Unit 2 Developmental Psychology

Unit 2 Developmental
Section 1: Introduction/Major
Debates in the Field
Developmental Psychology
• Developmental psychology is the study of how people grow and change
throughout their lives.
• The field of developmental psychology examines physical, social, and cognitive
• Developmental psychologists are concerned with many issues. One issue is the
extent to which heredity (nature) and environment (nurture) affect development.
Another is whether people develop in distinct stages or whether development is
more gradual and steady.
The Study of Development
• Developmental psychology is the field in which psychologists study how people grow
and change throughout the life span, from conception until death.
• Psychologists use two methods to study people across the life span.
– The longitudinal method, in which researchers select a group of
participants and then observe the same group for a period of time,
often years or decades
– The cross-sectional method, in which researchers select a sample that
includes people of different ages and then compare the participants in
the different age groups
Heredity vs Environment
• Psychologists have long debated the extent to which human behavior is determined
by heredity (nature) or environment (nurture)
• Maturation is the automatic and sequential process of development that results
from genetic signals.
• A critical period is a stage or point in development during which a person is best
suited to learn a particular skill or behavior pattern.
• Arnold Gesell proposed that maturation played the most important role in
development. John Watson’s view, however, favored the tabula rasa view of
Stages Versus Continuity
• Developmental psychologists debate whether
human development occurs primarily in stages
or as a continuous process.
Which mode of development (stages or
continuity) is more aligned with heredity,
and which is more aligned with
Answer: heredity—stages, maturation caused by genetic signals;
environment—continuous, each advance is based on observation and
Section 2: Infancy and Childhood
Part 1: Physical Development
Physical Growth
• Changes in reflexes, gains in height and weight, motor
development, and perceptual development are examples
of physical development.
• The most dramatic gains in height and weight occur
before an infant’s birth.
• During infancy—the period from birth to the age of two
years—dramatic gains continue in height and weight.
• During childhood—the period from two years old to
adolescence—children gain on average two to three
inches and four to six pounds each year until they reach
the start of adolescence.
A reflex is an involuntary reaction or response, such as swallowing.
Reflexes are inborn, not learned, and they occur automatically.
Reflexes include:
The Moro reflex: normally present in all infants/newborns up to 4 or 5 months of age as a response to a sudden
loss of support, when the infant feels as if it is falling. It involves three distinct components: spreading out the arms
(abduction) unspreading the arms (adduction) crying (usually)
– The Babinski reflex: a reflex action in which the big toe remains extended or extends itself when the sole of the
foot is stimulated
– As children develop, many reflexes, such as rooting and sucking, disappear. Some reflexes remain and others come
under voluntary control.
Motor Development
• The development of purposeful
movement is called motor development.
• Gross motor development refers to babies’
progress in coordinating major muscle
• Fine motor development refers to
coordination of the hands, face, and other
small muscles.
• The point at which various types of motor
development occur is different from infant
to infant and even from culture to culture.
What are the two types of motor
Answer: gross motor development and fine motor
Perceptual Development
• Infants tend to prefer new and
interesting stimuli.
• Infants’ perceptual preferences are
influenced by their age.
• Infants’ depth perception seems to
be influenced by experience
Psychology in Today’s World
Raising a Better Child
In the past, ideas about how to raise children generally came from one’s own
family, religion, and other institutions within the community. Beginning around
the 1900s, however, the theories of psychologists increasingly began to inform
American parenting strategies. Why did parents look beyond traditional sources
to learn how to raise their children?
• Social upheavals of the last
hundred years give clues to the
• One popular parenting idea is the
“Mozart effect,” which says that
playing Mozart’s music helps boost
children’s intelligence. Results have
been shown to be limited, however.
• Another idea deals with the
importance of play.
• Some parenting books and theories
have more merit than others.
Parents need to do their homework
when looking for help with their
Section 2 Part 2: Social
Development of Attachment
• Attachment is an important factor
affecting social development. It is
defined as the emotional ties that
form between people.
• Up until four months of age, infants
prefer being held or even just being
with someone.
• By about four months, infants
develop strong attachments to their
main caregivers, usually their
• By about eight months, some infants
stranger anxiety: distress that children
experience when exposed to people
unfamiliar to them and
separation anxiety: anxiety provoked in a
young child by separation or the threat of
separation from their mother.
Contact Comfort
• Based on studies with monkeys, researchers
have concluded that attachment grows more from
contact comfort than from feeding.
• Contact Comfort: refers to the physical and emotional
comfort that an infant receives from being in physical
contact with its mother
• Bonds of attachment between mothers and
infants appear to provide a secure base from
which infants can explore their environments.
• For many animals, attachment is an instinct.
• In a process called imprinting, some animals
become attached to the first moving object
they see.
• Children do not imprint. It takes several
months before children become attached to
their main caregivers.
Secure Versus Insecure Attachment
• When mothers or other primary
caregivers are affectionate and reliable,
infants usually become securely
• When caregivers are unresponsive or
unreliable, infants are usually insecurely
• Secure infants may mature into secure
What is contact comfort and how does it
relate to the idea of attachment?
Answer: Contact comfort is an instinctual need to touch
and be touched by something soft. It was originally thought
that infants became attached to those who fed them, but
recent findings indicate that attachment grows more from
such bodily contact.
Styles of Parenting
Warm or Cold?
Strict or Permissive?
• Warm parents show a great deal of
affection to their children.
• Some parents are strict with their children,
imposing many rules and supervising their
children closely.
• Cold parents may not be as
affectionate toward their children or
appear to enjoy them as much.
• Research suggests that children
fare better when their parents are
warm to them.
• Children of warm parents are more
likely to be well adjusted.
• Some parents are permissive with their
children, imposing fewer rules and
watching their children less closely.
• Authoritative parents combine warmth
with age appropriate rules and
• Authoritarian parents believe in
obedience for its own sake.
Self-esteem, the value or worth that people attach to themselves, begins to
develop in early childhood.
Influences on Self-Esteem
Gender and Self-Esteem
• Secure attachment plays a major
role in influencing self-esteem.
• Another influence is how parents
react to their children.
• Children who receive
unconditional positive regard
usually develop high self-esteem.
• Children who receive conditional
positive regard may have lower
• Girls tend to display greater
competence in reading and general
academic skills and boys tend to
display competence in math and
physical skills.
• This may be because this is what
girls and boys are supposed to be
good at.
• It is not for a genetic reason.
Age and Self-Esteem
• Although children gain in competence as they grow older, their selfesteem tends to decline during the elementary school years.
• It seems to reach a low point at about age 12 or 13 and increases
again during adolescence.
The Self-Esteem Trap
• By the 1970s, greater self-esteem was thought of by many as a
potential cure-all for society’s problems. Showering children with
praise regardless of their performance was the common practice.
• Findings in 2000 showed that high self-esteem in children did not
lead to higher grades and that high self-esteem did not make violent
kids any less so or keep kids from becoming bullies.
• Focusing on building self-esteem at the expense of other qualities,
such as self-control or self-discipline, may be misguided.
When and how does a person’s sense of
self-esteem develop?
Answer: It begins to develop in early childhood. It is
influenced by the way parents react to their children and by
fostering a sense of competence.
Section 2 Part 3:
Cognitive Development
Cognitive Development
• Cognitive development is the development of people’s thought processes.
• The psychologist Jean Piaget divided cognitive development into four stages:
the sensorimotor stage, the preoperational stage, the concrete-operational
stage, and the formal-operational stage.
• The psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg’s theory of moral development has
three stages: the preconventional level, the conventional level, and the
postconventional level. Each of these three levels is further divided into two
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development
• Assimilation and Accommodation
• Piaget believed that human beings use assimilation and accommodation to
organize new information.
• Assimilation is the process by which new information is placed into
categories that already exist.
• Accommodation is change brought about by new information.
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development
• The first stage of cognitive development is the sensorimotor stage.
• This stage is characterized by learning to coordinate sensation and
perception with motor activity.
• It is also characterized by object permanence.
• object permanence: is the understanding that objects continue to exist
even when they cannot be observed (seen, heard, touched, smelled or sensed
in any way).
The Preoperational Stage
• The next stage is the preoperational stage.
• It is characterized by one-dimensional thinking and egocentrism.
The Concrete-Operational Stage
• In the concrete-operational stage, children begin to show signs of
adult thinking.
• They are logical only when they think about specific objects and
concrete experiences.
• They focus on two dimensions of a problem at the same time.
• They are less egocentric than children in earlier stages.
The Formal-Operational Stage
The final stage in Piaget’s theory is the formal-operational stage.
People in this stage think abstractly.
They can deal with hypothetical situations.
They can solve problems and use imagination.
Criticism of Piaget’s Theories
• Some psychologists have questioned the accuracy of Piaget’s views.
• Recent research indicates that preschoolers are less egocentric than
Piaget’s research suggested.
• His theories are still respected, however.
Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development
• The Preconventional Level
• Children through the age of nine use preconventional moral
reasoning to base their judgments of the consequences of
• Avoiding punishment
• Satisfying needs
Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development
• The Conventional Level
• People at this level use conventional moral reasoning to make
judgments in terms of whether an act conforms to conventional
standards of behavior.
• Winning approval of others
• Law and order
Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development
• The Postconventional Level
• Reasoning based on a person’s own moral standards of goodness
is called postconventional moral reasoning
• Social Order
• Universal ethics
Section 3 Adolescence
Part 1: Physical Development
Physical Development
• During the adolescent growth spurt, which lasts two or
three years, the average teenager grows 8 to 12 inches in
• Many physical changes take place during adolescence.
• Maturation rates vary among adolescents.
From Child to Adult
• In Western societies today, the status and duties of adulthood have been
• Today adolescence is subdivided into three age categories.
– Early adolescence (11 through 14)
– Middle adolescence (15 through 18)
– Late adolescence (18 through 21)
The Adolescent Growth Spurt
The adolescent growth spurt usually lasts two or three years. During
this period, most adolescents grow 8 to 12 inches in height.
Differences Between Boys and
• Girls typically begin the
adolescent growth spurt earlier
than boys.
• During middle adolescence
most boys grow taller than their
female counterparts.
• The exact time when this
growth will occur for any
adolescent is difficult to predict.
The Awkward Age
• Some teenagers may feel they
look awkward, but they actually
tend to be well coordinated
during adolescence.
• Proper nutrition is important
during the adolescent years.
Sexual Development
Adolescence begins with puberty, which refers to specific
developmental changes that lead to the ability to reproduce.
During puberty, adolescents develop primary sex characteristics and
secondary sex characteristics.
Changes in Males
Changes in Females
• Increased output of testosterone
causes boys’ sexual organs to
grow, their voices to deepen, and
their body hair to grow.
• During this period, boys also
develop broader shoulders, more
muscle tissue, and larger hearts
and lungs.
• In girls, increased estrogen spurs
the growth of breast tissue. The
pelvic region also widens.
• The cyclical production of estrogen
regulates the menstrual cycle. The
first cycle is called menarche.
Differences in Maturation Rates
• Some adolescents reach physical maturity at a relatively early age, while
others reach it later.
• Early-maturing boys may have advantages over their peers who develop later,
but these advantages seem to fade over time.
• Girls who mature early may feel awkward.
• Once their peers catch up to them, the issue of differences in maturity
generally disappears.
Section 3 Part 2 Social
Focus of the Section
Social Development
Identity Formation
• Adolescents typically experience a
• One of the main psychological tasks
great deal of stress during their teen
years, due both to biological and
psychological causes.
• Relationships with parents change
during adolescence.
• Adolescents turn increasingly to their
peers for support during adolescence.
of adolescence is finding an identity—
a sense of who one is and what one
stands for.
• There are four categories of
adolescent identity status.
• Issues of gender and ethnicity play a
major role in the formation of identity.
Relationships with Parents
The Quest for
• The adolescent quest for
independence from parents
may result in conflicts and less
time spent with family, greater
emotional attachment to people
outside the family, and more
activities outside the home.
A Lasting Bond
• Adolescents who feel close to
their parents tend to show
greater self-reliance and
independence than those who
are distant from their parents.
• Parents and adolescents
usually share similar views.
• Adolescents tend to interact
with their mothers more than
with their fathers.
Why do adolescents often spend less time
with their families?
Answer: They want to be more independent, they become
emotionally attached to people outside their family, and they
become involved in more activities outside the home.
Relationships with Peers
Adolescent Friendships
• Friendship is a very important part of adolescence.
• Adolescents value loyalty as a key aspect of friendship.
• Adolescents usually choose friends who are similar to themselves in
age, background, educational goals, and attitudes toward drinking,
drug use, and sexual activity.
Cliques and Crowds
• Cliques are peer groups of 5 to 10 people who spend a great deal of
time together.
• Larger groups of people who do not spend as much time together but
share attitudes and group identity are called crowds.
Peer Influences
• Parental and peer influences often coincide.
• Nevertheless, adolescents are influenced by their parents and peers
in different ways.
• Peer pressure increases in middle adolescence and then decreases
after the age of 17.
Dating and Romantic Relationships
• In younger adolescents, dating relationships tend to be casual and
• In later adolescence, relationships tend to be more stable and
Identity Development
• Psychologist Erik Erikson maintained that the main task of the
adolescent stage is the search for identity.
• Erikson believed the task is accomplished by choosing and
developing a commitment to a particular role or occupation in life.
• Adolescents may experiment with different values, beliefs, roles, and
• Adolescent identity is achieved when different “selves” are brought
together into a unified sense of self.
• An identity crisis is a key aspect of adolescent identity development.
• An identity crisis is a turning point in a person’s development when
the person examines his or her values and makes or changes
decisions about life roles.
According to Erikson, what is the main task
of the adolescent stage of development?
Answer: the search for identity
Identity Status
Identity Moratorium
Identity Foreclosure
• Adolescents experiencing the
identity status known as identity
moratorium delay making
commitments about important
• To avoid an identity crisis,
adolescents in the identity
foreclosure category make a
commitment that forecloses, or
shuts out, other possibilities.
Identity Diffusion
Identity Achievement
• Adolescents in identity diffusion
seem to be constantly searching for
meaning in life because they have
not committed themselves to a set
of personal beliefs or an
occupational path.
• Adolescents in the identity
achievement category have coped
with crises, explored options,
committed themselves to
occupational directions, and made
decisions about key life questions.
Reading Check
What is an identity moratorium?
Answer: an identity status category in which adolescents
delay making commitments about important questions
Gender and Ethnicity in Identity Formation
Gender and Identity Formation
• Research shows that female adolescents are now more apt to
approach identity formation like male adolescents.
• Female adolescents do, however, express more concern about the
challenge of balancing work life and family life.
Ethnicity and Identity Formation
• Identity formation is often more complicated for adolescents from
ethnic minority groups.
• Prejudice and discrimination can be contributing factors.
Cultural Diversity and Psychology
Rites of Passage
A rite of passage marks a person’s entrance into a new stage of life. These
ceremonies include baptisms, graduations, and marriages. For many people
around the world, various rites such as school graduations and weddings
signify the end of one period of life and the beginning of another.
• Most rites of passage have three
stages: a separation stage, a
transitional stage, and a completion
• Graduation ceremonies are an
example of a rite of passage in
which individuals participate as a
• The quinceañera is an example of
a rite of passage for Hispanic girls.
• Jewish adolescents enter into the
adult religious community with bar
mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs.
• Genpuku was an ancient rite of
passage in Japan. Poy Sang Long
is a rite of passage among the
Shan people of Myanmar and
Section 3 Part 3 Challenges of
Part 3 at a Glance
• Adolescence is a difficult time for most teenagers, with concerns about
friendships, jobs, future careers, and body image among their many
• Eating disorders can be one of the big problems of adolescence.
• Substance abuse can cause many diseases.
A Difficult Time
• Adolescence can be a very stressful time for some teens.
• Challenges of adolescence can include:
– School problems
– Family problems
– Loneliness
– Feelings of low self-esteem
– Concerns about the future
– Eating disorders
– Alcohol abuse
– Drug abuse
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nACOo1EtP5Y
Eating Disorders
Anorexia Nervosa
Bulimia Nervosa
• Anorexia nervosa: Eating disorder
characterized by self-starvation and
a distorted body image
• Bulimia nervosa: Recurrent cycles
of binge eating followed by
dramatic measures to eliminate
• In the United States, typically
affects young white women of
higher socioeconomic status
Origins of Anorexia and
• Influenced by cultural and social
aspects, such as the need to
conform to a feminine ideal and a
family history of eating disorders
• Great majority of sufferers are
• Includes counseling, treatment
programs, and monitoring
What are anorexia and bulimia nervosa?
Answer: anorexia—eating disorder characterized by selfstarvation and distorted body image; bulimia nervosa—
eating disorder characterized by binge eating followed by
measures to eliminate food; fasting, strict dieting, and
vigorous exercise
Substance Abuse
Prevalence of Substance Abuse
• Use of drugs and cigarettes among teenagers increased during the
• Peer recommendation, parental use, and stress are among the
reasons adolescents try alcohol and other substances.
• Treatment includes detoxification and counseling therapy.
Drug Prevention
•Most school drug-prevention programs are aimed at stopping the use
of alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana.
•Research on the effectiveness of prevention programs shows mixed
What are some of the reasons that
adolescents try alcohol?
Answer: peer recommendation, parental use, to cope
with stress
Crime and Avoiding Problems
• The term juvenile delinquency refers to many illegal activities
committed by children or adolescents.
• The most extreme acts include robbery, rape, and homicide.
• Less serious offenses are known as status offenses, which are
illegal only when committed by minors.
• Research shows that low income and mothers working outside the
home are not factors that contribute to juvenile delinquency.
• Facts that contribute to juvenile delinquency include
– Low self-esteem, feelings of alienation and estrangement
– Behavior problems that began early
– Lack of affection, lax discipline, use of severe physical punishment in the
– Academic issues, peer pressure, family history of criminal behavior
What are some examples of status
Answer: truancy, drinking, smoking, running away from
Section 4 Adulthood
Part 1 Young Adulthood
Part 1 at a Glance
• Young Adulthood
• Young adulthood is characterized by becoming independent from parental
authority and trying new ways of doing things.
• 20-35ish years of age
• Many young adults form lasting relationships and marry.
• Although most young couples marry because they are in love, many
marriages in the United States end in divorce.
Characteristics and Goals
Young adulthood is characterized by a desire to try new
things and by changing relationships with parents.
First Reassessment
Settling Down
• Once young adults reach their
30s, they often reevaluate the
decisions they have made
about their course in life.
• Reassessment may bring major
life changes.
• The mid- to late-30s are often
characterized by settling down
or “planting roots.”
Why do many men and women reassess
their lives in their 30s?
Answer: to determine whether their chosen courses are the best
ones for them
Marriage and Relationships
The development of an identity—who you are and what you stand
for—is an important part of adolescence and young adulthood.
History of Marriage
Choosing Spouses
• In most Western societies,
patriarchy has dominated
marriage, but now spouses are
more likely to be viewed as
equal partners.
• The concept of marrying for
love emerged in the 1800s.
• Today companionship and
intimacy are central to marriage.
• Today young Americans
typically select their own
• Influences over the choice
include ethnicity, level of
education, social class, religion,
and similarity in age, values,
and attitudes.
How does marriage today compare with
marriage in the past?
Answer: Marriage today may be based on equality between
spouses, while marriage in the past may have been based on
patriarchy. In addition, marriage today may be based on romantic love,
while marriage in the past may have been based on the benefits for
Reasons for Divorce
• One reason divorce is a common occurrence is because obtaining a
divorce is easier than it used to be.
• People may divorce due to spousal abuse, child abuse, infidelity,
stress, or an inability to communicate.
The Costs of Divorce
• Financial resources are usually divided in a divorce.
• Divorced mothers often have primary responsibility for children.
• Divorced fathers often have to pay child support and alimony.
• Most divorced people recover and the majority remarry.
Section 4 Part 2 Middle Adulthood
Part 2 at a Glance
• Middle Adulthood
• One of the greatest challenges facing middle-aged adults is retaining the
ability to create, originate, and produce.
• Middle adulthood spans the years from 40 to 65.
• During middle adulthood, many adults go through a period of reassessment
and reevaluate what to do with the rest of their lives.
• Many middle-aged adults have to adjust to the changing needs of their
children and deal with their own physical changes.
• Middle adulthood spans the years from 40 to 65.
• Erik Erikson said that the greatest challenge facing middle adults is
generativity—the ability to create, originate, and produce.
• Generativity adds meaning to the lives of adults and helps them to maintain
and enhance their self-esteem.
• Erikson believed that adults who are not generative can become stagnant.
Identify Supporting Details
How can adults maintain generativity?
Answer: Adults can maintain generativity by creating, originating,
and producing; specific examples might include improving methods and
relationships in the workplace, guiding younger people, voting, and
community service.
The midlife transition is a period of middle adulthood
when people’s perspectives change in a major way. Many
people experience a midlife transition around the ages of
40 to 45.
Midlife Crisis or Age of
• The midlife transition can trigger
a second period of
reassessment known as a
midlife crisis.
• Journalist Gail Sheehy calls the
years from 45 to 65 the “age of
• The term middlescence is
sometimes used to describe a
period of searching that can
resemble adolescence.
• Middlescence can involve a
search for a second adulthood.
How do many adults respond to the midlife
Answer: with an acknowledgement of limitations or a sense
of urgency; decision about what to do with rest of life
Life Changes
The Empty-Nest Syndrome
• Empty-nest syndrome is the term applied to feelings of emptiness
and loss parents sometimes feel after their children have left home to
establish their own lives.
• Once the nest is “empty,” however, many people report positive
changes in their lives.
• Menopause usually occurs in a woman’s late 40s or early 50s and is
marked by the end of menstruation.
• Menopause is normal and can be a healthy development in women’s
Section 3 Part 3 Late
Part 3 at a Glance
• Late Adulthood
• Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help older adults reduce the impact of the
physical changes they undergo.
People age as their cells age and begin to malfunction.
Cognitive changes, including memory decline, occur in late adulthood, but most
older adults do quite well intellectually.
Aging involves social changes that involve work, family, and living arrangements.
Older adults who age successfully continue to believe that life is meaningful and full.
Physical Changes
• Age 65 marks the beginning of late adulthood.
• Many physical changes take place in late adulthood. (eyesight, hearing,
arthritis etc.)
• Some physical changes cause health problems.
• Older adults can do many things to maintain their health, strength, and
• Regular exercise and a healthful diet can help older adults feel better and help
them fight disease.
Identify Supporting Details
What can older adults do to help maintain
their health and strength?
Answer: Older adults can exercise and eat healthy diets
to maintain their health and strength.
Why People Age
Programmed Theories
• The developmental theories that maintain that aging is the result of
genetics are called programmed theories.
• These theories suggest that heredity and genetics play a significant
role in the length of one’s life.
Cellular Damage Theories
• Cellular damage theories suggest that cells malfunction as a result
of damage, not heredity.
• Some scientists blame free radicals, or unstable molecules in our
bodies, for damage.
What is a major difference between
programmed theories and cellular damage
Answer: programmed theories—people cannot control
heredity or genetics; cellular damage theories—people have
some degree of control over environmental toxins that may
cause cellular damage
Cognitive Changes
Senile Dementia
• Dementia is the serious loss of cognitive functioning.
• People with dementia have major losses in memory and may have
speech or motor problems.
• Dementia that occurs after age 65 is called senile dementia. Most
cases occur in people over 80.
Alzheimer’s Disease
• Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive form of mental deterioration
that affects about 10 percent of people over the age of 65 and nearly
half of those over the age of 85.
• It is a disease and not a normal part of aging.
Reading Check
What are the characteristics of Alzheimer’s
Answer: gradual deterioration of mental processes,
reduced levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and
the build up of sticky plaque in the brain
Social Changes
• Retirement can be voluntary or compulsory.
• People who retire from full-time work sometimes continue working
part time, either paid or voluntary.
• Grandparents often have more relaxed relationships with their
grandchildren than they had with their children.
• Increasing numbers of grandparents, however, take on the major
responsibility of raising their grandchildren.
Successful Aging
Ego Integrity
• Erik Erikson believed that one challenge facing people in late
adulthood is how they maintain ego integrity—the belief that life is
meaningful and worthwhile even when physical abilities are not what
they used to be.
Aging and Adjustment
• Most people in their 70s report satisfaction with their lives.
• There is a correlation between socioeconomic status and health.
• Older people benefit from social support and feelings of personal
Reshaping One’s Life
• Reshaping one’s life to focus on what is important is another
component of successful aging.
A Positive Outlook
• A positive outlook is another component of successful aging.
• Another component of successful aging is challenging oneself.
• The formula is simple, can be used by everyone, and includes:
– Increasing participation in activities
– Making more close friends
– Visiting with family
– Spending quiet time reading and listening to music
Stages of Dying
• Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross theorized there are five stages
through which many dying people pass. The stages are
– Denial
– Anger
– Bargaining
– Depression
– Acceptance
• Kübler-Ross’s theory has met with considerable criticism.
• Psychologist Edwin Shneidman has not found that feelings about
dying follow a particular sequence.
• Another problem is that the theory may tempt people to ignore the
uniqueness of each individual’s experiences at the end of life.
Dying with Dignity
The Hospice Alternative
• Dying people need to feel cared for
and supported. They may also
need relief from pain.
• Dying people need security, selfconfidence, and dignity.
• Some dying people enter a
hospice, a homelike place where
dying people and their families
receive physical and emotional
support to help them cope with
terminal illness.
The Living Will
• Euthanasia is illegal in most
• Many people write living wills,
which are legal documents in which
a person requests to be allowed to
die rather than be kept alive by
artificial means if disabled beyond a
reasonable expectation of recovery.
• Many people support making it
legal with clear restrictions. Others
argue that no one has the right to
take a life, even one’s own.