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Psychological Issues in Young Adults

1. It is amazing how many people are now overweight and obese in the United States. Statistics today state that 66% of adults are overweight, and 33% of those who are overweight are considered obese. This is a major problem that has many factors. Several of these include: genetics, stress, diet, amount of activity, schedules, composition of food, and income, etcetera. It is a major topic among adults today. Interestingly enough, the media promotes super-skinny women and super-muscular men as the ideal and the majority, despite the reality of our situation. Perhaps the obesity epidemic has a large cause in the representations of ideal body shape in the media, as well? (We are rebelling? Or maybe our self-esteem is so low that we have no faith in ourselves to be healthy?)
Which of these factors, or combination of factors, do you think has the most effect on the United States obesity rate? Why? What type of comprehensive program would you suggest or create (as discussed on page 429) to diminish the population of adults in the United States that are overweight?

2. Marriage is an "institution" created by society that has been around for many years. On page 468, the textbook mentions that "most adults marry and expect ongoing happiness because of it, but some will be disappointed [and] those who never marry can be quite as happy as well." The textbook also mentions that humans seek committed sexual partnerships to help meet their needs.
Do you think that a monogamous committed relationship is needed to reach happiness in life? If marriage is a socially constructed institution who is to say that humans are meant to be in monogamous relationships? Is it possible that are humans naturally have more polygamous tendencies than monogamous tendencies?

3. Many people make jokes about forgetfulness. It is true that our brain along with all other parts of our bodies, slows down as we age. The total size of our brain decreases. Because of these changes, our reactions take longer. We have a hard time with complex memory like repeating a series of 8 numbers. Even little things like multitasking becomes even harder. That is one reason that driving is more difficult for older people. Aging makes it harder to process two things at once. Reaction time and multitasking difficulties are some reasons that older adults become dangerous drivers. It just becomes more difficult as we age. Have you experienced driving behind an older diver and felt frustrated? How do you think they feel? Do think that they fear loss of independence as they get older? How can we foster ways to help people who do not want to lose their independence because of getting older and forgetting things?

4. Edgework is work that is considered to be a risk taking behavior. Emerging adults willing to put their life in the line and run into a burning building. Fearless; getting an adrenaline rush is worth almost dying. You come out of almost getting hit by a car in NYC smiling and laughing, feeling giddy with joy. Emerging adults generally are not married and do not have to care for a child, what do they have to lose? It seems that for most of the activities to be considered "edgework" one must be young and physically fit. Do you think older generations, outside of the 18-25 year old age group, will have to start participating in edgework to find work in this economy?

5. "Many stresses can be stressors for one person but not another. A insult might be quickly forgotten or might linger, a long walk on a cold day might be either an invigorating outing or a brutal stressor." (Berger p 485) This statement defiantly strikes home to me. I have noticed many different things that might make some people mad but have no affect on others. Often what people call pet peeves. The differences between what might make a guy angry and a girl angry for example are amazing. http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/gender-stress.aspx
Discusses differences in stress between men and women as well as how they are handled differently. An example from this site is "Men and women* report different reactions to stress, both physically and mentally. They attempt to manage stress in very different ways and also perceive their ability to do so �" and the things that stand in their way �" in markedly different ways. Findings suggest that while women are more likely to report physical symptoms associated with stress, they are doing a better job connecting with others in their lives and, at times, these connections are important to their stress management strategies. "
What is something that might cause stress to you but might not to someone else? Also why do you think it affects you but might not to others?

6. Do you think the media has an effect on teenagers getting pregnant at a younger age in the US? Do you think the US has a high fertility rate? What would help our teens have sex safe and prevent unwanted pregnancy?

Solution Preview

1. It is amazing how many people are now overweight and obese in the United States. Today, 66% of adults are overweight, and 33% of those who are overweight are considered obese. This is a major problem that has many factors. Several of these include: genetics, stress, diet, amount of activity, schedules, composition of food, and income, etcetera. It is a major topic among adults today. Interestingly enough, the media promotes super-skinny women and super-muscular men as the ideal and the majority, despite the reality of our situation. Perhaps the obesity epidemic has a large cause in the representations of ideal body shape in the media, as well? (We are rebelling? Or maybe our self-esteem is so low that we have no faith in ourselves to be healthy?)

Which of these factors, or combination of factors, do you think has the most effect on the United States obesity rate? Why? What type of comprehensive program would you suggest or create (as discussed on page 429) to diminish the population of adults in the United States that are overweight?

A. Obesity is becoming an epidemic in the United States, especially in children. School lunch programs are supposed to be designed to encourage healthy eating; however, more and more schools are allowing fast food chains to bring in food into the lunch rooms to offer a variety of eating choices. Not all of these choices are healthy. Because so many young people are not encouraged to eat healthy, naturally they would choose the pizza over the meatloaf and broccoli.

I believe that self-esteem does play an important role in how young adults view the ideal body type. A few years ago, the majority of models were super skinny wearing a size 0 and extremely tan. In the magazines, music videos, and the majority of shows on television and movies, these were the majority of the types of women used; however, recently things have changed. There are more and more women with curves being portrayed as beautiful and being tan and thin is not thought of as "healthy" any longer. Hopefully things are changing for the better. I think the same thing is happening for young men. The idea of the perfect man is gradually changing also. This can, in fact, change the idea of the perfect body shape of the future.

I?m not so sure that low self-esteem is so much the problem as the availability of fast food and unhealthy eating habits. With the economy struggling now, there are more people on food assistance programs, which poses new problems for eating healthy. To eat healthy, a person needs to eat fresh fruits and vegetables; however, it is more expensive to buy fresh fruits and vegetables than it is to buy pre-packaged or easy to prepare meals like hamburger helper or canned food (2). In order for a family to make the amount they receive for food assistance last for an entire month, they must use it thriftily, and this, in most cases, means not eating the healthiest way they should.

Recently, some corporations, and companies have begun to offer incentives for their employees getting healthy and in shape. Some are given vacation days and even lower prices on health insurance. The reasoning behind some of this is because when someone is eating healthy foods, they are less likely to get sick; therefore they won't need as many sick days, so they can use them as vacation days. Also if a person is healthier, they are less likely to need extensive medical treatment so their health insurance costs can be lowered. These things can also be used to encourage weight loss and getting healthy. With the new Health Plan that is soon to be in effect, this could also be an incentive for adults to begin eating healthy and in a sense getting healthy. ...

Solution Summary

The expert discusses a variety of possible psychological issues that young adults may exhibit.

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