My Lifespan!

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My Lifespan! by Mind Map: My Lifespan!

1. Infancy and Toddlerhood!

1.1. Physical Development: The average newborn weighs about 7 pounds and is about 20 inches long. An infant will gain 50% of their weight from birth to age one and 75% by age two. The infant will put on "baby fat" until nine months of age and then begin to slim down. At about two months of age, infants are able to start lifting their head up on their own. A young infant when laid on his/her stomach will wiggle their appendages and try to lift their head. By 8 to 10 months of age typically occurs and at around 9 months, an infant can walk by holding onto furniture. Typically children are able to walk on their own by their first year. At age 8 months, infants are able to use a pincer grasp, where their thumb and index finger form a circle, to be able to grab things. When they turn 2 years old, toddlers are able to hold a cup and drink from it without spilling. At first, a baby's vision matches up to that of an adult's uncorrected vision but by 6 months of age, the average infant now has 20/20 vision. Around 6 to 14 months a baby develops depth perception. Infants are able to hear from birth and are really sensitive to very high and very low frequency sounds. They do have a harder time trying to figure out which direction a sound is coming from. A baby's sense of smell is so well developed that they can sometimes identify their mother by their smell alone. Infants also have a strong sweet tooth and become upset when they taste something bitter. This could be a survival technique as breastmilk is sweet and babies need to eat a lot in order to grow. Babies are extremely sensitive to touch which helps them learn and explore their world.

1.2. Cognitive Development: According to Piaget, the cognitive development of infants and toddlers starts at the sensorimotor stage. This stage begins at birth and ends around 2 years of age. Piaget said that there are six substages involved in this development. In the first month of it's life, an infant focuses completely on it's reflexes. For example, a baby will try to suck on anything near it's mouth because of their reflexes. In the second stage, they will start to put together individual actions into multiple actions. With the third stage, an infant will start interacting with the outside world and in the fourth stage, they develop object permanence or the realization that objects still exist even when you can't see them. In the fifth stage, toddlers start making intentional actions to achieve something they want. For example, if you give a toddler a toy to play with in their high chair, they will repeatedly drop the toy and see where it falls. By the sixth and final stage, Piaget believes toddlers have gained the ability of mental representation or symbolic thought. At this stage, a 2 year old should be able to roll a ball under a table and run to the other side to catch it because they understand where it's going to come out. At about 2 months of age, an infant will start making cooing sounds which is just a mix of "oohs" and "ahhhs"; at around six months of age, babies will start using consonant sounds such as "ba", "da", and "na", often referred to as babbling. An infant/toddler will typically say their first words around 9 to 14 months of age and they are often classified as holophrases or one-word utterances that stand for a whole phrase and the meaning depends on the context in which is was used. Generally around 8 to 12 months after an infant/toddler says their first words, they will utter their first sentences. Toddlers tend to use telegraphic speech meaning they leave out words that aren't critical for what they're trying to say. For example, if the toddler wants to be picked up, they would say, "Mom, up" instead of "Mom, pick me up."

1.2.1. My Personal Information: I weighed 7lbs 15oz and was 19 and a half inches long at birth. I drank from a bottle and started eating solid food at about 6 months old. I did not sleep very well and I always wanted to be held. I said my first word at 6 months old and was fully talking by 1 year of age. I never crawled, mainly pulled myself around with furniture and I start walking around 11 to 12 months of age. I was a very difficult baby who talked to everyone and only dealt with a bit of separation anxiety.

1.3. Social/Emotional Development: Infants will show signs of happiness and smiles at birth. At 6 to 10 weeks, the infant will start displaying the social smile and at 3 to 4 months, the baby will start laughing. An infant will also show signs of general distress from birth and then will start displaying signs of anger from 4 to 6 months of age. Toddlers will develop their first fears around the second half of their first year of life and at 8 to 12 months they will start to show signs of stranger anxiety. Around 4 to 5 months, infants can start to recognize other people's facial expressions. At about 8 to 10 months, babies will start to use social referencing where they rely on other's emotion reactions to appraise situations. As infants start to approach one year of age, they start to be able to adjust their own state of emotional arousal to a comfortable level; this is known as emotional self-regulation. How well a child succeeds at emotional self-regulation can depend on their temperament. Temperament is a pattern of arousal and emotionality that are consistent and enduring throughout a person's life. An infant can be put into four different structures of temperament, easy, difficult, slow-to-warm and unclassified. 40% of children are classified as easy, 10% are difficult, 15% are slow-to-warm and 35% are unclassified. Every infant will develop an attachment or a positive emotional bond that develops between them and a special individual. Traditionally this special individual is the mom but a child can develop an attachment to their dad, grandma, grandpa, ect. Attachment is measured using the Ainsworth Strange Situation. In this experiment, a mother and her baby enter a strange room and the mom sits down, letting her baby explore the room. An unknown adult enters the room, talks with the mom and the infant then the mom leaves the room with the baby and stranger still there. The mother then returns, greeting and comforting the infant and the stranger leaves. The mom leaves the room again, leaving the baby by itself. The stranger returns and the mom returns and then the stranger leaves. Through this experiment, an infant can display four different types of attachment to their mother. If the infant readily explores the environment, occasionally returning to her and immediately run over to her when she returns, that child is displaying a secure attachment to their mother. When an infant explores the environment, don't return to her and don't seek contact when she returns, the child is showing an avoidant attachment pattern. If a child doesn't leave their mom to explore, is extremely upset when she leaves and want to be close to her when she returns but they push her away at the same time, they are displaying an anxious-ambivalent attachment pattern. The fourth attachment style is disorganized-disoriented where the child shows inconsistent, confused behavior.

2. Preschool Years!

2.1. Physical Development: As a child reaches age 3, their body growth begins to slow and becomes more streamlined. Their skeletal growth advances, creating new growth centers in the bones and the child begins to lose baby teeth. Brain growth continues and their hemispheres lateralize. Between ages 2 and 3, children begin to walk more smoothly and by age 3, toddlers are able to run, jump, hop on one foot and skip. When the kids are ages 4 and 5, they begin to have better control of their muscles and are able to throw balls that their friends can catch. This is where differences in girls and boys begin to be seen. Boys have better muscle development so they can throw better or jump higher whereas girls are better at doing things that involve limb coordination like balancing on one foot. As for fine motor skills, at age 3, children are able to draw shapes with crayons, can remove their own clothes when using the bathroom and can fit blocks into matching holes. Their drawing skills improve at 4 where they can draw people who look like people and by age 5, they hold and use a thin pencil properly. The preschool years mark the time when most children become potty-trained. A child can be ready to potty-train when stay dry for at least 2 hours during the day, wake up dry from naps, have regular bowl movement, can express a need to go with facial expressions or words and can make it to the bathroom. Most potty-training occurs between 18 and 24 months but some might not be ready until 30 months of age.

2.2. Cognitive Development: In the Preschool Years, children begin to start going through Piaget's Preoperation stage. This stage begins at age 2 and generally ends around age 7. As the child phases out of the Sensorimotor stage and into the Preoperational one, they continue to develop gains in mental representation; they become better at make-believe play and begin to be able to use a mental symbol, word or object to represent something that is not physically present, otherwise known as symbolic thought. But, these preschoolers still have limitations in their thinking. They have problems with egocentrism where they fail to understand others' perspectives. For example, if you put a kid in front of a diorama and ask them to describe what they see, they'll do that no problem but if you ask them to describe what you see, they'll just describe what they see again because they are unable to imagine your perspective or what you're seeing. They also have problems with centration or the process of concentration on one specific aspect of a stimulus and ignoring all other aspects. Preschoolers have a hard time understanding the concept of conservation or the knowledge that the amount of something doesn't change even if you change the way it looks. So, if you were to pour juice into two fat cups and asked the child which cup had more juice or were they the same, the child would be able to tell you they were the same. If you took one of the fat glasses, poured that juice into a taller glass and asked them the same question, they would tell you that the taller glass had more juice than the shorter one. At about age 4 through 7, children's curiosity peaks as they start to develop intuitive thought and they begin to ask the question "Why?" about pretty much anything. As a child turns 3 and begins to enter into the Preschool Years, their language abilities begin to develop rapidly. At this age, their syntax, or the number of ways they combine words and phrases to make sentences, reaches into the thousands! By the age of 6, the average child has a vocabulary of about 14,000 words; these children accomplish this by using fast-mapping where new words are associated with their meaning after only a brief encounter. Preschoolers also begin to learn about grammar or the rules that determine how our thoughts can be expressed. Children at this age start learning about pragmatics or the ability to communicate effectively and appropriately with others. With pragmatics, they are understanding the basics of conversation such as turn taking, sticking to a topic, "thank you" and what should and shouldn't be said. With this ability developed, they are able to start using social speech or speech that is directed to another person and meanted to be understood.

2.2.1. My Personal Information: I was potty-trained at age 3 and my parents didn't really have a hard time with it. I started to eat more as I got older. I got sick all the time, I had a lot of ear infections. I started playing teeball and bowling at age 5. I enjoyed coloring and doing art. I wasn't very aggressive at this age and I participated in a lot of make-believe play.

2.3. Social/Emotional Development: According to Erikson, the conflict that children in the preschool years go through is called initiative-versus-guilt. In this stage kids want to start doing things on their own like dressing or feeding themselves. If the parents let them start doing these things, the preschooler will start to develop a sense of autonomy, if the parent doesn't, the child will develop a sense of guilt from not being able to succeed at the task they're trying to do. In these years, children begin to develop their self of self or self-concept. Kids can start seeing differences in skin color, gender and are able to self-identify with where they belong. Along with a sense of self, preschoolers start to acquire a very important concept called theory of mind. With the development of theory of mind comes the ability to understand the motives and reasons behind other people's behaviors. They are able to understand why someone is upset even if they weren't there to see what made that person upset. But preschoolers have limits in their theory of mind; they have a hard time understanding the idea of "beliefs". Theory of mind also helps children with the development of friendships. In the Preschool Years, friendships are based on superficial things such as "someone who likes you" and plays/shares toys with them. Friendships at this age tend to change frequently and they provide social support for the child. Friends are also more reinforcing and emotionally expressive than non-friends which can help children through problems they are having. Also, how easily a child can acquire friends can be a predictor as to how well they'll be able to achieve things as they get older.

3. Middle Childhood!

3.1. Physical Development: In Middle Childhood, kids follow a slow, regular pattern of growth. They usually grow about 2 to 3 inches and gain about 5 to 7 pounds a year. Their bones lengthen and their muscles become very flexible. All of the child's permanent teeth also arrive. Girls tend to be smaller and lighter than boys until about age 9. One really important improvement in gross motor skills is in muscle coordination. Most kids in Middle Childhood can learn how to ride a bike, swim and skip rope. As it turns out, there aren't many differences in gross motor skills between boys and girls; this was found by studying the different genders who regularly took part in the same activities. The American Academy of Pediatrics actually suggests that males and females should play in the same sports and games until puberty when the smaller size of females could get them hurt. As for fine motor skills, 6 to 7 years old can tie shoes, fasten buttons and by ages 11 to 12, they are able to manipulate objects to almost the same capacity they could do as adults.

3.2. Cognitive Development: According to Piaget, kids in Middle Childhood begin to enter the Concrete Operation stage of development, starting at age 7 and ending at about age 12. During this stage children are able to apply logical operations to understand and figure out things like conservation problems. Kids in the concrete operational stage can understand that the amount of liquid in the glass stays the same even if you pour it from a short glass to a tall glass by using cognitive and logical processes. Children in this stage of development also begin to decenter. They can start to consider multiple aspects of a situation as they are becoming less egocentric. When it comes to language, vocabulary continues to increase; a typical 6 year old has a vocabulary of anywhere from 8,000 to 14,000 words and another 5,000 words will be acquired between ages 9 to 11. Kids in Middle Childhood also begin to use the passive voice and conditional sentences more frequently. These children in elementary school still have some problems with language. They have problems with certain phonemes such as j, v, th and zh. They also have difficulty figuring out sentences when the meaning depends on the tone of voice or intonation. A huge achievement in cognitive development begins to become more skilled in Middle Childhood, reading. Children follow 5 stages in order to learn how to read. Stage 0, which occurs from birth to first grade, involves kids learning the prerequisites for reading such as letter identification and recognition of familiar words. Stage 1 occurs during first and second grade and involves phonological recording skills. Children in these grades can sound out words by putting letters together. Stage 2, occurring around second and third grade, is where kids begin to read aloud with fluency. Stage 3 goes from fourth to eighth grade and involves children reading to learn about the world. In stage 4, youngsters are finally able to read and understand information that reflects multiple points of view.

3.2.1. My Personal Information: I was reading chapter books by kindergarten. I was extremely smart and I was tested to be put into Talented and Gifted (TAG) every year; I passed the tests but apparently wasn't working up to my full potential. I was usually the tallest kid in my class, I was always in the 98-99th percentile. I had difficulties with tying my shoes, using zippers and fastening buttons. I became a latch-key kid in 4th grade. I had a really easy time making friends, I hung out with people in and out of school.

3.3. Social/Emotional Development: The conflict that children in Middle Childhood go through, according to Erikson is industry-versus-inferiority. Kids enter elementary school and begin to try to master a ton of different things. If youngsters feel a sense of success in trying to master things, they develop a growing sense of confidence and continue their mastery of skills. If they don't feel that sense of success however, kids can start to develop feelings of failure and inadequacy. Children continue to have changes in their self-concept in Middle Childhood. Kids begin to view themselves less in physical, external descriptors and more in psychological traits. Youngsters also start to identify their strengths and weaknesses as they get older. Self-esteem become increasingly important in Middle Childhood. As kids begin to compare themselves more and more to their peers, they also start to develop their own internal state of success. Self-esteem tends to be high during Middle Childhood but starts to decline around 12 due to the transfer of schools. Children's ideas of friendship go through big changes and then to follow a 3 staged system. The first stage, which occurs between ages 4 to 7, sees kids basing friendships on others' behaviors. Kids say other kids are their friends because they let them play games with them or they give them food. From ages 8 to 10, they go through the second stage where they base friendships on mutual trust. They see friends as people who will help you when you need it. At this stage they also take violations of trust very seriously and in order to mend it, friends must apologize. In the last stage, from ages 11 to 15, children begin to base friendships on psychological closeness. At these ages, kids begin to share personal thoughts and feelings with their friends; friendships also start become kind of exclusive. Children will also start figure out exactly what behaviors they like or dislike in friends so they can enjoy themselves and avoid disagreements and aggression.

4. Adolescence!

4.1. Physical Development: Adolescence marks the time when everyone starts going through puberty. Puberty is that period in life when sex hormones start to mature. This begins when the pituitary gland begins to release sex hormones, estrogen in girls and androgens in boys at adult levels. Traditionally puberty begins earlier in girls from ages 11 to 12 and ages 13 to 14 for boys. When a girl hits puberty, the most obvious sign is the menarche or the onset of menstruation. Puberty also involves development of primary and secondary sex characteristics. In girls, changes in the primary sex characteristics involves changes in the vagina and uterus. With secondary sex characteristics, females usually start growing breasts around age 10, pubic hair shows up about age 11 and underarm hair appears about 2 years later. In boys, the growth of the penis and scrotum speeds up about age 12 and reaches adult size about 3 to 4 years later. They then develop the prostate gland and the seminal vesicles. The boys first ejaculation, otherwise known as the spermarche typically occurs around age 13. When it comes to secondary sex characteristics, pubic hair usually appears around age 2, then followed by underarm and facial hair. A boy's voice will also deepen as their vocal cords lengthen and the larynx grows larger.

4.2. Cognitive Development: In Adolescence, Piaget believes that teenagers begin to enter the Formal Operational stage of cognitive development around age 12. The formal operational stage marks the time when people begin to think abstractly. Adolescence can now start to understand things by conducting experiments and measuring hypothesis using abstract thinking. Within this stage adolescents can start using propositional thought or reasoning that uses abstract logic in the absence of concrete examples. Piaget also believed that it wasn't until around age 15 that adolescence fully get into the formal operational stage. Evidence actually shows that while people can master these skills as they age, some people never fully reach this stage or are able to use these skills. Adolescence begin to return to egocentric thinking where they only view the world from their point of view and because they are so self-absorbed, they can start to develop what is known as the imaginary audience or a belief that their behavior is the primary focus of other's attention and concern. For example, if the teenager has a pimple on their face, they will be extremely embarrassed and fearful to enter their class because they think everyone else can see and is concerned about their pimple when in actuality, they really aren't. Also, feelings of being one-of-a-kind evolve from being self-absorbed and teenagers can develop what is known as a personal fable. If an adolescent has developed a personal fable, they will believe that they are unique, invincible and that no one has ever felt what they've felt or gone through what they've gone through. This personal fable can lead to risk taking behaviors such as unprotected sex or speeding down a highway because they believe that nothing bad could ever happen to them.

4.2.1. My Personal Information: I hit puberty at age 11. I had my first menstruation at this age as well. I ended up having a huge growth spurt and I still tended to be taller than a lot of my classmates. I still continued to be extremely smart, I took part in a lot of honor's classes and excelled programs. I maintained good grades throughout middle and high school. I was diagnosed with ADHD, depression and PTSD at 15 although I believe the ADHD could have been diagnosed in middle childhood. These diagnoses took a huge blow to my self-esteem. I had three best friends that I hung out with all the time but when they started getting into bad things, I stopped talking to them. I started having a bit harder time making friends in high school but I had a group of people in my band class that I hung out with all the time. I continued participating in bowling and had a lot of close friends on those teams. I had my first boyfriend in 6th grade and dated lots of boys until I hit high school and started havingmore serious relationships.

4.3. Social/Emotional Development: Self-concept continues to change and advance in Adolescence. Teenagers can now separate the way they classify themselves as oppose to the way others do. An adolescent will also start to describe themselves in terms of their ideology with things like, "I am a democrat" or "I am Jewish". When it comes to self-esteem, teenagers traditionally have high self-esteem when it comes to academics and low self-esteem when it comes to relationships but the opposite can also be true. The biggest battle that teenagers face in Adolescence is the formation of identity. According to Erikson, the conflict that adolescents must face is identity-versus-identity-confusion. Teenagers to "try on" different roles or ideas in order to figure out who they are. This can involve changing how they dress, jumping into different social groups and exploring social causes. If an adolescent forms an appropriate identity, it will put them on a path to become a successful adults because they are confident and know who they are. If they don't form an appropriate identity can go down paths that aren't exactly healthy for them. They could accept an identity that they don't want or they could "diffuse" and just not choose an identity all together. Groups start becoming more important in adolescent peer relations. Teenagers form two different types of groups: cliques and crowds. Cliques involve people who frequently interact with each other and can hold from 2 to 12 people. Crowds are larger groups of teens who share certain characteristics but don't always interact. Some examples of crowds are jocks, nerds, preppies and burnouts. Cliques and crowds are important to adolescents because they can help them with identity formation and with dating. Dating becomes extremely important in Adolescence. In early and middle adolescence, dating is based superficial activity and rarely involves the development of intimacy due to the teenagers not exposing themselves emotionally. Intimacy becomes more common during late adolescence as they begin to let their walls down and start taking dating more seriously. Dating in Adolescence is important because it gives people experiences and scripts to follow in order to find a mate when they enter adulthood. Dating can also help teenagers in developing a sense of identity because it helps them see themselves in ways that they normally wouldn't alone.

5. Early Adulthood!

5.1. Physical Development: Physical development and maturation are mostly completed in Early Adulthood. People at this age are health and energetic but senescence or the natural decline brought about by aging is starting to occur. Even though this process is starting, age-related changes are not typically obvious until the later years of life. The brain reaches it's maximum size and weight during Early Adulthood. It continues to go through changes such as pruning of gray matter and an increase in myelination in order to help continuing cognitive advancements. Stress starts to become a big part in the life of a young adult. The reasons why there are jumps in stress at this age are because of college, trying to find a job, trying to find a significant other and any number of things. Little amounts of stress are okay but when someone is constantly dealing with stress over long periods of time, they can start having problems. Stress can take a toll on the body causing headaches, backaches, stomachaches and the common cold. Stress can also damage the immune system, leaving the sufferer more succeptible to illness. Psychosomatic illnesses which are manifestations of psychological signs/symptoms as physical symptoms/illnesses can be caused by stress as well. There are many ways young adults can deal with stress. One way is problem-focused coping where people directly deal with a problem to make it less stressful. For example, if a 12 page paper is becoming extremely stressful, a person could separate it into parts, therefore making it less stressful. Another way someone can deal with stress is through emotion-focused coping such as looking at the bright side of things.

5.2. Cognitive Development: According to Gisela Labouvie-Vief, young adults need more that just formal operations and abstract thoughts to get through life. She believes that they develop Postformal thought in order to be able to deal with ambiguous situations. In this stage, young adults learn to use analogies and metaphors in order to become more comfortable with the grayness and ambiguousness that is the world. Postformal thought also involves dialectical thinking or an interest in and appreciation of arguments, counterarguments and debates. Postformal thought is all about looking a situation every which way someone can, taking in consideration their beliefs and realizing that things aren't always black and white and that someone might have to argue to get the answer they want.

5.2.1. My Personal Information: I entered college after graduation and that was a huge, drastic change for me. I tried to control my mental issues on my own and stopped taking my medications but that didn't work. I had some serious health problems and my grades plummeted. I've done lots of hard work to get them up. I deal with a lot of stress but I have decent coping methods to work through it. I had my most serious relationship to date during this stage in life. We dated for 10 months and talked about moving in together. Even though we broke up, the relationship is still complicated. I have a group of 5 friends whom I am extremely close to and consider all of them my best friends. I also hang out with a bigger group of people at school. I am working to get my degrees so I can help children like me with ADHD, learning disabilities and emotional disturbances become as successful as they can be at school and at life.

5.3. Social/Emotional Development: The conflict that early adults need to go through, according to Erikson, is intimacy-versus-isolation. Erikson's idea of intimacy is made up of a bunch of different ideas which are selflessness, sexuality and devotion. If a young adult is able to feel all these things in a intimate relationship then they have successfully resolved the conflict and achieved a sense of love. If they have trouble feeling or achieving these things then the person is typically lonely, isolated and can be afraid of relationships. Difficulties in achieving intimacy can occur due to problems with friendships and relationships earlier in life and a difficulty in forming an identity in Adolescence. As recently as 2010, psychologists have been presenting a new title for this time of life called Emerging Adulthood. This period of time is classified as an adolescent emerging from high school and going into college where they are still trying to figure out who they are and where they're going in life. Friendships are still important in Early Adulthood because people have a need for belonginess. There are different ways in how people find and become friends. An important way is proximity primarily because it is easier for people to become friends with someone when they are in the same area as they are. Similarity is also important as we like to spend time with people who are similar to us because it's easier to find things to do. People also choose friends based on personal qualities. Everyone has certain qualities that they value more than others and want to see those in their friends. Love becomes extremely important in Early Adulthood as they are trying to find people to marry and have children with. According to Robert Sternberg, love is made up of three components: intimacy, passion and commitment. Any combination of those three components make a unique relationship but the one everyone strives to have is the combination of all three or consummate love. Attachment styles also play a big part in finding love. The secure/avoidant/anxious-ambivalent attachment someone has to their parents or caregivers carries over to the attachment they will form with their significant other. People who have a secure attachment to a lover are comfortable depending on others and having others depend on them. It's easy for them to get close to others and aren't afraid of being abandoned. People with an avoidant attachment have problems trusting others and being close to them while people with an anxious-ambivalent attachment often worry that their lover might leave them and want to "completely merge" with them. Besides finding love, getting married and having children, the other important part in a young adult's social/emotional developent is finding a career. According to Eli Ginzberg, people tend to go through three different stages in choosing a career. The first stage is called the fantasy period and it involves people choosing careers without considering skills or abilities; this stage usually lasts until age 11. The second stage is the tentative period which goes through adolescence and involves teenagers thinking more practically about jobs and choosing them based on their skills and interests. The last stage, which starts in early adulthood, is the realistic period. In this period, young adults are choosing specific jobs based on actual experience or training and then eventually commit to a job. Being successful in forming an identity and being confident in it can be important to the job selection process because if someone really knows who they are and can select a job based on that, it should put them on a continued path of success and happiness.

6. Middle Adulthood!

6.1. Physical Development: In Middle Adulthood, people start to lose a few inches in height, 2 inches in women and one inch in men due to the spinal cord becoming less dense. This change isn't usually seen until the age of 55, As they get older, women have a greater risk of developing Osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become brittle and thin. Men and women can reduce their risk of getting Osteoporosis by increasing their intake of calcium and exercising on a daily basis. People also typically have an increase in body weight as they reach Middle Adulthood. Men tend to put on weight in the upper abdomen and back while women put on weight in their waist and upper arms. Visual acuity begins to decline at this age and nearly everyone starts to suffer from presbyopia or a loss of near vision. Hearing acuity also starts to decline during this time. Most people begin to deal with Presbycusis or the loss of the ability to hear high frequency sounds. Reaction time in Middle Adulthood tends to increase slightly but it's not very noticeable. Around age 45, women enter into a period of time called the climacteric with lasts for 15 to 20 years and marks the end of the child bearing years. During this time period, women begin to go through menopause or the stoppage of menstruation. This can begin as early as 40 or as late as 60 years old. Besides the changes in fertility, menopause also causes the production of estrogen and progesterone to drop. These changes in hormones can cause some women to have hot flashes. In general women in menopause can suffer from headaches, dizziness, heart palpitations and achy joints. Men do experience their own sort of male climacteric but it's hard to pinpoint exactly when it occurs because even though sperm count and the production of testosterone decreases, a man can still father children. One change that does regularly happen during the male climacteric is that the prostate grows in size. Men can also start having problems with erectile dysfunction due to age and changes in testosterone.

6.2. Cognitive Development: As people reach Middle Adulthood, everyone wants to know whether intelligence declines. While looking into this, researchers have found that there are two different kinds of intelligence, fluid and crystallized intelligence. Fluid intelligence involves information, processing capabilities, reasoning and memory. Crystallized intelligence is the accumulation of information, skills and strategies that people have learned through experience and use to solve problems. In Middle Adulthood, researchers found that as the effects of fluid intelligence decrease, the effects crystallized intelligence increases. During this stage of the lifespan, adults tend to focus on selective optimization or the process of concentrating on particular skills in order to make up for losses in certain areas. This practice also leads to older people developing expertise in certain areas. This allows them to process information automatically but they often have trouble expressing their conclusions. Sensory and short-term memory stay completely intact during Middle Adulthood but long-term memory can decline for some people because they are registering and storing information less efficiently. People at this age can also have a harder time retrieving information as well.

6.2.1. My Personal Information: In middle adulthood, I would like to be married to the love of my life and have four children, a boy, a girl and twin boys. I want my romantic life to be relatively drama free. I know there is a high probability that my children will be diagnosed with ADHD and if that happens, I know I'll be ready to deal with it and help my children succeed in life. I want to continue enjoying my job of working with children with ADHD, learning disabilities and emotional disturbances. I know I will enjoy seeing children succeed, helping them with their self-esteem and helping parents cope and know it's not their fault. I want my children to be happy and have a relatively easy life. I hope to not have very many money problems. I would also like to live around and continue to be friends with my close group of 5.

6.3. Social/Emotional Development: According to Erikson, the crisis that people in Middle Adulthood must go through is generativity-versus-stagnation. During this crisis, adults realize that they want to leave something behind to help future generations. People can achieve genrativity by helping raise successful children being creative. If a person doesn't want to help people in the future and leave something behind, they can fall into stagnation where they're completely focused on their own activities. People also tend to reflect on their life choices which could lead to a midlife crisis. This crisis can come about by regrets a person has about things they haven't or wish they could have done and also when realizing the idea that life will end at some point. Marriage tends to become more satisfactory in Middle Adulthood due to children leaving the house. This shake up can also lead to partners divorcing as they had grown apart while the children were growing and now that they're gone, there's nothing keeping them there. Most divorcees will get remarried at some point but research shows that a lot of those relationships will end in divorce as well. Parents who children leave the house might deal with empty nest syndrome. This syndrome covers the unhappiness, worry, loneliness and depression that some parents can feel when their children are gone. As their kids graduate from college, parents might have to take their children back into the house. These young adults are known as boomerang children and the usual reason why they have to move back in with their parents is due to money issues.

7. Late Adulthood!

7.1. Physical Development: As people reach Late Adulthood, they start dealing with two different types of aging. Primary aging deals with the aging that occurs due to genetics while secondary aging involves aging that occurs due to illness and other individual differences. Outer signs of aging are grey or white hair that's thinning out and wrinkling skin due to lose of elasticity. On the inside, the brain shrinks down and becomes lighter. It starts to use less oxygen and blow flow is reduced due to the heart beginning to have a harder time pumping blood. The efficiency of the respiration and digestive system also declines with age. Reaction time continues to slow with age and researchers have come up with two different theories for this. The first is the peripheral slowing hypothesis which says reaction time slows because of the decline in the processing speed of the peripheral nervous system. Basically, it just takes longer for information from the environment to reach the brain. The second is the generalized slowing hypothesis which simply states that processing in all parts of the nervous system slows with age. Vision, hearing and sense of smell/taste also continue to decline as people age. Unfortunately as people reach Late Adulthood, the inevitability of death starts to hang closer to them. Researchers have come up with two different theories as to why people age and die. The first are the genetic programming theories of aging which say that our body's DNA has a built-in time limit for reproduction of cells and when humans hit that, cells stop reproducing and the body deteriorates. The second are the wear-and-tear theories of aging which simply says that the mechanical functions of the body wear out. Life expectancy has increased from 35 in 1776 to 75 to 78 today and by 2050, the life expectancy will reach 80!

7.2. Cognitive Development: When it comes to declines in intelligence during Late Adulthood, researchers have found that there is no uniform pattern of age-related intelligence changes. An example of this is that while fluid intelligence starts to decline in Middle Adulthood, crystallized intelligence tends to stay the same or sometimes can increase. They've also found that while there can be cognitive declines in abilities by age 67, they are minimal until about the 80s. There are also important individual, environmental and cultural factors that can influence the decline in intelligence. As people get older, they can start to see problems with their episodic memories such as the memory of the first time you visited a certain countries but semantic memories which is general knowledge and facts and implicit memories or memories of which you are not consciously aware of are usually not affected by age. Declines in short-term memory become more apparent around age 70. Older people have more problems with information that is presented quickly and orally; they also find they have a harder time recalling unfamiliar information and things. Elderly people can also have problems remembering autobiographical memories as well. Information processing deficits, environmental and biological factors can all be used to explain the memory changes that occur at this age.

7.2.1. My Personal Information: I would like to be a healthy individual as I age. I want to be able to continue doing all the activities I love to do. I want to see my children get married and have children of their own. I know I will be an extremely involved grandma and I will spoil my grandchildren. When my husband and I retire, I would like to travel with him and visit all the places we haven't been able to go. I will probably volunteer as I age to continue to give back to the community. I would still like to be close to my group of friends and spend time with them. I would also like to be able to slowly accept death and work through my anxieties. I want to become at peace with my life and have little to no regrets when I look back.

7.3. Social/Emotional Development: According to Erikson, conflict that people in Late Adulthood must go through is ego-integrity-versus-despair. People at this stage begin to look back over their life, evaluate and accept it. If people feel like they've done everything in their lives that they've wanted to do, are satisfied and have few regrets successfully resolve this conflict and gain a sense of integrity. If people feel dissatisfaction and look back on their lives with lots of regrets they can be depressed or angry. Robert Peck believed that the elderly person's personality development is made up of three stages in Late Adulthood. The first stage is the redefinition of self versus preoccupation with work role; this states that as an older person retires and leaves their job, they must figure out who they are in ways that do not involve the work force. The second stage, body transcendence versus body preoccupation says that older people must accept and learn to deal with their aging bodies which may involve giving up activities that you can't do anymore even though you still love them. The last stage, ego transcendence versus ego preoccupation, basically states that elderly people must come to terms with the fact that they're going to pass on soon. There are many different theories behind successful aging. Disengagement theory is the period time where older people begin to withdraw from society on physical, psychological and social levels. This can lead to successful aging because they are withdrawing at their own speed, when they feel like they don't have enough energy to physically do things or would just rather be by themselves, they're not pushing themselves. The activity theory states that if people in late adulthood continue to pursue the same interests, activities and social interactions in middle adulthood it can lead to successful aging and the continuity theory says that people just need to maintain their desired level of involvement in society in order to successfully age. People in late adulthood live in a variety of different places. If elderly people are healthy enough, they can live in their own home alone or with their spouse. If they need extra help, they can move into their children's house. If they need extra help that their children can give them, some older people will have to move into nursing homes. Some people do not adjust to the idea of being put into a nursing home as well as other and can develop institutionalism or a psychological state where people develop apathy, indifference and stop caring about themselves. At this stage in life, elderly people, in dealing with physical deterioration, have to start retiring from their work. When people first retire, they start by participating in all the activities they've always wanted to do. After awhile they might start to feel disappointed by retirement and start participating in more rewarding activities. Eventually, people accept the fact that they have to retire and feel satisfied about it. Marriage satisfaction reaches its peak in late adulthood, this is because elderly people have less stressful responsibilities to deal with, they work on things in the house together and they both have a great emotional understanding of each other. Unfortunately, people might lose their spouse at this age and become a widow. Adjusting to widowhood involves a three stage process. Stage one, preparation, simply involves becoming prepared for the loss. Stage two is grief and mourning which involves the widow crying and grieving over their loss. The last stage is adaptation where the widow begins to start a new life. Friendships can help widows get through the grieving process but they can cause grief of their own when they themselves pass away. Children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are important people in the lives of the elderly because they can help them stay active physically, cognitively and emotionally.

8. Death and Dying!

8.1. Death and Dying Across the Lifespan: There are two different medical definitions of death. Functional death involves an absence of heartbeat and breathing. Brain death is a diagnosis of death based on the stoppage of brain activity. Death is perceived very differently across the lifespan. Death in infancy and toddlerhood is extremely hard to deal with. When a couple deal with a miscarriage, they can feel an extreme sense of grief and sadness as they had already made a psychological bond with their baby and they never got to meet it. When a couple has to deal with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, they can feel that same sense of extreme grief and lose but they also feel a sense of guilt even though it wasn't their fault. Children don't begin to develop a concept of death until about age 5. Some preschoolers see death as a sleep people can wake up from. Both preschoolers and children can believe that people can come back from death if they try hard enough. While adolescents understand the finality and irreversabilty of death, due to their personal fable, they believe death can't happen to them. If a teenage has to deal with a terminal illness can feel very angry and cheated while some can react with total denial. When a young adult has to face death, they become focused on the desire to have intimate relationships which can be hard to achieve due to a terminal illness. They also become focused on future planning. If they have to die, they want to make sure everyone and everything in their life is taken care of. The shock of a terminal illness in middle adulthood is not as great as it was in the past because they are aware that they will die someday. Fears of death are there greatest during middle adulthood and even though they have a realistic approach about death, it doesn't really help. People in late adulthood are less anxious about death because it's coming closer but they still don't welcome it. Some people suffer from rapid declines in cognitive functioning, usually called the terminal decline, as death approaches. Most elderly people want to know if death is impending when it comes to illnesses as such, they want to know the details. There are certain strategies people can use to educate people about death although this kind of education is not common in Western societies. People can use crisis intervention education to help younger people deal with death during serious situations such as 9/11 or when a classmate is killed or commits suicide. Routine death education involves teaching people about death in schools using coursework or classes. People also use death education to help educate people in the helping professions because they will have to deal with grief, death and dying on a regular basis.

8.2. Confronting Death: Elizabeth Kubler-Ross came up with a theory involving five steps people go though as they move closer to death. The first step is denial in which they will deny that they are dying and arguing that their test results are wrong. Step two is anger where they can express anger towards everyone. That can sometimes question why they are the one's dying and not someone else. The third step bargaining in which they will try to barter their way out of death. They will promise God that they will stop doing bad things if He promises to save them. They might also promise that if they can live long enough to see a certain event, they will accept death but these promises are not usually kept. Step four is depression where they've realized they can't negotiate out of death and feel a deep sense of lose. The final step is acceptance. These people have fully accepted that death is coming very soon and have made peace with themselves. There are many ways people exercise control over the way they go. If a person is dying in a hospital setting, they can request DNR or do not resuscitate, meaning if they go into something like respiratory or cardiac arrest, they don't want to be revived and just want to die. Some people sign living wills detailing medical procedures they do or do not want to happen to them if they are not able to tell doctors themselves. Other people who are terminally ill choose assisted suicide which involves a doctor giving a patient medicine that will kill them without pain. While this is controversial, people choose this path because they are in pain and don't want to suffer anymore. When people are terminally ill, there are a couple places where they can go to die besides a hospital. They can stay in their home and have family and visiting medical staff take care of them. Many people prefer this care because it makes them comfortable to be in their house and cared for by loved ones. Dying people can also go into hospice care to be taken care of. Hospices focus on end of life care, making people feel comfortable as they die as oppose to trying to treat and cure them.

8.2.1. My Personal Information: I will die at the age of 100. I would like to not be scared of death when I die. I would like to go peacefully, without pain and be surrounded by my family and friends. If I can't go out that way then I'd like to die in a big fashion like being a hero or something. I think I would like to be buried and I want people to give nice emotional and funny speeches at my funeral. I want to be buried with my teddy bear. I want everyone to have a fun party to remember who I was and that if I have to, I might come back to haunt them at some point.

8.3. Grief and Bereavement: There are many cultural differences in funerals and grieving across the world. In Western societies, funerals usually follow a pattern: the body is prepared and dressed in special clothing. There is a eulogy and then the body is buried. In the Hindu culture, everyone is cremated and the loved ones must take a cleansing bath but are still considered polluted. After 13 days, everyone gathered for a big meal for respect of the dead. When it comes to differences in grieving, people in Indonesia show little emotion during funerals because the believe the Gods will only hear their prayers if they're calm. Mourners at African American funerals on the other hand, readily express emotions during funerals. People deal with death through grief and bereavement. Bereavement is the acknowledgement of the fact that one has experienced a death while grief is the emotional response to the loss. There are three stages to grief, the first usually entails shock or denial. In the second stage, people fully experience grief and understand the separation from the dead is permanent. They will feel unhappy and may fall into a depression. They can feel a variety of emotions and sooner or later view their relationship with the deceased realistically and start to loosen some of the bonds that tie them together. Finally, the last stage is accommodation where they pick up their life and start to figure out who they are all over again. Clinicians tend to believe that grieving should be done a year after someone has died but for some people, it can go on longer than that and they can also experience complicated grief. Research has shown that death is seven times higher than normal for someone a year after their spouse has died. Bereavement can cause depression if the person is already anxious and has poor coping mechanisms. It is important for people going through grief and bereavement to have a secure social network in order to help them cope and make sense of death.