13 - physical and cognitive development in early adulthood

13 - physical and cognitive development in early adulthood...

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A Gradual Transition: Emerging Adulthood 20:19 Emerging adulthood: Most people have left adolescence but are still some  distance from taking on adult responsibilities  They explore alternatives more intensely than they did as teenagers Emerging adulthood prolongs identity development 18- to 25-year-olds can engage in activities of the widest scope Routes to adult responsibilities are highly diverse Entry-level positions in many fields require more education than in the past  Nations with abundant wealth and longer-live populations have no pressing  need for young people’s labor  Most young people have access to this time to extend their competencies and  make personally meaningful commitments  Emerging adulthood is limited or nonexistent for many low-SES young people 
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Physical Development 20:19 Biological aging/senescence: Genetically influenced declines in the functioning of  organs and systems that are universal in all members of our species  The physical changes of the adult years are multidimensional and  multidirectional  Biological Aging Is Under Way in Early Adulthood Biological aging is the combined result of many causes o “Wear-and-tear” theory: The body wears out from use  Aging at the Level of DNA and Body Cells o Genetically programmed aging receives some support from kinship  studies  People whose parents had long lives tend to live longer themselves  Greater similarity exists in the lifespan of identical than fraternal twins  o The existence of “aging genes” that control certain biological changes o A “random events” theory says DNA in body cells is gradually damaged  through spontaneous or externally caused mutations  o Free radicals: Naturally occurring, highly reactive chemicals that form in  the presence of oxygen Aging at the Level of Organs and Tissues o Cross-linkage theory of aging: Over time, protein fibers that make up the  body’s connective tissue form bonds with one another Tissue becomes less elastic, leading to many negative outcomes  o Gradual failure of the endocrine system is another route to aging o Declines in immune system functioning contribute to many conditions of  aging Physical Changes Cardiovascular and Respiratory Systems o Hypertension: High blood pressure Occurs 12% more in the U.S. black than in the U.S. white population 
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Physical Development 20:19 o The heart’s ability to meet the body’s oxygen requirements under typical  conditions does not change during adulthood o Atherosclerosis: Heavy deposits of plaque containing cholesterol and fats  collect on the walls of the main arteries 
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This note was uploaded on 11/16/2010 for the course EDHD 320 taught by Professor Parkinson during the Fall '08 term at Maryland.

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13 - physical and cognitive development in early adulthood...

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