Adult Development and Aging

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Sue Piasecki
Abstract
The cyclic process of aging is impacted by our health and physical fitness. Each state of adulthood has its advantages and disadvantages concerning health and physical fitness. This paper covers each stage and the importance of mental and physical health and awareness. Public policy on aging is varied but generally is supportive and provides programs to assist aging adults health and welfare. Adult development varies in different cultures, and is impacted in several areas.

I. Early adulthood
Using the observation method, this research paper examined early adults in the 20-39 age group begin to transition from early adulthood and into middle adulthood. Young women begin to feel the strains associated with trying to fit into the early adulthood. They are challenged during this phase by breaking the typical stereotypes of traditional womanhood. New challenges of glass ceilings, patriacharial families, and second shift needs are some barriers to their success (Bjorklund, B., & Bee, H., 2008). They have to decide if they want to continue on with education, a career, marriage and children. Young women are less likely to take chances and risks at this point and are more likely to follow a traditional role which they may have been modeled to them by their parents. Young men on the other hand, begin to transition into careers and higher education. The social pressure of assuming responsibility for himself and a soon to follow family (if they don’t have one already) becomes a heavy task to accomplish. Young males are more likely than their female counter parts to assume some risk and try new things (Elium and Elium, 1994). During my observation, I spent 4 hours with this age group who are members of the Air Force. These young men and women displayed behaviors stereotypical of their age and gender group. The men are very aggressive, physical and interested in females more than ever. While they still demonstrate some of their boyish traits of playing video games, sports and hanging out, they also have been newly conditioned to the military lifestyle and the upward mobility of new careers and education. Many of them have tried to continue on with education prior to joining the military, however, were unable to remain in school. Most causes for leaving college before graduation was an inability to focus on school work and their parents refused to continue paying their tuition. The remainder could not afford to stay and saw the military as an option to continue their education with tuition assistance from their service. One couple was married; she got pregnant prior to arriving to her present assignment and married the young man who was the father. Lucky for them, they were both coming to the same base of assignment so raising the baby would be shared and somewhat easier. Both agreed neither the baby or marriage was planned, but they were trying their best to “do the right thing” as stipulated by society and to be a family. Another area I noted in the early adulthood domain was the addition of blended families. First is the deciding which relationship to put first, either the relationship between the husband and wife of that of the natural parent and child. One of the best ways to try to conquer this task is by a feeling of respect among everyone in the family. Respect is the bedrock of a relationship, and putting that first and foremost is important. Letting the spouse-step parent know that respect for the step-child and step-child to step parent respect is paramount in the process. Often the child feels they are not consulted and no longer have a say in decisions in the family once the step-parent becomes part of the family. This can and does cause friction between everyone and often placing the natural parent in the middle of it all (Bouchard, 2006). II. Middle adulthood

During the three-hour observation I conducted on the middle adulthood domain I recorded...
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