Training and Combat

The task of turning civilians into combat soldiers is not an easy one young men and women are not trained from childhood to risk their lives for an abstract cause that they may not understand, or that they perceive as having no effect on them personally. Discipline and obedience to orders, even when they are counter to one's natural impulses and upbringing, are, however, crucial in preparing people for battle. Propaganda, in which the enemy is depicted as barbaric and evil and one's own country...

The Aging Human Body

Youth is the most wonderful time of life it's too bad it is wasted on the young. This has probably been the unexpressed sentiment of many older adults who wake up one morning to find grey hair, wrinkles, sagging cheeks, and a double chin in the mirror, hair in the wash basin, and aches, pains, and stiffness in places where they did not even know they had places. The physical changes that accompany aging appear gradually, not without warning, but nevertheless disturbing the eternal summer of...

Sensation And Perception

Neural impulses containing sensory information are conveyed from specialized receptors by way of efferent (sensory) nerves to the central nervous system (spinal cord and brain). Then, neural impulses are conveyed from the central nervous system by way of efferent (motor) nerves to the muscles and glands. Combined with the secretions of certain glands, the two types of peripheral nerves afferent and efferent make up the information highway of the body. The efficiency with which sensory...

Captivity and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

In reaction to the mistreatment of prisoners of war during the nineteenth century, beginning in 1864 a series of international meetings known as the Geneva Convention was held. The result was a set of rules regarding the humane treatment of prisoners of war, as well as the sick, the wounded, and those who died in battle. Despite some improvements as a result of the Geneva Convention and the rules for the treatment of prisoners of war that were defined at the Second Hague Conference of 1907, the...

Attitudes and Anxieties

Related to, but more diffuse or generalized than fears are attitudes and anxieties concerning death. Many factors contribute to death anxiety, including the physical suffering that death may entail, being reduced to a state of nothingness or nonbeing, punishment after death for our wrongdoings, and the loss of all that we hold near and dear in life. Table 13-1, which summarizes Aries's (1981) findings on changes in attitudes toward death throughout history, shows that these attitudes have...

Interviewing

At least as popular as observation as a method for research on adult development is interviewing. The straightforwardness and simplicity of the 2Probably the most famous of all diarists was the Englishman Samuel Pepys (1633-1703), but the diaries kept by Charles Darwin and Jean Piaget on the development of their own children are better known to developmentalists. Abstracts of Research Using Diaries and Autobiographies Kemper, S. (1990). Adults' diaries Changes made to written narratives across...

Love And Loving

Love is not merely the diversion or sublimation of the sex drive into more socially acceptable feelings of tenderness and affection. Rather than being a substitute for sex, feelings of love between two people are often kindled and intensified by sexual stimulation and intercourse (Dermer & Pyszczynski, 1978). Considering how much has been written, said, and sung about the topic of love, it may seem strange that so little scientific effort has been directed toward...

Sex In Adulthood

Freud was right Preschool children have sexual desires. So do 80- and 90-year-old adults. For most people, sex is a lifelong interest and activity. It does not stop with aging, and it does not kill you. Unfortunately, it does not make you live longer, either, but it may make you wish that you could. My Life 6-1 Sex Then and Now I don't know exactly how old I was when I first became aware of sex differences. I must have been fairly young, because I had a mother, a sister, and two grandmothers,...

Sex Therapy

Like homosexuality, sex problems and their treatment are no longer taboo topics. They are widely discussed in the media, the movies, and by medical experts throughout the world. The importance of good health care, proper nutrition, and appropriate medications to the maintenance of an active sex life are generally recognized. Moderation in the intake of food, coffee, alcohol, and tobacco proper exercise protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and an awareness that if you do not...

Marriage

Marriage is a legal, religious, social, and personal affair. It is an institution, a sacrament, a promise, and a contract entered into with some thought of enduring until death, but with only a 50-50 chance of doing so. Although marriage may not last until death, there is some evidence that men who get married do not die as soon as those who remain single. Whether the greater longevity of married men is due to the fact that marriage selects rather than protects, that is, that healthy,...

Social and Economic Differences

The greater social sensitivity and empathy of females continues throughout their lifetimes, from childhood through old age. Placing more value on friendships and helping relationships in general, women develop more extensive social networks through which they give and receive assistance of a material and socio emotional nature. As discussed in Chapter 7, middle-aged and older adult women are more likely than men to maintain contact with their children and grandchildren and to provide assistance...

Suicide

Severe depression is usually accompanied by the danger of attempted suicide. Over 30,000 Americans commit suicide each year, and many thou- Figure 5-2 Suicide rate by age, sex, and race during 1990-1992. (Based on data from the National Vital Statistics System) Figure 5-2 Suicide rate by age, sex, and race during 1990-1992. (Based on data from the National Vital Statistics System) sands more attempt it (Rosenberg et al., 1996). As shown in Figure 5-2,white men have a higher suicide rate than...

Age Changes in Sexual Behavior

Today, sex appears to be more popular than ever. Both the frequency of sexual intercourse and the variety of techniques used are appreciably greater than they were prior to the 1960s (Rosen & Hall, 1984). In one study, it was found that three-fourths of all 19-year-olds reported having sexual intercourse. Apparently, a sizable number of this group was quite busy in college. An estimated 28 of males and 29 of females in their freshman year of college reported having had premarital...

Memory Storage

Table 4-1 is a glossary of memory terms. As indicated by the terms sensory memory or sensory register, the first stage of memory is a sensory impression of the material to be recalled. This stage lasts only a few seconds, until the impression is registered in short-term memory (STM or primary memory). A familiar example of primary memory, which lasts no longer than half a minute, is remembering a specific telephone number only until it has been dialed. To be remembered for a longer period of...

Death Bereavement and Widowhood

Man contains within himself a most profound contradiction. At the conscious, intellectual level he is absolutely convinced that he must die, this belief being reinforced and sustained by contacts with those around him who share it, as well as by the knowledge of the deaths of others. He can be more certain ofhis death than of his name. His unconscious is immortal, however, denying the reality of his death and not allowing him to imagine himself dead. There is absolutely no way to eradicate the...

Exercise

It is a well-known fact that regular exercise can reduce the severity of system disorders (Hill, Storandt, & Malley, 1993). Oxygen consumption, ventilation capacity, cardiac output, blood flow, muscle tonus, muscle strength, and the flexibility of the joints can all be increased by exercises such as walking, swimming, calisthenics, jogging, and other moderate aerobic exercises (Blumentahl et al., 1991). Exercise also results in reduced body fats, poisons, blood pressure, the response times...

Treatment

A wide range of physical and psychological methods are applied to the treatment of mental disorders. Drugs, diet, electroshock, and surgery are the major classes of medical treatment, but exercise, massage and manipulation, and other physical procedures may also be appropriate. Psychological and psychosocial methods of treatment include individual and group counseling and psychotherapy, behavior modification, environmental intervention, occupational therapy, and recreational therapy. The...

Religious Faith

Religious teachings typically begin with rituals and stories, progressing to faith and interpretation as the child's cognitive abilities develop. Com pared with Islam, Christian teachings place more emphasis on the interpretation of religious writings. But despite the efforts of theologians and philosophers throughout history, no one has succeeded in devising a direct proof of the existence of God6 or the correctness of any religious belief. Blaise Pascal's famous wager concerning the existence...

The Self and Self Esteem

The psychodynamic theories of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, and Erik Erikson, the phenomenological (self) theories of Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow, and the social learning theories of Julian Rotter and Albert Bandura have all provided suggestions and guidelines for the construction of a number of personality assessment instruments. The psychoanalytic concepts of the ego, Erikson's concept of identity, the phenomenological concept of the self, and associated concepts in social...

Respiratory Disorders

Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, including bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, and allied conditions, ranked fourth as causes of death in the United States in 1994, while pneumonia and influenza ranked sixth (Rosenberg et al., 1996). Over 100,000 people in this country died of obstructive pulmonary diseases, and over 80,000 died of pneumonia and influenza in that year. With the exception of deaths caused by asthma, which increase steadily until age 75 and then decline, deaths due to most...

Incidence and Diagnosis

It is often said that the stress of modern living is responsible for the large number of mentally disordered people seen in families, clinics, institutions, and in the streets. Because of poor record keeping in previous times, growth of the general population, and changes in diagnostic criteria, it is difficult to determine if and by how much the incidence of mental disorders has risen over the years. Available statistics do indicate that mental disorders associated with old age have increased...

Biological Correlates of Gender

Perhaps the most basic fact of human genetics is that females have two X chromosomes in the 23rd position but males have only one. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, for examples, Turner's and Klinefelter's syndromes, but almost all women are endowed with two X chromosomes in each cell. The question is not whether males have an imbalance of X chromosomes, but rather to what extent certain disorders that are more common in males than females are attributable to the imbalance. In...

Epigenesis and Maturation

A time-honored maxim of scientists who study the physical and behavioral changes in people over time is that development, the sequence in which these changes occur, is the result of the inborn, genetically programmed makeup of the individual interacting with the environment. Biologists applied the term epigenesis to the progressive sequence by which the genetic substrate of an organism is expressed in physical structure and function. Epigenesis does not stop at birth, but, coupled with the...

Ages and Stages

Western societies have typically viewed the human life span as consisting of a series of periods or stages, beginning with conception and ending in death. The prenatal stage, from conception until birth, is divided into the germinal period (first 2 weeks), the embryonic period (2-8 weeks), and the fetal period. The time from birth to the end of the second year is infancy, and early childhood is the preschool period from 2 to 5 or 6 years. Middle childhood is from age 6 to puberty, and...

Sources of Income

The biggest source of income for the largest number of people is, of course, earnings, which vary not only with productivity and length of time Table 10-1 Median 1995 Income of Men and Women by Educational Attainment Table 10-1 Median 1995 Income of Men and Women by Educational Attainment Source Data from US. Bureau of the Census, September 1996. Source Data from US. Bureau of the Census, September 1996. on the job but also with the perceived value of the job to the hiring organization and...

Testing Adults

Administering an intelligence test, or any other psychometric instrument, is not simply a matter of reading a set of printed directions to the examinees. Even when administering a group test to many people simultaneously, the examiner should study the test format and directions carefully beforehand, making certain that the test is scheduled at a convenient, appropriate time, ensuring that the testing environment is conducive to the examinees' doing their best without cheating, and obtaining the...

Asian Pacific Islander Americans

The Americans in this group are immigrants or descendants of immigrants from China, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and Pacific Oceania. The first Asian immigrants to the United States came as contract laborers in the nineteenth century, where they worked primarily on the railroad and in the mines. More recent Asian immigrants have been refugees and professionals, a large percentage of whom hold professional degrees. There is, however, a wide...

Cognitive Development

The psychometric approach to assessing cognitive abilities by means of specific tests has, for the most part, not adhered to any specific theory. Rather, it has been guided by the empirical results of correlational and factor-analytic studies designed to isolate the basic dimensions of intellectual functioning. Recently, more attention has been devoted to establishing certain theoretical foundations, based on research in child development, brain physiology, information-processing, and...

Cohabitation

An estimated 50 of all couples living together in heterosexual relationships today are nonmarried cohabitants. Most of these relationships are fairly short-term arrangements that end in either marriage or separation, whereas others may last for years (Macklin, 1988). In some instances, the cohabiting couple decides to forego a traditional marriage ceremony and become common-law partners by declaring themselves to be married. They combine their assets, file joint tax returns, and can only...

Religious Activities

As indicated by the results of a telephone survey of over 3,000 American adults conducted by the Gallup Organization in 1995, the United States is a very religious nation. Ninety-five percent of the respondents in that survey stated that they believe in God or a universal spirit, 88 described religion as very important or fairly important in their lives, and 70 said they belonged to a specific church or synagogue. Eighty-four percent reported affiliation with a Christian denomination, 2 were...

Accidents

An accident is an unplanned event that results in bodily injury and or property damage. Accidents claimed 89,703 lives in the United States in 1995,41,786 of which were motor-vehicle accidents. The death rate for unintentional injuries due to accidents is higher for males than for females in all age groups and higher for blacks than for whites after age 24 (Rosenberg et al., 1996). The death rate for firearm injuries is higher for males than females and higher for blacks than whites. The...

Location And Relocation

Living environments consist not only of the dwellings in which people reside but also the neighborhoods or communities in which they live, work, and play. The places in which people settle and stay provide the wherewithal It seems to me as if I have spent most of my life in houses. When I was a boy, we lived for a while in a yellow frame house across from a schoolhouse, which was convenient when I wanted to use the playground equipment. Later, we moved to a farmhouse with no electricity or...

Deciding to Retire

People retire for many reasons, and some for no conscious reason at all other than acceptance of the notion that people are supposed to retire by a certain age if they can afford to. Disabilities such as heart disease, hypertension, injuries, and mental disorders force many older adults to retire, even before age 65. In addition to health problems and disabilities, job loss or dissatisfaction, financial security, retirement of a spouse, pressure from younger workers, opportunity to participate...

Long TermCare Facilities

As people become very old, the incidence of both physical and mental disorders increases. This is particularly true for the 85-and-over segment of the population. About one-fourth of very old Americans require personal care and supervision in addition to room and board, but not continuing nursing care. For them, some form of group housing may meet their needs adequately, as seen in residential care homes or retirement homes. Residents of residential care homes are not as ill as those in nursing...

Native Americans

The three major subgroups of Native Americans, in order of population size, are American Indians, Eskimos, and Aleuts. Nearly one-half of them live west of the Mississippi River, and in Oklahoma, California, Arizona, and New Mexico, in particular. Like African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans, as a group they are below average for the U.S. population in educational attainment and income (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1995). In the eyes of the federal government, Native American have a different...

Specific Categories and Items

The percentage of total income that is spent for particular categories of items also varies with chronological age and other demographic characteristics of purchasers. Note in Figure 11-3 that, in 1995, individuals in the 25- to 44-year-old age group and the 65 and over year group spent a greater percentage of their incomes on housing and food than those in the 45- to 64-year-old age group. Older adults also spent a higher percentage of their income on health care, utilities, and cash...

Private Pension Programs

Sources of income for older couples and individuals in 1994 included Social Security (42 ), followed by other public and private pensions (19 ), earnings (18 ), asset income (18 ), and other sources (3 ) (American Association of Retired Persons, 1996b). As indicated by these percentages, private pensions are not the major source of income for older Americans, but they are a substantial one In 1995, 8.8 million Americans received an average of 8,378 under the provisions of company or union...

Physical Differences

To anyone who has observed a number of newborn babies, it is obvious that, in addition to being equipped with different sex organs than baby girls, baby boys are, on the average, longer and heavier. It may or may not be obvious to a patient observer, but it is a good bet that a randomly selected newborn will be a boy. The ratio of males to females in the United States is approximately 105 to 100. Due to the higher incidence of fatal diseases and traumas for boys than for girls, this ratio is...

Retirement Planning

The changes in status occasioned by retirement would seem to require some degree of planning and preparation. In most cases, however, any planning is done in a fairly informal manner and does not anticipate all of the problems that may accompany the event and process of retirement. Ideally, planning for retirement should begin 5 to 10 years prior to the actual event, but this is not what usually happens. Furthermore, although a majority of retirees report having made some plans, most are...

Vocational Development and Choice

Different children have different genetic potentials that cause them to be better at some things and worse at others than their peers. In addition, the human and nonhuman environments in which children grow up have a marked effect on their patterns of behavior and the choices they make. Vocational interests are no exception. Differential reinforcement by, and modeling of, parents and significant other people, in addition to other environmental factors and...

Summary

Age changes in appearance and physical functioning in adulthood are inevitable, but they occur at different rates in different individuals and species. The effects of these changes on the self-concept also vary from person to person. Greying hair, wrinkles, and other signs of old age are obviously of greater concern to individuals for whom a youthful appearance is more important for occupational success and social prestige. Physical appearance, of course, is not the exclusive concern of aging...

Unemployment

Arguably, the most severe source of stress associated with employment is the loss of it. Layoffs can occur at all status levels of the occupational hierarchy. Not only semiskilled and skilled workers lose their jobs, but corporation executives and professional persons are also subject to termination. The overall unemployment rate in the United States for 1996 was 5.4 . Among Americans aged 16 years and older, the annual rate of unemployment was over twice as high for black men (11.1 ) as for...

Wills and Probate

A substantial majority of Americans die intestate, that is, without ever having made a will, and some of those who do make out wills are quite 5Addresses are as follows American Bar Association, 750 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60611 National Academic of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. and National Elder Law Foundation, 1604 North Country Club Road, Tucson, AZ 85716. creative. They may write a will an the back of a grocery bag, in rhyme, in a humorous fashion, or even in code. They may draft...

African Americans

Statistics related to the quality of life for African-Americans are dismal indeed. Teenage pregnancy, out-of-wedlock births, and infant mortality are more common, life expectancy at birth is lower, and the rates of obesity, hypertension, and certain other diseases are higher than average. Significantly more blacks than whites die of HIV infection and homicide or other legal intervention. On the economic front, the rates of unemployment and poverty are higher, and incomes are lower than average....

Delusional Disorders

The term delusional or paranoid encompasses a wide range of mental disorders characterized by suspiciousness, projection, excessive feelings of self-importance, and delusions. The delusional patient's cognitive abilities are usually intact, but thinking, affect, and behavior are all affected by delusions of grandeur (or persecution). Delusions sometimes form part of the symptom picture in schizophrenia, particularly in younger patients, but delusions without schizophrenia are more common. The...

Gastrointestinal System

There is some truth to the old saying that you are what you eat, but individual differences in metabolism certainly play a role in determining how a person is affected by what he or she ingests. Old age is sometimes caricatured as a time of digestive and eliminative disturbances, and, like many other caricatures, this one has some degree of accuracy. As a person grows older, there is a decline in esophageal and intestinal peristalsis and fewer stomach contractions. Food moves more slowly down...

Divorce

Nothing lasts forever love dies, a spouse dies, and many marriages end in divorce. Marital discord occurs for a number of reasons, 11 of which are listed in Figure 6-5. Not all of these reasons necessarily lead to divorce, but they are now more likely to do so than in previous times. In the last century, marriages ended in death as often as in divorce, but divorce has become the principal cause of marital breakups in this century. Legal grounds for divorce in previous times adultery,...

Families and Friends

Human beings are gregarious creatures. We live together, play together, learn together, work together, and attempt to solve our problems together. We are members of families, teams, classes, clubs, unions, and many other formal and informal groups. By obeying the norms and playing the roles assigned to us by these groups, we are able to satisfy our biological and psychological needs more effectively than most of us could ever hope to do by acting alone. A person's first social experiences...

Hispanic Americans

Hispanics, consisting primarily of a mixture of white, black, and Native American racial origins, are the second largest (and predicted to soon become the largest) ethnic minority in the United States. Of Hispanic-Americans, approximately 64 are Mexican, 11 are Puerto Rican, 5 are Cuban, and 13 are of Central or South American origin. Hispanic-Americans have the highest birthrate and the lowest divorce rate of all ethnic groups, but their per capita income is substantially lower than average...

Lifethreatening Disorders

The 10 leading causes ofdeath in the United States in 1995 were, in order, diseases of heart, malignant neoplasms, cerebrovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, accidents and adverse effects, pneumonia and influenza, diabetes mellitus, HIV infection, suicide, and chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (Rosenberg, Ventura, Maurer, Heuser, & Freedman, Sometimes I think of my back pain as a familiar companion. He may not be overly friendly, but he certainly has remained with me...

Mental Disorders

The fact that more women than men are treated in mental health clinics and psychiatric hospitals would lead one to believe that the rate of mental illness is higher among women than among men. This appears to be the case with respect to some, but certainly not all, mental disorders. Women tend to be more vulnerable to anxiety disorders, depression, and eating disorders, and they probably have a higher rate of attempted suicide than men. On the other hand, boys are more likely than girls to...

Musculoskeletal System

Just as the cardiovascular and respiratory systems work together, the musculoskeletal, nervous, and sensory systems cooperate in the performance of psychomotor skills. The musculoskeletal system consists of the striped muscles and bones whose purpose is to move the arms, legs, and other mobile organs of the body. The efficiency with which such movement takes place depends on the condition of the muscle cells, the bones, and the joints at which the bones are connected with each other....

Nonpsychotic Disorders

The highest frequency of occurrence among nonpsychotic mental disorders is found in substance abuse and alcoholism, which affect over 16 of the general U.S. population (Regier & Burke, 1989). Although alcoholism is at its peak in middle age, many older adults turn to alcohol as a means of coping with grief, loneliness, and pain. Alcoholism in early and middle adulthood occurs more often in men than in women, but, because of loneliness and depression, many women also start drinking in later...

Organizations And Ethics

Much of the research on human subjects is sponsored by public and private organizations or foundations. For example, public support for research and training programs that benefit older Americans comes from federal agencies such as the Administration on Aging, the Office of Nursing Home Affairs, the National Institute on Aging, and the Department of Education. The National Institute on Aging (NIA), in particular, sponsors biological research on Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, drug reactions...

Osteoporosis

The loss of minerals in the bones that accompanies aging reduces bone mass and increases the porosity and brittleness of bones. The result may be chronic pain in the joints of the lower spine and hips, a height reduction of several inches, other skeletal deformities (eg, dowager's hump), and an increased danger of fractures to the vertebrae, hips, ribs, and wrists. These are the symptoms of osteoporosis, a disorder that is four times more common among postmenopausal women than men in the same...

Personality Development and Disorders

Personality is the sum total of all the qualities, traits, and behaviors that characterize a person's individuality and by which, together with his or her physical attributes, the person is recognized as unique. As witnessed by the persistence of temperament or psychological reaction patterns from birth to adulthood, heredity plays an important role in shaping personality Active, outgoing children and passive, inhibited children tend to retain those same characteristics in adulthood. This does...

Sex Differences in Friendships

Not only do women of all ages have more friends than men, but the nature and functions of those friendships are different. Women are more likely to initiate social interactions both within and outside the family and to develop deeper and longer-lasting friendships than men (Dickens & Perlman, 1981 Wright, 1989). Compared with men, women are more socially interdependent and more likely to engage in self-disclosure (Gilligan, 1982). Their friendships are characterized by the sharing of...

Stress And Coping

Almost every day, people encounter events or have experiences that they did not expect or for which they are unprepared. The result is the physical, mental, and emotional strain known as stress. Stimuli that produce stress are referred to as stressors. One of the most common types of stressor is everyday hassles, which are annoying or irritating but typically fairly easy to deal with. Major life events such as the death of a relative, a serious illness or injury, being fired or suspended, or a...

Stress and Personality

Reactions to stressful situations are a function not only of the severity of the event but also of the physical and psychological makeup of the affected individual. In a longitudinal study of men who had been psychologically examined as college students, those who were diagnosed as poorly adjusted were much more likely to become seriously ill and die in middle adulthood than those who had been diagnosed as well adjusted (Valliant, 1979). These findings led Valliant to conclude that personality...

Immune System

The immune system, which has the job of making the body immune to infection and disease, consists of the bone marrow, thymus gland, spleen, lymph nodes, and tonsils. Lymphocytes, or white blood cells, are produced in the bone marrow. Some of these cells travel to the thymus, mature into T cells, and are then sent into the bloodstream to become killer or helper T cells. Killer T cells reject foreign tissue and destroy viruses, fungi, and parasites, whereas helper T cells assist another group of...

Falling in Love

As indicated in the preceding paragraph, different aspects of love develop at different rates. The initial blindness of love, which is based on physical attractiveness and other superficial characteristics, gives way to deeper, more enduring feelings of attachment as lovers confide in each other and recognize their similar attitudes, beliefs, and interests (Adams, 1979 Levinger, 1978). For love to develop and last, passion must be complemented by sharing, caring, and loyalty. Each partner comes...

Personality Characteristics

Which sex (male or female) is more anxious, compliant with adults, demanding, depressed, empathic, fearful, immature, interdependent, irritable, people-oriented, socially sensitive, submissive, subtly aggressive (gossiping, snubbing, etc.), and timid And which sex is more active, aggressive, competent, competitive, dominant, exploratory, impulsive, independent, logical, mature, productive, self-confident, self-reliant, violent, and worldly Even if you did not grow up in mainstream American...

Menopause

The climacteric or menopause, the cessation of menstruation, occurs by age 50 in most women and marks the end of the childbearing years. Some women manage to give birth during their fifties and even sixties, but for most, the period of fertility ends sometime during the fifth decade. Associated with menopause is a sharp drop in the production of estrogen and consequent changes in the structure and functioning of certain body tissues and organs. Among the structural changes are a decrease in the...

Uniform Crime Reports

Crime is considered one of the major problems in the United States and countries throughout the world by law enforcement authorities, political leaders, and the public at large. To provide detailed public information on the incidence of crimes of various kinds in the United States, and to serve as a basis for action in legislative action and law enforcement, each year the Federal Bureau of Investigation publishes a new edition of Crime in the United States Uniform Crime Reports. This...

Wechsler Bellevue Intelligence Scale

This test, published initially in 1939 by David Wechsler, a clinical psychologist at Bellevue Hospital in New York. was designed exclusively for adults. As seen in his later definition of intelligence as the aggregate or global capacity of the individual to act purposefully, think rationally and to deal effectively with his environment (Wechsler, 1958, p. 7), Wechsler, like Galton, Binet, and Terman, believed in the existence of a general mental ability. It was Wechsler's hope that his test...

The Sexual Response Cycle

There are four phases in the sexual response cycle I. excitation, II. plateau, III. orgasm, and IV. resolution (Masters, Johnson, & Kolodny, 1994). In men, phase I (excitation) is characterized by erection of the penis. Phase I takes place more slowly in women and is characterized by the production of lubricating fluid in the vagina, an increase in the diameter of the clitoris, and increased congestion of the labia with blood. For both sexes, phase II (plateau) is marked by a rise in the...

Funeral Practices

Historically, funerals were designed to serve the purposes of honoring the dead, supplying them with the means for existence in the next world and gaining favor with the gods. Funerals still honor the dead, but the main function served by modern funeral practices is to allow survivors to work through their own feelings concerning the deceased. However, the sense of loss, sadness, and other feelings associated with the death of a loved one do not end with the funeral. A period of bereavement and...

Trait Stability

The assertion of both stage and transition theorists that personality changes during adulthood is only partially supported by research. Many investigators (e.g., Costa & McCrae, 1980 Neugarten, 1977 Schaie & Parham, 1976) have found that personality can change during adulthood, but the overall picture is one of stability and continuity rather than reorganization and extensive changes (McCrae & Costa, 1990). A longitudinal study conducted some years ago in Kansas City (Neugarten,...

Stress Syndromes

Three of the most publicized states associated with prolonged stress are burnout, bereavement, and posttraumatic stress disorder. The symptoms of burnout, a condition precipitated by the stress of overwork, include emotional exhaustion, reduced productivity, and feelings of depersonalization. The emotional exhaustion in burnout may be accompanied by physical symptoms such as headaches and backaches, in addition to social withdrawal. Compulsive, insecure workaholics whose jobs have ceased to...

Homosexual Relationships

The social environments of most large cities is conductive to cohabitation among homosexual males (gays) and females (lesbians). Marriages between homosexuals are not legally sanctioned in the United States, although legislation concerning such domestic partnerships has received support in certain cities (e.g., San Francisco, New York) and states (e.g., Hawaii). Relatively little longitudinal research has been conducted on gay and lesbian relationships (Kimmel & Sang, 1995 Kurdek, 1991a,...

Older Adult Consumers

In general, older Americans consume fewer goods and services than their younger contemporaries, but they spend a greater portion of their after-tax incomes on items that cost of living adjustments fail to weight properly (e.g., food, health care, utilities . The lower average expenditures of older adults are a reflection of the fact that their households have fewer members and the members have less expensive needs. In addition, more job-related items such as transportation, clothing, life...

Eriksons Psychosocial Stages

Unlike classical psychoanalysis, which viewed personality as essentially complete by adolescence, Erik Erikson (1963) maintained that personality continues developing throughout an individual's lifetime. Also unlike Freudian theory, Erikson's stages are psychosocial rather than psychosexual. Erikson emphasized the importance of social interactions in the resolution of the crisis or conflict at each stage. The first five stages in his model of development are temporally parallel to Freud's five...

Chronological Age Differences

Cattell Culture Free Test

A person's score on an intelligence test is not a fixed number that remains invariant from year to year and test to test. The fact that test scores are not perfectly reliable means that a person's score will change somewhat with time, test, and conditions of administration. For example, IQ scores on the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale vary on the average about 5 points from testing to testing, though variations as large as 20 points can occur with dramatic changes in physical health,...

Age Differences in Coping Strategies

In their study of coping strategies in young, middle-aged, and older adults, Folkman et al. (1987) found that older adults were less likely than young and middle-aged adults to employ confrontation and aggression. Rather than becoming highly emotional when faced with stressful circumstances, older adults tended to cope by using denial, repression, and other passive strategies (Felton & Revenson, 1987 Folkman et al., 1987). As they become older, most adults relinquish coping strategies that,...

Genitourinary System

Considering the frequency of urinary disorders in older men, it is not surprising that the majority of urology patients are in their fifties or older. Shrinkage of the kidneys, loss of elasticity and capacity by the bladder, and enlargement of the prostate gland combine to increase the frequency of urination, cause urination to be less complete and bladder control to be lost, as well as other urological disorders. Reductions in the number of functioning excretory units (glomeruli) and,...

Adjusting to Retirement

For most older adults, retirement is an active, rewarding period of their lives. They now have time to pursue interests and complete tasks that they had to postpone or devote less time to during their working years. Not only do most people adjust well to retirement, but also their health and happiness may actually improve when they are no longer required to conform to the daily grind Betancourt, 1991 Herzog amp House, 1991 Quinn amp Burkhauser, 1990 . For these reasons, retirees are, on the...

Theories Of Biological Aging

As witnessed by the search for the fountain of youth and the time-honored popularity of tales and treatments concerned with the aging process, prolongevity has been a continuing quest since the dawn of human history. Although the commercial and health literature abounds with suggestions for staying healthy, looking good, and living as long as one can, the inevitability of corporeal existence is universally recognized. Acceptance of personal mortality does not mean, however, that the human life...