PSY7210_u8d1.docx - Discuss Baltes theory on the gains and...

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Discuss Baltes' theory on the gains and losses in middle adulthood. Elaborate on the processes of growth, maintenance, and regulation of loss that can be adaptive for development at this stage. Describe how age-graded changes and history-graded changes help to explain development during this stage.Baltes’ theory on the gains of losses in middle adulthood focuses on the belief systems of development that occur throughout one’s adulthood. Founded by Paul Baltes, a German Psychologist that worked to promote life-span orientation of development and an influential developmental psychologist, this theory is sometimes called the SOC, which stands for selection,optimization, and compensation model. It looks into how and why some people age “successfully,” and why other don’t. This concept of ‘successful aging’ is relevant at the current time, and it is easier to achieve than in previous times, as healthcare has improved and there are effective treatments for ailments that there weren’t treatments for years past (Baltes et. al., 2005; Heckhausen et. al., 1989).Baltes’ theory argues that human lifespan development is affected by seven key features (Baltes et. al., 2005; Baltes, 1987): (1) Development occurs across one’s entire life – one does not finish developing in adulthood, it continues until one dies. Therefore, there are still changes occurring in one’s life even through adulthood.(2) Multidirectionality and multidimensionality – Multidimensionality refers to a complex interplay, Baltes is referring to the fact that a complex relationship of factorsinfluence lifespan development, some with more influence than others. Multidirectionality is used to explain that development doesn’t occur in a strict linear manner, but changes throughout the course of one’s life, making it multidirectional in nature. An example of this concept can be seen in the development of an individual between childhood and adolescence, as they more into puberty (Gestsdottir & Lerner, 2008).(3) Development involves both gains and losses – This explains that throughout one’s life, there will not be a linear relationship in the way one develops, but rather an up and down changing relationship that will include times of gain and times of losses, and these vary from person to person. An example of this is the self-regulation that an

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