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Adolescence and Adulthood Cognitive and Physical Developmental Stages

1. What are the major milestones related to the physical development in adolescence? Briefly describe these milestones.

2. What are the major milestones related to the cognitive development in adolescence? Briefly describe these milestones. How does cognition change from late childhood to adolescence?

3. What are the major milestones related to the physical development in early, middle, and late adulthood? Briefly describe these milestones.

4. What are the major milestones related to the cognitive development in early, middle, and late adulthood? Briefly describe these milestones How does cognition change from adolescence to adulthood?

5. What are the major milestones related to the socioemotional development in adolescence? Briefly describe these milestones. How do peer relations change during adolescence? What type of strategies can be used to help adolescents with their problems?

6. What are the major milestones related to the socioemotional development in early, middle, and late adulthood? Briefly describe these milestones. What role does Erikson's Stage of Generativity versus Stagnation play in the socioemotional development of adults?

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1. What are the major milestones related to the physical development in adolescence? Briefly describe these milestones.

The physical changes during adolescence include growth spurts of eight to twelve inches in a period of two or three years, and puberty which heralds acne, voice changes, body hair growth, growth of internal and external reproductive organs (ovaries, breasts, penis, and testes), production of estrogen and progesterone increase, erection and ejaculation for males, and menarche and mature egg release for females (Nevid & Rathus, 2005).

- Puberty: Rapid growth period
- Secondary sexual characteristics appear
- Secondary sexual characteristics advanced
- * 95% of adult height reached (1)
- From 18 to 30.
- Peak of strength, energy, and endurance
- Body functions are fully developed by mid twenties
- Senses are sharpest

2. What are the major milestones related to the cognitive development in adolescence? Briefly describe these milestones. How does cognition change from late childhood to adolescence?

Cognitively, the adolescent is able to participate in abstract thinking, also referred to as the formal operational stage, enabling them to process and group ideas; adolescence also brings egocentrism in the form of imaginary audience (believing everything centers around one's appearance, thoughts, and behaviors) and personal fable (the belief that one is invincible and incapable of experiencing anything harmful) (Nevid & Rathus, 2005).

Cognition move from the childhood concrete thought to abstract thought:

- Growth in abstract thought; reverts to concrete thought under stress
- Cause-effect relationships better understood
- Very self-absorbed (1)

3. What are the major milestones related to the physical development in early, middle, and late adulthood? Briefly describe these milestones.

Early Adulthood - Physical:

- From 18 to 30.
- Peak of strength, energy, and endurance
- Body functions are fully developed by mid twenties
- Senses are sharpest

Middle Adulthood - Physical:

- Many physical changes due to age and/or disease
- Changes in seeing and hearing begin to decline in the middle years.
- Height decreases
- Gaining weight
- Body fat (20 percent or more).
- Decrease in muscle mass
- Also, hair is graying, skin is wrinkling, bodies are sagging, and teeth are yellowing.
- Decreased efficiency of tendons and ligaments.
- Progressive loss of bone.
- Women have twice the rate of bone loss as men.(7)
- Some adults strive to make themselves look younger by having plastic surgery, dying their hair, wearing wigs, joining exercise programs, or taking heavy vitamin doses.
- While the adult years are generally a time of vitality and good health, there are health concerns.
- The main health problems of middle adulthood are cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes
- For women, menopause issues arise
- Stress impacts health. (Middle Adulthood) (6)

- mostly gradual changes
- decreasing height / increasing weight
- after 55, approximately 2 inches lost for men, 1 inch for women
- decreasing bone density (for women, loss is twice as fast)
- decreasing strength
- 10% loss by 60 y
- decreasing vision, light sensitivity
- decreasing hearing (especially high frequencies)
- decreasing kidney function (50% decrease)
- decreasing cardiac output (1/2 of that of 20 year-old) (8)

Late Adulthood - Physical:

a. External
- hair whitens, thins
- skin loses collagen, elasticity
- spinal cartilage thins, leading to a loss of height
(loss of height also due to stooped posture)

b. Internal
brain
- shrinks by at least a third
- some cell loss in the brain
- brain also undergoes decreased supply of blood, oxygen, glucose

motor function
- reaction time increases
- need more time for tasks (dressing, preparing meals, etc.)
- explained by two hypotheses:

1) peripheral slowing hypothesis
- peripheral nervous system processing of info decreases in
efficiency
- flow of information to brain becomes slower
- once the information arrives, the brain processing speed
itself remains ok
- then, information from brain to periphery also becomes
slower
- overall, increased reaction time

2) generalized slowing hypothesis
- whole nervous system begins to function more slowely
- brain doesn't processes information as well as before

sensory function
a) visual abilities decrease
- decreased: visual acuity, light sensitivity. ability to adjust for changes in light levels.
b) hearing loss
- 30% experience some hearing loss by age 65
- 50% by age 75
- greater loss of high frequency sounds
- difficulty hearing conversations when background noise high, etc.
c) taste and smell less sensitive
- decreased number of taste buds, smaller olfactory bulbs
- food now seems less palatable (requires more salt? risk for high blood pressure?)

other
- cardiac output decreases by 25% from peak
- decreased lung capacity ...

Solution Summary

This solution explores aspects of adolescent and adulthood development. This solution is 2800 words with two print and twelve online references.

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