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Middle Adulthood (46-65 years of age)
Revision Notes
·It is the period of age beyond young adulthood but before the onset of
old age. It is around the third quarter of the average life span of human
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Slide 2

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Physical development
· In middle adulthood, the ageing process begins to take effect on
the body
· Physical capability begin to decline as the body does not function
as effectively as it did in early adulthood
· Skin loses its elasticity and wrinkles appear more obvious;
muscle tone slackness; sight and hearing might not be as good
· At this stage, woman produces less oestrogen and men less
testosterone, this means:
­ Women will go through the menopause
­ In men, sperm production decreases
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Slide 3

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Intellectual development
· Intellectual development often continuous through middle
· Many people may return to education and choose to study more,
perhaps wanting to move their lives in a new direction and
needing new qualification to do so.
· Due to ageing process, a person's memory may not be quite as
quick as it used to be, but people in middle adulthood have the
benefit of experiences (hence the saying `older but wiser')
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Slide 4

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Emotional development
· For many people the physical changes of middle adulthood lead
to confused emotions. These are caused by hormonal changes.
· At this stage, people often no longer feel young.
· Their children might have grown up and left home, creating the
empty nest syndrome.
· People might have been doing the same job for years, and it now
might have become routine. Some will become bored with work
and want a change.
· Some people might experience mid-life crisis.
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Slide 5

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Social development
· Being in middle adulthood offers people chance to extend their
social development:
­ If children have grown up and left home, parents have less responsibility
and more money to spend on themselves (which means they socialise
more with friends, try out new activities and travel)
· Some people in middle adulthood do not develop socially at all!
­ Many young people go into higher education and, and their parents
often have to support them facially (which means they spend even more
money on their children that they used to do).
­ As people move toward the end of this life stage, their energy levels
may not be as great as before, so they may not want to socialise as
much as they once did.
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Slide 6

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Key terms
Ageing process ­ the biological change that takes place over
time to the human body, affecting its structure and functioning.
Menopause ­ the natural and permanent stopping of
menstruation (period).
Empty nest syndrome ­ the feeling of loss and sadness
when children leave the family home.
Mid-life crisis ­ a dramatic period of self-doubt caused by the
passing of youth and the move into later adulthood.
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