Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

Home Screenshot Tabelle Begriffe

Adulthood: Adulthood in psychology signifies the developmental stage following adolescence, marked by maturity, independence, and assuming adult roles and responsibilities. See also Adolescence, Aging, Responsibility, Developmental psychology.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Biological Theories on Adulthood - Dictionary of Arguments

Upton I 134
Adulthood/Biological theories/Upton: greying of the hair or the hair may thin. Weight changes typically seen across the lifespan include weight gain in middle age, followed by weight loss when people reach their sixties (Whitbourne, 2005)(1).
Upton I 135
Ageing involves a decline in efficiency in most bodily systems from the twenties onwards. Strength and flexibility begin to wane in both genders in middle age (Samson et aL, 2000)(2), motor performance slows (Newell et al., 2006)(3) and reaction times decrease.
However, it seems likely that avoiding a sedentary lifestyle will make such deterioration less marked (Earles and Saithouse, 1995)(4). Research has found that moderate exercise and a healthy diet can protect against stroke, heart disease and late-onset dabetes (Yung et al., 2009)(5). Women also experience the menopause— the hormonal changes that result in the loss of the ability to reproduce in middle to late adulthood. An increase in the incidence of chronic disease, such as osteoarthritis, hypertension and heart disease, is also seen in older adults.
Individual differences in physical functioning increase with age. Thus, measurements such as aerobic capacity, strength and reaction times vary more widely among 70 year olds than among 20 year olds. This is in part due to lifestyle choices — for example, physically active older adults are more likely to retain strength (Amara et al., 2003(6)).
(…) muscles atrophy if not used and the heart functions less well if the individual leads a sedentary life style (Rosenbloom and Bahns, 2006)(7).
Health problems may also contribute to differences in decline; a classic study in the 1960s showed how deterioration in physical and psychological functioning in men aged 65—91 was linked to sub-clinical disease (Birren et al., 1963)(8). Socioeconomic status is also often reported to make a difference to health and disability; studies using self-reported measures of health demonstrate greater problems among older people in disadvantaged socio-economic groups (Marmot et al., 2001)(9). This is usually believed to demonstrate the advantages of having greater material resources and opportunities to promote a healthy lifestyle.

1. Whitboume, SK (2005) Adult Development and Aging: Biopsychological perspectives (2nd edn). New York: Wiley.
2. Samson, MM, Meeuwsen, lB, Crowe, A, Dessens, JA, Duursma, SA and Verhaar, HJ (2000) Relationships between physical performance measures, age, height and body weight in healthy adults. Age and Ageing, 29: 235-42.
3. Newell, KM, Vaillancourt, DE and Sosnoff, JJ (2006) Aging complexity and motor performance, in Birren,JE and Schaie, KW (eds) Handbook of the Psychology of Aging(6th edn). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
4. Earles, JL and Salthouse, TA (1995) Interrelations of age, health, and speed. Journal of Gerontology, 50(1): 33—41.
5. Yung, LM, Laher, I, Yao, X, Chen, ZY, Huang, Y and Leung, FP (2009) Exercise, vascular wall and cardiovascular diseases: an update (part 2). Sports Science, 3 9(1): 45-63.
6. Amara, CE, Rice, CL, Koval. ¡J, Paterson, DH, Winter. EM and Cunningham, DA (2003) Allometric scaling of strength in an independently living population age 55-86 years. American Journal of Human Biology, 15:48-60.
7. Rosenbloom, C and Bahns, M (2006) What can we learn about thet and physical activity from master athletes? Holistic Nursing Practice, 2 0(4): 161-6.
8. Birren. JE, Butler, RN and Greenhouse. SW et al. (eds)(1963) Human Aging: A biological and behavioral study. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.
9. Marmot, M, Shipley, M. Brunner, E and Hemingway, H(2001) Relative contribution of early life and adult socioeconomic factors to adult morbidity in the Whitehall II Study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 55: 301-7.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Biological Theories
Upton I
Penney Upton
Developmental Psychology 2011

Send Link
> Counter arguments against Biological Theories
> Counter arguments in relation to Adulthood

Authors A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   Z  

Concepts A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   Y   Z