Human Development in Adulthood Life Sciences Research Paper (Research Paper Sample)
Summarize and explain biosocial, psychosocial and cognitive development based n chapters 20, 21 and 22 of the book: Berger, K. S. (2017). The developing person through the life span, 10th Edn. New York: Worth Publishers, Macmillan Learning.source..
Human Development in Adulthood
Chapter 20-Biosocial Development in Adulthood
Adulthood is the stage in the human developmental lifecycle when one is expected to have attained optimal physical and intellectual maturity, usually between the ages of 20 and 21 years. Physically, the body undergoes a phase of gradual decline in its functioning during middle adulthood, a concept referred to as senescence. However, the decline in functioning of vital body processes does not often imply physical impairment. In particular, blood pressure, respiratory processes, and brain functioning remain optimal throughout adulthood (Berger, 2017).
The onset of middle adulthood is characterized by gradual changes in one’s physical appearance, including skin wrinkles, bulging abdomen due to increased fat accumulation, loss of hair, and shedding off of some height due to a gradual compression of the spine. Additionally, senescence becomes more pronounced in the sense organs (Berger, 2017). For instance, progression towards middle adulthood is characterized by declining vision such as less nearsightedness and increased farsightedness. One may also experience less acute hearing capability.
Adulthood is equally marked by notable changes one’s sexual-reproductive system. During the later stages of middle adulthood (ages 45-60), one may experience slowed sexual responsiveness that is characterized by slowed recovery after orgasm. However, the decline in sexual responsiveness is often just a physical adjustment to aging, which does not necessarily impair one’s sexual-reproductive functioning (Berger, 2017). Couples during this age bracket can thus sustain or improve their intimacy through effective communication and understanding. Diminishing sexual-reproductive responsiveness is often accompanied by a gradual decline in fertility. Men in midlife may experience lower sperm count, while women may experience ovulation failure due to blockage of the fallopian tubes.
The onset of certain health issues, especially those relating to sexual health may accelerate infertility during middle adulthood. For women, the onset of menopause, which can occur as early as 40 years or as late as 51 years, marks the end of the regular menstrual cycles and a significant reduction in estrogen levels and inability to conceive a pregnancy (Berger, 2017). Consequently, women in menopause may experience a myriad of hormonal changes not observable in early adulthood. Men may equally experience mild hormonal changes, which do not impede their ability to produce viable sperms. Hormone replacement therapy may help restore sexual-reproductive functionality but it poses diverse risks for both genders, including breast cancer in women.
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