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Adulthood Stages and Development Pattern Essay Sample

In the discipline of psychology and sociology, a lot of researchers spend time exploring the child and adulthood stages and their development pattern.

They study their behaviour and the psychological and physical changes of an adult. This essay will primarily focus upon the stages of adulthood and their physical, cognitive and socio-emotional development and pattern. With time the social and the emotional health of a person also changes drastically.

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The physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of adult changes as the stages of development progress with time. In the childhood stage which is a learning and growing stage, it is also classified into the early childhood, early teenager and late teenager group. Similarly, an adult also faces changes in every growing stage of his life.

Adulthood is characterized by three age groups. First is early adulthood (20-40), middle adulthood (40-65), late adulthood (65+) age group. In each stage of adulthood development, faces a new challenge and experiences of life. Each stage is recognized by the physical and emotional changes that take place in them. The primary ageing is the biological factors, such as cellular or molecular changes in a person while secondary ageing is the external controllable factors, such as lack of physical exercises and poor diet. Both the factors are responsible for speeding up the ageing process amongst the middle and late adulthood people.

Physical Development in Adulthood stages and development pattern 

The various physical changes in the three stages of adulthood stages and development pattern are different from each other. They can be classified in the following ways:-

Early Adulthood (20-40) 

By the time we reach early adulthood, our physical maturity is complete. Height, weight and body mass index may increase with time. Physical strength, bone mass, memory abilities, sensory abilities, reaction time and cardiac functioning are all at their highest peak. Most of the professional athletes are at the top of their game in this stage and women have high reproductive abilities.

The ageing process begins at age 30, may vary from individual. Example – vision stiffening and sensitivity, sound sensitivity decreases, hair loss and greying by age 35. Skin becomes drier and wrinkles start appearing by end of early adulthood. Immunity declines and reproductive ability decreases.

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Middle Adulthood (40-65) 

Around age 60, adults tend to face a decline in their vision, hearing, immune system and reproductive capability of women ends (menopause). Middle-aged adults are at a higher risk than younger adults for certain eye problems such as glaucoma.

Hearing abilities further declines, skin dries out, blood vessels become more apparent as the skin continues to get thinner and drier. Muscle to fat ratio changes in man and woman, as there is an accumulation of fat in the stomach area.

Women experiences decline infertility as the onset of menopause and end of fertility cycle by age 50. Due to shifting hormonal balance, it causes symptoms such as anxiety, poor memory, inability to focus, depression, irritability mood swings, less sexual interest.

Late Adulthood (65+)

The Late Adulthood stage is characterized by drastic deteriorated physical changes like wrinkles on the skin, poor eyesight, less physical strength, loss of memory and risk of injury on falling while walking. This age group also faces health concerns and issues like arthritis, heart disease, increase in blood pressure and diabetes etc. While age-related changes can’t be stopped but the symptoms can be managed with the proper diet, exercise and medical care.

Cognitive Development in Adulthood Stages and development pattern 

Cognition changes over a person’s lifespan, peaking at around age 35 and slowly declining in later adulthood. Our physical abilities are at its peak in the 20s likely our cognitive abilities remain relatively steady in early and middle adulthood but in late adulthood, it starts getting effected and declining. Different adulthood stages and development pattern shows different cognitive abilities.

The research found that adults who engage in mentally or physically stimulating activities experience less cognitive decline in later adult years and have a reduced incidence of mild cognitive impairment and dementia.

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Early Adulthood 

Cognition begins to stabilize reaching a peak around the age of 35. Every adulthood is a time of realistic thinking, young people are more aware of simplistic views. They begin to look at ideas and concepts from multiple angles and understands that a question can have more than one answer. They understand the need for specialization and pragmatic thinking helps in logically solving real-world problems while accepting the contradiction, imperfection and other issues. They develop expertise in either education or career, further enhances problem-solving skills and creative capacity.

Middle Adulthood

There are two forms of intelligence and those are crystallised and fluid intelligence. Crystallised intelligence is mainly dependent upon accumulated knowledge and experience. It is the information, skills, strategies that are gathered throughout our lifetime. This kind of intelligence tends to hold steady as we age.

Fluid intelligence is more mainly dependent on basic information process skills and starts to decline even prior to middle adulthood. Cognitive slows down as the ability to solve problems lower and attention is divided. However,  Practical problem-solving skills increases as the skills are necessary to solve real-life problems.

Late Adulthood 

Late adulthood cognitive issues are mostly very serious. This age group faces memory loss, loss of thinking abilities and low abilities to hold a conversation with other people. One of the major cognitive concern for late adulthood is the disease of dementia and Alzheimer.

Case Study Example

One of my good friend’s maternal grandfather was known to be the best known lawyer in our country. He graduated from the University of Oxford, which is the highest ranked university around the globe. He was one of the most brilliant students of his college and university. He was extremely physically fit and active and went on for long and difficult trek routes and was an adventure buff person.

Due to his old age now, he has become an Alzeimer patient. He has forgotten most of the members of his family and have serious mental health issues and is kept under a strict medical supervision and care.

This is one of the prime cases which showcase that how the cognitive behaviour of an adult person changes as the adulthood stage progresses.

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Socio-Emotional Development in Adulthood stages and development pattern 

This form of socio-emotional development is part of an adulthood stage and development pattern. It is being influenced by work and interpersonal relationships. It corresponds to Erik Erikson’s psychological theory of development.

According to Erikson, intimacy v. Isolation is a stage of the psychological development in which people face the crises of being above v. being involved in meaningful relationships. Positive relationships with the significant others in our adult years have been found to contribute to a state of well being.

Erikson’s stage of generativity vs stagnation revolves around a person’s sense of their contribution to the world. Central tasks during middle adulthood can include maintaining healthy life patterns, raising children or in some way helping future generation being proud of one’s accomplishments, or taking care of ageing parents.

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Above sample is written with the purpose of discussing the adulthood stages and their development pattern and it’s various implications. This sample could be referred by the QQI Level 5 and 6, Child care, wellbeing, health care workers and nursing students.

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