Transitional period from adolescence to adulthood:
- From 18 to 25 years of age
- Characterized by experimentation and exploration
- Identity exploration
- Feeling “in between”
- Age of possibilities
For most people, early adulthood marks the peak of physical health.
From about 18 to 25 years of age:
- Strength is greatest
- Reflexes are quickest
- Chances of dying from disease are minimal
During middle adulthood people gradually become aware of changes in their bodies:
- Weight gain is common
- Sense organs become less sensitive
Reactions to stimuli are slower
Characteristics of Aging: Changes in the 20s, 30s, and 40s.
20’s: Humans reach their physical, sexual, and perceptual peak with maximum muscle strength, vision, hearing and reaction time.
30’s: Many physical capacities start to decline, however the changes are hardly noticeable until later years.
40’s and on: Muscles become weaker and less flexible, metabolism rates slow down, vision declines, as does fertility.
Health Problems in Adulthood: Physical Decline
According to genetic preprogramming theories of aging:
- Human cells may have a built-in time limit to their reproduction.
- After a certain time, cells stop dividing or become harmful to the body.
In contrast, “wear and tear” theories suggest:
- Mechanical functions of the body simply work less efficiently as people age.
- Waste by products of energy production eventually accumulate; mistakes are made when cells divide.
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Ryckman, R. M. (2013). Theories of personality (10th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Science Clarified, Real Life Biology, Vol. 3 – Earth Science, Vol. 1/Instinct and Learning