Gerontology: study of aging form maturity through old age
Agism: a form of discrimination against older adults based on their age
Divides human development into two stages-
Early phase: (childhood and adolescence) rapid age-related increases in peoples size and abilities Later phase: (young adulthood, middle age, and old age) change are slow, but abilities to continue to develop as people continue adapting to the environment.
4 key features:
1) multidirectionality: development involves both growth and decline, as people grow in one area, they may lose in another and at different rates. 2) Plasticity: ones capacity is not predetermined or set in concrete. Skills can be learned later in life 3) Historical context: each of us develops within a particular set of circumstances determined by historical time in which we are born and the culture in which we grow up 4) Multiple causation: how we develop results from a wide variety of forces. Development is shaped by biological, psychological, sociocultural, and life-cycle forces.
Takes a human lifetime to completely develop
Bates believes life-span development consists of the dynamic interaction between growth, maintenance, and loss regulation -age-related reduction in amount of quality of biologically based resources as people get older age related increase in amount and quality of culture needed to generate continuously higher growth. Net slowing of growth as age increases age related decline in efficiency which cultural resources are used lack of cultural “old-age friendly” support structures
These 4 factors create need to shift more and more resources to maintain function and deal with biologically related losses as we get older. Less resources devoted to continuous growth
Developmentalists place special emphasis on 4 forces: biological, psychological, sociocultural and life cycle
The forces of development:
Biological forces: genetic and health related factors that affect development, examples of biological forces include menopause, facial wrinkling, and changes in the major organ system Psychological forces: all internal perceptual, cognitive, emotional, and personality factors that affect development, phsycological forces provide the characteristics we notice about people that make them individuals Sociocultural forces: interpersonal, societal, cultural, ethnic factors that affect development, provide overall context in which we develop. Life-cycle forces:
Reflect differences in how the same event or combination of biological, psychological and sociocultural forces affect people at different points in their lives. Context is important.
Interrelations between the forces: developmental influences
3 set of influences that interact to produce developmental change over the life span normative age-graded influences: experiences caused by biological, psychological, and sociocultural forces that are highly correlated with chronological age. Like puberty, menarche, and menopause, are biological. These normative events usually indicate a major change in a perons life. Focus on certain concerns at different points in adulthood. Others like sociocultural forces, such as time when first marriage occurs, and the age at which one retires corresponds to major time marker in someone’s life, like turning 18.
Normative history-graded influences: most people in specific culture experience at the same time, may be biological( epidemics), psychological (particular stereotypes, or sociocultural (changing attitudes toward sexuality). Give generation its unique identity. Attack on world trade tower is an example, changed views of safety of Americans.
Non-normative influences:random or rare events that may be important for a specific individual and not experienced by most people. Could be winning lottery, or an election, or bad ones like a divorce or layoff
Controversies in development:
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