Chapter One: Studying Adult Development and Aging

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  1. What is gerontology?
    the study of aging from maturity through old age
  2. What is ageism?
    a form of discrimination against older adults based on their age, which comes about due to myths of aging
  3. Who is ageism against?
    Though it is not just against older adults, the elderly population gets that type of treatment all of the time
  4. What is the life-span perspective?
    • The Life-Span Perspective divides human development into two phases:
    • 1) early (infancy, childhood, and adolescence)
    • 2) later (young adulthood, middle age, and old age)
  5. Life-Span Perspective cont. 

    ____ identified FOUR key features of this perspective. What are they? 
    Paul Baltes (1987)

    • multidirectionality
    • plasticity
    • historical context
    • multiple causation
  6. Multidirectionality
    development involves both growth and decline
  7. Examples of multidirectionality
    • 1) Mental tasks increase, but speed of use decreases
    • 2) Acceptance of things goes up (ex: death), while fear declines
    • 3) increase in vocabulary
  8. Plasticity
    Skills can be trained/ improved even later in life with limitation
  9. Examples of plasticity
    Using post-it notes to increase memory`
  10. Historical context
    circumstances associated with the historical time we are born
  11. Examples of historical context
    • 1) 9/11
    • 2) education
  12. Multiple causation
    development is impacted by biopsychosocial and life cycle forces 

    --> when the same event can affect/ impact someone differently depending on when it happened
  13. Example of multiple causation
    having a child
  14. Explain the demographics of aging
    There are more people over the age of 88 than ever before.
  15. Why are there more people over 88?
    • health care improveents
    • less women killed during childbirth
    • baby boomers (1946-1964)
  16. What are concerns with population trends?
    entitlement programs such as social security and pension systems such as Medicare
  17. What is the demographic trend of the US in 2000?
    The middle aged people are the most prominent. Women live longer
  18. What is the demographic trend of the US in 2025?
    More people are living longer. There are very similar percentages among those less than five and those up to 69
  19. What is the demographic trend of the US in 2050?
    The population is leveling out. By 2100, there will be a relatively uniform population.

    • This is when the Baby Boomlet occurs. 
    • Pop: 400 million
    • 20% will be 65+
  20. What is the problem with leveling out of the population?
    If old surpasses the young, who pays for social security, for exampe?
  21. What is the point of all of those?
    Although people in this country will live longer, we will still have a strong youthful population, which is crucial. This is unlike in other countries. For example, China will lose 10% of its population.
  22. Explain diversity of older adults in the US
    • Adults among minority groups are increasing. 
    • Future adults will be better educated--> Domino effect

    Domino effect: better jobs--> higher income/ resources--> better health care--> healthier lifestyles

    Essentially, better education leads to better decisions
  23. Diversity of older adults in the US continued

    Individualism vs. collectivism
    individualism: US is individualistic; 'I' am the focus competitive; me, me, me

    Collectivism: about the group; group before everything
  24. What is the impact of individualism ad collectivism on the elderly?
    Impact on intervention with the elderly population

    For example, individualistic people will say, "Leave the elderly alone."
  25. Diversity of older adults in the US continued

    Though the Hispanic population is growing significantly (800%), non-Hispanic European Americans will still dominate
  26. Population trends around the world
    The number of older adults will increase dramatically in nearly all areas of the world over the next few decades
  27. What is the concern about the increasing number of older adults?
    • Birth rate declines
    • resource limitations
    • economic conditions
    • jobs and health care strains
  28. True or False: 

    Almost all of the world will have a large population of elderly.
  29. What four main forces shape development?
    • biological forces
    • psychological forces
    • social forces
    • life-cycle forces
  30. Biological forces
    • They include all genetic and health related factors
    • Examples:
    • - brain part sizes
    • - metabolism/ hormones
    • - family medical histories
  31. Psychological forces
    • include all internal perceptual, cognitive (memory, problem-solving, learning and logic), emotional, and personality factors
    • - How you interpret things
  32. Social forces
    include interpersonal, societal, cultural, and ethnic factors

    • Examples:
    • - society we live in
    • - religion
    • - ethnicity
  33. Life- cycle forces
    Reflect differences in how the same event or combo of biopsychosocial forces affects people at different points in life

    Examples: pregnancy and technology
  34. The Forces of Development

    - What makes us people?
    Biological, psychological, and sociocultural forces all hit you throughout life and, combined with life-cycle forces, they make you a person

    Biological, psychological, sociocultural--> Life-cycle forces--> Person
  35. What are developmental influences?
    • Cohort effect
    • normative age-graded influences
    • normative history-graded influences
    • non-normative influences

    culture and ethnicity
  36. Cohort effect:
    group of people born at the same point in historical time (depend on when you're born)
  37. Normative age-graded influences
    • experiences caused by biopsychosocial forces that occur to most people of particular age
    • ex: puberty, menopause
    • --> Things everyone goes through
  38. Normative history-graded influences
    events that most people in the same culture experience; influences that impact you because of your culture (major events)

    ex: Pearl Harbor, 9/11, Baby Boomers
  39. Non-normative influences
    Random or rare events that may be important for a specific individual but are not experienced by most

    ex: winning the lottery, losing a job
  40. Culture
    culture: shared basic value orientations, norms, beliefs, and customary habits and ways of living

    beliefs, etc. all the different features of your family
  41. ethnicity
    ethnicity: individual and collective sense of identity based on historical/ cultural group membership and related behaviors and beliefs

    culture that you have a membership in as your country of origin; where our family came from
  42. The meaning of age

    Primary aging
    Secondary aging
    Tertiary aging
    Primary aging: normal, disease-free development during adulthood

    Secondary aging: developmental changes that are related to disease, lifestyle, and other environmentally induced changes that are not inevitable (i.e., pollution/ lifestyle affects you/ they happen)

    Tertiary aging: rapid losses that occur shortly before death; terminal drop (you're gone quickly)
  43. Definitions of age
    chronological age

    perceived age

    biological age

    psychological age

    sociocultural age
  44. chronological age
    index variable for your age
  45. perceived age
    age you think of yourself as
  46. biological age
    functional level of organ system
  47. psychological age
    functional level of the abilities used to adapt to changing environments (memory, intelligence, feelings, motivation, etc.)
  48. sociocultural age
    specific set of roles an individual adopts to other members of society (marriage, children, careers, stereotypes, dress, language, etc.)
  49. Nature versus nurture controversy
    genetics or the environment

    it is actually both: interactionist approach
  50. Change versus Stability
    personality traits
  51. Continuity versus Discontinuity Controversy
    • Smooth or abrupt changes
    • amount versus kinds
    • plasticity--capacity learned/ improved with practice
  52. Universal Versus Context-Specific Development Controversy
    All people or some instances
  53. Measurement in research
    reliability: the extent to which it provides a consistent index of the behavior or topic of interest 

    validity: the extent to which it measures what researchers think it measures
  54. Research methods
    1) ___
    systematic observation: watching people and recording what they do or say
  55. Type of systematic observation
    naturalistic observation: going into the real world 

    structured observation: used for rare/ difficult to study (i.e. emergencies); used in real world but made to happen/ drills and recording
  56. Sampling behavior with tasks
    create tasks that are thought to sample the behavior of interest; make them do behaviors that you're interested in studying
  57. Self reports
    people's answers to question about the topic of interest

    Questionnaire, survey

    measures attitudes and feelings about something
  58. Population characteristics
    • Sample
    • generalizability
  59. Sample
    • random sample: everyone ha equal chance of being selected
    • representative sample: have to represent what you are studying
    • biased sample not random nor representative
    • random assignment: randomly put them into groups of research
  60. What is the goal of population research methods?
    Take population sample--> research--> apply findings to entire population, which is generalizability
  61. Experimental design
    • Variables
    • - independent variables: manipulated
    • - dependent variables: measured

    • Groups
    • - Experimental group: gets independent variable
    • - Control group: doesn't get independent 

    • Other considerations:
    • - Experimental bias
    • - placebo effect: give them a pseudo thing
    • - double-blind study
  62. What can experimental design do?
    Cause and effect
  63. Correlational designs
    • Pearson's 'r'
    • --> +/- correlations
    • --> size 0-1

    Cause and effect cannot be determined because a third variable exists
  64. Explain r
    it is a correlational coefficient that can be between 0 and 1

    • r=0 (no relationship)
    • r=1 (perfect relationship, which will never happen because that would mean cause and effect

    • r= 0.1-0.3 (weak)
    • r= 0.4-0.6 (mild)
    • r= 0.7-0.9 (high)

    positive r= either both are going up or both are going down

    negative r= one goes up and one goes down
  65. Designs for studying development
    • cross-sectional designs
    • longitudinal designs
    • sequential designs
  66. cross-sectional designs
    • testing different ages, same time
    • cohort/ age effects
    • quick and inexpensive
  67. longitudinal designs
    • same individuals; repeated times
    • i.e. microgenetic study
    • age/ time of measurement effects
  68. Sequential designs
    combination of cross-sectional and longitudinal
  69. Effects that can affect results?
    age effects (within subjects)= biopsychosocial changes at various ages and their effects

    cohort effects= unique to the generation

    time of measurement effects--> socio-cultural, environmental, and historical events at the time data obtained; confounding variables
  70. Meta-analysis
    allows researchers to synthesize the results of many studies to estimate relations between variables

    • take all of the different variables and blend them into one
    • --> powerful tool
    • --> determines whether a finding generalizes across many studies that used different methods
  71. Conducting research ethically does what?
    • minimizes risks to research participants
    • describes the research to potential participants--> informed consent
    • avoid deception--> debriefing
    • results should be anonymous or confidential
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Chapter One: Studying Adult Development and Aging
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