

first stage of dying- person denies that she or he is really going to die


second stage of dying- person's denial gives way to anger, resentment, rage and envy


third stage of dying- person develops the hope that death can somehow be postponed


fourth stage of dying- person comes to accept the certainty of her or his death, preparatory grief may appear


fifth stage of dying- person develops a sense of peace, an acceptance of her or his fate and in many cases a desire to be left alone

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