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Adult Development and Aging: Biopsychosocial Perspectives, 5th Edition

Adult Development and Aging: Biopsychosocial Perspectives, 5th Edition

Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Stacey B. Whitbourne

ISBN: 978-1-118-42519-0

Jan 2014

416 pages


Adult Development and Aging: Biopsychosocial Perspectives, 5th Edition incorporates material that the authors, Susan Krauss Whitbourne and Stacey B. Whitbourne, believe is vital to student understanding of this rapidly-developing and fascinating field of study. This text focuses on three themes: a multidisciplinary approach, positive images of aging, and the newest and most relevant research. Much of what students will read comes directly from Susan’s classroom teaching of the Psychology of Aging course; she continues to incorporate her day-to-day teaching of the course into the text, which keeps the material current, fresh, and engaging.

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Preface v


Themes and Issues in Adult Development and Aging 1

The Biopsychosocial Perspective 2

Four Principles of Adult Development and Aging 3

1. Changes Are Continuous Over the Life Span 3

2. Only the Survivors Grow Old 4

3. Individuality Matters 5

4. ‘‘Normal’’ Aging Is Different From Disease 6

The Meaning of Age 7

Using Age to Define ‘‘Adult’’ 7

Divisions by Age of the Over-65 Population 8

Functional Age 9

Personal Versus Social Aging 10

Key Social Factors in Adult Development and Aging 12

Sex and Gender 12

Race 12

Ethnicity 13

Socioeconomic Status 13

Religion 13

The Baby Boomers Grow Up: Changes in the Middle-Aged and Older Populations in the United States and the World 13

United States 14

Aging Around the World 16

Summary 18


Models of Development: Nature and Nurture in Adulthood 19

Key Concepts in the Study of the Lifespan 20

Models of Individual–Environment Interactions 21

Reciprocity in Development 23

Sociocultural Models of Development 23

Ecological Perspective 23

The Life Course Perspective 25

Ageism as a Social Factor in the Aging Process 26

Psychological Models of Development in Adulthood 28

Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory 29

Piaget’s Cognitive-Developmental Theory 31

Identity Process Theory 32

The Selective Compensation with Optimization Model 35

Biological Approaches to Aging in Adulthood 35

Genes and DNA 35

Programmed Aging Theories 37

Random Error Theories 39

Summary 41


The Study of Adult Development and Aging: Research Methods 43

Variables in Developmental Research 44

Descriptive Research Designs 45

Age, Cohort, and Time of Measurement 45

Longitudinal Designs 46

Cross-Sectional Designs 49

Sequential Research Designs 51

The Most Efficient Design 51

Correlational Designs 52

Simple Correlational Designs 52

Multivariate Correlational Designs 53

Types of Research Methods 55

Laboratory Studies 55

Qualitative Studies 55

Archival Research 55

Surveys 55

Epidemiological Studies 56

Case Reports 57

Focus Groups 57

Daily Diaries 57

Observational Methods 57

Meta-Analysis 57

Measurement Issues in Adult Development and Aging 58

Ethical Issues in Research 59

Summary 60


Physical Changes 63

Appearance 64

Skin 64

Hair 66

Body Build 67

Mobility 69

Muscles 69

Bones 71

Joints 71

Vital Bodily Functions 73

Cardiovascular System 73

Respiratory System 75

Urinary System 75

Digestive System 77

Bodily Control Systems 77

Endocrine System 77

Immune System 80

Nervous System 81

Central Nerous System 82

Sleep 84

Temperature Control 85

Sensation and Perception 86

Vision 86

Hearing 87

Balance 88

Smell and Taste 89

Somatosensory System 90

Summary 91


Health and Prevention 93

Key Concepts in Health and Prevention 94

Diseases of the Cardiovascular System 94

Cardiac and Cerebrovascular Conditions 95

Incidence 96

Behavioral Risk Factors 96

Prevention of Heart Disease and Stroke 97

Cancer 98

Risk Factors and Prevention 99

Treatments 100

Disorders of the Musculoskeletal System 101

Osteoarthritis 101

Osteoporosis 102

Diabetes 103

Characteristics of Diabetes 103

Incidence and Risk Factors 103

Prevention and Treatment 104

Respiratory Diseases 104

Neurocognitive Disorders 105

Alzheimer’s Disease 105

Other Forms of Neurocognitive Disorder 112

Summary 114


Basic Cognitive Functions: Information Processing, Attention, and Memory 117

Processing Speed and Attention 118

Reaction Time 118

Attention 118

Video Games and Attention 122

Driving and Aging 122

Memory 125

Working Memory 125

Effects of Aging on Long-Term Memory in Adulthood 126

Identity, Self-Efficacy, Stereotype Threat, and Control Beliefs 129

Memory and Health-Related Behaviors 130

Memory Training Studies 132

Summary 133


Higher-Order Cognitive Functions 135

Executive Functioning and Its Measurement 136

Intelligence Tests 136

Neuropsychological Assessment 137

Aging and Executive Functioning 138

Language 139

Cognitive Aspects of Language 139

Social Aspects of Language 140

Bilingualism and Aging 142

Everyday Problem Solving 142

Characteristics of Problem Solving 142

Problem Solving in Adulthood 143

Adult Learners 146

Intelligence 147

Theoretical Perspectives on Adult Intelligence 148

Research on Adult Intelligence 148

Training Studies 153

The Psychology of Wisdom 153

Summary 155


Personality 157

Psychodynamic Perspective 158

Ego Psychology 158

Vaillant’s Theory of Defense Mechanisms 163

Adult Attachment Theory 164

Trait Approaches 165

Research on Aging and the Five-Factor Model 165

Health and Personality Traits 167

Social Cognitive Approaches 168

Cognitive Perspective 170

Possible Selves Theory 171

Coping and Control 171

Identity Process Theory 173

Midlife Crisis Theories and Findings 174

Theory of the Midlife Crisis 174

Critiques and Research on the Midlife Crisis 176

Summary 178


Relationships 179

Marriage and Intimate Relationships 180

Marriage 180

Cohabitation 182

Same-Sex Couples 183

Divorce and Remarriage 183

Widowhood 185

Psychological Perspectives on Long-Term

Relationships 186

Families 189

Parenthood 189

The Empty Nest 191

Parent–Adult Child Relationships 193

Siblings 196

Grandparents 196

Friendships 198

Theoretical Perspectives 198

Patterns of Friendships 198

Summary 199


Work, Retirement, and Leisure Patterns 201

Work Patterns in Adulthood 202

Vocational Development 204

Holland’s Vocational Development Theory 204

Super’s Life-Span Life-Stage Theory 207

Occupation as Calling 208

Variations in Vocational Development 208

Vocational Satisfaction 209

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors 209

Positive and Negative Moods 210

Person–Environment Correspondence 211

Work Stress 211

Relationships Between Work and Family Roles 212

Age and Vocational Satisfaction 213

Age and Vocational Performance 214

Retirement 216

Definitions of Retirement 216

Facts About Retirement 217

The Effects of Retirement on the Individual 218

Leisure Pursuits in Later Adulthood 220

Summary 222


Mental Health Issues and Treatment 223

Psychological Disorders in Adulthood 224

Major Depressive Disorder 225

Bipolar Disorder 227

Anxiety Disorders 227

Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders 228

Trauma and Stress-Related Disorders 229

Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders 229

Substance-Related Disorders 230

Personality Disorders 231

Elder Abuse 232

Suicide 233

Treatment Issues in Mental Health Care 234

Assessment 235

Treatment 237

Serious Mental Illness 241

Summary 241


Long-Term Care 243

Institutional Facilities for Long-Term Care 244

Nursing Homes 244

Residential Care Facilities 246

Community-Based Facilities and Services 246

Home Health Services 247

Day Treatment Services 247

Community Housing Alternatives 247

The Financing of Long-Term Care 248

Medicare 248

Medicaid 251

Legislative Landmarks in the Long-Term Care of Older Adults 251

1987 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987

(OBRA 1987) 251

1999–2000 Congressional Hearings on Nursing Home Abuse 253

2002 Nursing Home Quality Initiative 253

The Quality of Long-Term Care 254

Psychological Issues in Long-Term Care 256

Models of Adaptation 256

Suggestions for Improving Long-Term Care 257

Summary 259


Death and Dying 261

What Do We Know About Death? 262

Medical Aspects of Death 262

Death by the Numbers 263

Sociocultural Perspectives on Death and Dying 267

Psychological Perspectives on Death and Dying 268

Issues in End-of-Life Care 269

Advance Directives 269

Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia 271

Hospice Care 271

Improving Health Care and Mental Health Services to Dying Patients 272

Bereavement 273

Summary 275


Successful Aging 277

What Is Successful Aging? 278

An Overview of Successful Aging 278

Successful Cognitive Aging 280

Factors That Promote Successful Aging 281

Creativity and Aging 285

What Is Creativity? 285

Creative Older Adults 285

Characteristics of Last Works 287

Sociocultural Perspectives on Creativity and Aging 289

Successful Aging: Final Perspectives 290

Summary 291

Glossary 293

References 311

Author Index 365

  • Nearly 500 references from the past three years, up through early 2013.
  • A number of specific topics have been added which expand the potential for this course to reach students interested in neuroscience, clinical psychology, social psychology, health, and applied psychology. 
  • Many chapters and sections have been revised and update, including:
    • Within the research methods chapter, a section on multivariate analyses has been included that explains the use of structural equation modeling and path analysis.
    • The chapter on health now reviews measurement of functional activity (ADLs, and IADLs), and the section on dementia has been renamed “Neurocognitive disorders,” reflecting the changing terminology in DSM-5.
    • The chapters on cognition underwent significant revision, adding new theories of intelligence and include a detailed discussion of the WAIS-IV.
    • The relationships and family chapter is now expand our treatment of cohabitation, same sex families, and the intergenerational solidary and ambivalence models. New studies on “helicopter parents” have been added, as well as adult children who return home to live with their parents.
    • The entire chapter on mental health follows the DSM5, accompanied by the most recent models on aging and psychopathology.
  • Provides a fresh approach of the field of adult development with an engaging writing style to appeal to today’s student.
  • Each chapter opens with quotations from well-known authors, poets, and celebrities to provide thought-provoking observations on aging.
  • What Do You Think? critical thinking questions keyed into the text content encourage students to think in-depth about the material.
  • The “Aging in the News” feature that offers the story of a remarkable achievement by a middle-aged or older adult.