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First, discuss how your personal view of old age has been influenced by the developmental theories on aging (Feldman: ch. 17, 18, & 19) from the information in this module on late adulthood.


Personality plays a critical role in all the stages of life. This stage is most important in the adult stage because it can lead to successful or unsuccessful aging. Personality traits tend to be consistent, and this means that they are neither frequent nor radical. However, change can occur due to naturalistic forces as well as intervention. Older adults purposefully withdraw from the society because they tend to decrease their social participation. Successful aging occurs when one has a certain satisfaction and happiness in their lives.

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People age in different ways most of them being both biological and psychological. Alterations in the brain structure of people lead to considerable alterations in cognitive function. The same way that brain function is not related to different individuals, cognitive function is not the same among older individuals. The cognitive functions most affected by age our attention as well as memory. Some aspects of attention and memory may remain intact while others decline tremendously during old age. Perception also declines during old age due to the fact that sensory capacities decline as well.


Physical activity is essential throughout the lifespan of an individual. Regardless of age, physical activity is essential in improving cognitive function. Aspects such as attention and memory play a critical role in a person’s old age and tend to decline sharply as one age. However, through physical activity, an old aged individual tends to have sharper aspects of memory and attention.

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Then, include information from each social theory of Erikson, Peck, Neugarten, and Levinson.  Reflect on how your reading of the social theories changed (or did not change) your mind about older adulthood.  Include information from all 4 theories.

Erikson’s psychosocial theory of development emphasizes on the stages that human beings have to go through their lifespan. People tend to enter the old age stage above the age of 60 years old. Erikson called this period the stage of integrity and despair. He noted that people above the age of 60 either felt a sense of satisfaction of the way they have lived their lives or a sense of despair. Those that feel that they have lived a satisfactory life feel a sense of integrity because they have few regrets with their lives. On the other hand, those people that are not successful at that stage may feel that they have wasted their lives. They face the end of their lives while feeling a sense of depression, bitterness, and despair.

Peck’s stages of older adulthood were derived from Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development. He suggested that old age could be an opportunity for an individual to live a flexible life and stay positive. According to him, the first task in aging was ego differentiation and versus work role preoccupation. Old age activities such as divorce, retirement and older children leaving their homes leaves a void in old people’s lives. Older adults at this stage have the opportunity to redefine themselves. They should focus on mentoring the next generation rather than focusing on the prestige they have lost throughout their life. His second step in aging is the decline in function of vital body organs. He suggests rather than older people dwelling on their weaknesses; they should share the wisdom they have acquired with others.

The seasons of life theory by Levinson focuses on stages of growth in a person’s adulthood. His stages were sequential in that each stage is shaped by an event or action. His first stage in adulthood is the early adult transition that occurs between the ages of 17-22 years. During this stage, a person leaves adolescence and start to make their personal choices about their lives. The second stage is the entering the adult world stage that is between the ages of 23-28. In this stage, people make concrete decisions regarding their friendships, values, and occupation. The next stage is the age 30 transitions (29-32 years) where people undergo certain changes such as marriage that could impact on their lives. The settling down stage (33-40 years) makes one start accomplishing their goals and behave like adults because they are mostly parents with additional responsibilities. Age 40-45 is the mid-life transition where people begin thinking about their lives and the legacy they will leave behind. Age 46-50 is the entering middle adulthood stage where people make choices about their future and retirement. The last stage comes over 60 years, and it is the late adulthood stage where people begin to review their lives.

Psychologist Bernice Neugarten came up with the social clock theory to explain aging in individuals. She noticed that the events that took place in the society occurred in a predictable manner. She noticed that all the societies have a social clock at which some events have to occur. If some things do not occur according to the timeframe of the society, then there is a sense of dissatisfaction. People tend to compare their achievements with those of their colleagues.

Finally, as a result, finish your essay by quickly writing a sentence to complete  this phrase, “When I am old I will …”

When I am old, I will strive to mentor the upcoming generation and use my knowledge and wisdom for the betterment of the society.

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