The Aging Process

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Objectives
* Describe the general characteristics of the period from 20 through 39. * Explain what midlife transition is.
* Describe family relationships and crises during the midlife adulthood period. * Explain the problems with our attitude toward death.

Defining Adulthood
Adulthood is not just one time of life but many. Adulthood can be divided into different periods. For convince we will call the ages 20 to 39 early adulthood, 40 to 59 middle adulthood, and from age 60 to late adulthood. A person’s actual age may well be less important than that person’s experiences and outlook on life. Early Adulthood: 20-39

Some star earlier and other later, sometimes during their 20s and 30s, most people take on the adult responsibilities of marriage, career, and children. A sense of identity is gained through these duties, and this makes young adults more stable and less insecure than adolescence. They take responsibility seriously, and they can make personal decisions about their own lives. Marriage and Divorce

Despite the somewhat shaky image of the institution of marriage, nearly everyone does marry and expect that marriage to last. Mutual respect, a term that encompasses a great deal. Respect means that you view others as important people. Mutual Respect means that two people both give and receive these things. It means that you treat the other person with consideration, not demeaning or insulting him or her. Without mutual respect a marriage simply cannot work. Among the majority of couples today, both work outside the home. For those who divorce, the odds are overwhelming that the mother will have custody of the children. Customarily, the fathers have visitations rights and the obligations of child support. The Children often feel abandoned or rejected by their father if he is no longer involved in their lives Family Life

While their careers may also be important, most young adult women, according to statics, focus more on their families. In marriage, women take care of more family obligations than men do. In early adulthood, men still tend to focus mostly on their careers, but they are also more involved in their family life than used to be the case. They spend more time with their children and are less likely to always let the job come first. In the 1960s, en whose wives were employed did about 20 percent of the work around the house.

Midlife Transition
Young adults eventually enter middle adulthood, but the progression is not always smooth. In the US, the age of 49 signals the true beginning of “middle age.” However in the Midlife, there is often a sense of urgency involved. As people realize that they are no longer young, they begin to think in terms of how many years they have left. They start to focus on signs of physical decline and an awareness of aging. Not everyone become miserable and depressed. For some people, this is the time for reassessing their life’s goals and refocusing their energies on new interests and activities. For others, it is the time if terrible upheaval and loss of purpose. Midlife crisis is not inevitable.

Middle Adulthood: 40-59
Men become more emotionally expressive and warm, more giving of themselves than before. Relationships begin to be more important than career or money. Women are growing more independent and assertive, more determined to go out in their own and do what they want to do instead of making so many compromises for the family. For a while, this situation can create conflicts. As the husband turns to his family to develop his more tender side, the wife is out pursuing her own interests. Marital satisfaction is at an all time low. The Empty Nest Period

The empty Nest Period is the time of life after the children leave home, mothers especially feel useless and depressed when the children leave and the “nest” is empty. Most studies now show that the majority of women do not have these feelings; some women do suffer from the problem. Menopause...
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