Psychology 108: Psychology of Adulthood and Aging

Use this course to get an overview of the physiological, social, and cognitive developmental stages associated with adulthood and aging. Watch the video lessons to learn about topics including dispositional traits, chronic health concerns, occupational cycles, and more. 

About This Course

Let our instructors show you the theoretical approaches and research techniques used to study changes that occur to our intellects, physical appearances, personalities, and relationships as we progress through adulthood. You can also explore the assessment measures and treatments used to address physical and mental health concerns associated with these developmental stages. Use this course to explore the following:

  • Psychological research methods and ethics
  • Chronic health and fitness concerns
  • Physiological effects of aging on body systems
  • Cognitive, mental health, and mood disorders
  • Changes to memory, attention, and mental abilities
  • Social contexts of relationships and living situations
  • Occupational development stages and retirement
  • Definition and stages of dying

This course on the psychology of adulthood and aging is taught by experienced educators who employ a teaching style that makes the material enjoyable. Lesson content is available in the form of short videos or corresponding transcripts, both of which make it easy to access the main ideas and vocabulary terms associated with each topic. If you'd like to test your understanding of lesson content, there are also self-assessment quizzes containing multiple-choice questions.

Course Chapter Objectives
Introduction to Adult Development and Aging Explore the field of gerontology and the definitions of age. Examine theories and models of aging, stereotypes associated with older adults, and demographics of the aging population.
Political and Ethical Issues in Studying Adult Development and Aging Discover influences on development in late adulthood as well as developmental controversies, including nature-nurture and continuity-discontinuity debates.
Research Methods and the Study of Adult Development and Aging Investigate the characteristics of high-quality research. Learn the differences between basic and applied research, scientific and nonscientific research, and experimental and non-experimental research. Study the research designs, tools, methodologies, and measurements used in this field.
Conducting Ethical Research Scrutinize the guidelines for conducting research on people. Consider the purposes of informed consent as well as the physical, psychological, and professional risk factors associated with using human test subjects.
Personality & Aging Delve into the five factor model of dispositional traits. Survey Neugarten's personality styles, Erikson's stages of identity formation, Jung's personality theories, Levinson's stages of adult development, and Freud's psychoanalytic theory.
Health of the Aging Population Look at common physical, psychological, and emotional changes occurring in late adulthood. Identify fitness concerns, factors influencing longevity, and causes of disability, morbidity, and mortality. Explore health treatment options and costs.
The Aging Brain and Nervous System Examine the physical changes occurring to the brain's autonomic nervous system, neurons, and neurotransmitters. Learn how these changes affect emotional and cognitive processing and discover ways exercise benefits the brain.
The Aging Muscle, Skeletal, and Integumentary Systems Get an overview of how aging affects the hair, skin, and voice. Study muscle tissue and muscle function before examining the extent to which mobility and build change with age. See how physical changes to personal appearance affect self-concepts.
The Aging Sensory System Begin with an overview of the sensory system and work through the lessons to discover the effects of aging on vision, hearing, taste, smell, and balance. Explore changes in physiological reaction time.
The Aging Circulatory and Respiratory Systems Go over functions of the human circulatory and respiratory systems and discover how they change with age. Examine common conditions and diseases associated with each.
The Aging Endocrine and Reproductive Systems Review anatomy of the endocrine system and the male and female reproductive systems. Study the changes and psychological effects of aging on each.
Chronic Conditions of the Aging Population Learn about common chronic health conditions among older adults and find out how they can be managed. Identify the influences of family history, genetics, socioeconomic issues, diet, exercise, substance abuse, stress, and sleep on chronic health conditions.
Attention and Memory of the Aging Population Research the ways in which attention processing speeds, sensory memory, long-term memory, implicit and explicit memory, and working memory are affected by the aging process. Examine such topics as perceptual development, memory distortion, and heuristics.
Cognitive Development & Aging Compare Piaget's stages of cognitive development to the changes in intellectual, memory, and problem solving abilities that occur in late adulthood. Learn how these changes relate to language acquisition and information processing.
Intelligence, Creativity, and Wisdom Investigate intelligence testing and research methods. Explore the development of primary and secondary mental abilities and the biological bases of intelligence. Learn the definition of wisdom and its relation to life experience.
Mental Health and Lifespan Development Disorders Survey theories of psychopathology and various classifications of lifespan development disorders. Identify factors contributing to life satisfaction among older adults and ponder the role of spirituality, religiosity, and aesthetics.
Clinical Assessment in Psychology Scrutinize the purposes and limitations of clinical measures designed to assess patients' mental health, such as behavioral, cognitive, psychophysiological, and neuropsychological assessment measures.
Anxiety Disorders Related to Aging Sort through causes and treatments for generalized anxiety and panic disorders, agoraphobia, social phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and trauma-related disorders.
Substance Use Disorders & Aging Populations Analyze causes of substance disorders and dependence on depressants, stimulants, and hallucinogens, such as alcohol, amphetamines, and cannabis. Learn why people combine substances and discover the various approaches to treating substance-related disorders.
Cognitive Disorders in Abnormal Psychology Consider the causes and treatment techniques for delirium, dementia, amnesia, Alzheimer's disease, and substance abuse-induced cognitive disorders.
Mood and Stress Disorders Survey types of depressive disorders and the sensory changes that result in paranoia. Examine causes and triggers for suicidal thoughts. Explore defense mechanisms and coping strategies associated with stress and adaptation.
Treatment Methods for Psychological Disorders Learn characteristics of biological, individual, group, life review, and pet therapies. Investigate the effectiveness of various treatment techniques designed for older populations, including sensory training, reality orientation, and remotivation.
Relationships in Adulthood Discover the family relationships, friendships, and love relationships characteristic of adulthood. Identify the significance of marriage, divorce, cohabitation, remarriage, and widowhood. Examine forms of parenting and grandparenting.
Work in Early, Middle, and Late Adulthood Get acquainted with normative and non-normative occupational cycles. Find out why stages of occupational development differ among minorities and women. Discover how age affects occupational choice and explore causes of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction among older workers.
Retirement and Leisure in Adulthood Learn how work and leisure time relate to achievement in late adulthood. Examine factors affecting retirement and the challenges of ageism.
Death, Dying, and Bereavement Study stages of dying, grief, and bereavement alongside the history of hospice care and the debate over euthanasia. Explore end-of-life issues and the affect of death anxiety on various age groups.

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