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8: Middle Adulthood

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    • 8.1: Physical Development in Middle Adulthood
      The causes of physical aging, and an overview of the physical and sensory changes that middle adults undergo as a result of aging.
    • 8.2: Health Concerns
      Overview of major health issues that commonly affect people in middle adulthood, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and digestive arthritis.
    • 8.3: Sleep
      Sleep needs of middle adults. Overview of common sleep problems, issues with sleeping due to children in the home, and consequences of insufficient sleep for this age group.
    • 8.4: Exercise, Nutrition, and Weight
      Exercise health benefits, nutritional concerns, and metabolism and weight gain in middle adulthood.
    • 8.5: Climacteric
      Overview of the climacteric, or the midlife transition when fertility declines, including impacts on female and male sexual and reproductive health and sexuality.
    • 8.6: Brain Functioning
      Comparison of brain function at middle age with that at younger ages. Overview of effects that COVID-19 can have on the brain.
    • 8.7: Cognitive Development in Middle Adulthood
      Development of various specific intelligences in middle adulthood, including crystallized versus fluid intelligence, flow, and tacit intelligence.
    • 8.8: Education and Gaining Expertise in Middle Age
      Trends in middle-aged adults returning to college, and discussion of the cognitive skills that aid these adults in learning as compared to other age groups. How people gain expertise, and why it is particularly important in middle adulthood.
    • 8.9: Work and Leisure at Midlife
      Workplace demographics in the U.S., and workplace challenges and climate for middle-aged adults. How U.S. adults spend their leisure time, benefits of leisure, and comparisons of legally mandated time off work in U.S. with other countries.
    • 8.10: Psychosocial Development in Middle Adulthood
      Overview of socioemotional changes that occur in middle adulthood. Discussion of the controversy over the concept of the midlife crisis.
    • 8.11: Stress
      Definition of stress, model of the stress response, and discussion of the physiological effects of stress. Roles played by disposition, social relationships, and caregiving in creating stress in middle adulthood. Stress management and coping strategies.
    • 8.12: Erikson — Generativity vs Stagnation
      Discussion of Erikson's seventh stage, generativity, including how it particularly applies to middle adulthood and how generativity can come into conflict with stagnation.
    • 8.13: Midlife Relationships
      Discussion of family relationships that may significantly impact middle-aged adults, including the sandwich generation, kinkeeping, empty nests, and boomerang kids.
    • 8.14: Middle Adult Lifestyles
      Discussion of lifestyles and living arrangements of middle-aged adults, including trends in singlehood, marriage, divorce, and post-divorce repartnering.
    • 8.15: Family Relationships and Friendships
      Family relationships of middle-aged adults, with a focus on their occupying the role of grandparents. Discussion of the importance of friendship for middle-aged adults, including Internet and workplace friendships.
    • 8.16: Women in Midlife
      The double standard of aging and why women in midlife experience more concern about their identity as they age, compared to men. Variations in women's attitudes toward aging based on race, culture, and sexual orientation.
    • 8.17: Religion and Spirituality
      The role of religion and spirituality in the lives of adults, and how it varies based on age, gender, and culture.
    • 8.R: Middle Adulthood (References)

    Thumbnail: Middle age man practicing tai chi in Victoria Park, Hong Kong. (Unsplash License; Mark Hang Fung So via Unsplash)

    This page titled 8: Middle Adulthood is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Martha Lally and Suzanne Valentine-French via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.