Education | Adult Development and Aging
P517 | 5995 | Dr. Susan Eklund
This course will focus on human development from the early adult years
through the final stages of life. Relatively more emphasis, however,
will be placed on the period from midlife through old age. Topics to
be covered include: life-span development theories; life-span
research methods; theories of aging; age-related changes in cognitive
processes, intellectual functioning, and personality; social
relationships, physiological changes; psychopathology associated with
aging, and implications of all these areas for delivery of educational
and mental health services to adults, particularly older adults.
(1) to be able to describe what is known about the bio-behavioral,
cognitive, and psycho-social processes throughout the adult life-span
(2) to become familiar with theories and research methods of adult
development and aging
(3) to be able to use or apply factual knowledge about adult
development and aging to one's own development and/or the development
(4) to understand gender and ethnic differences in adult development
(5) to write a review of literature paper that integrates and
synthesizes the scholarly literature on a specific adult-development
topic of one's choosing
Format of the course will be lecture, discussion, and student
presentation. Each class member will be required to prepare a class
presentation culminating in a term paper on a topic of his/her
choosing in negotiation with the instructor. The primary purpose of
the paper is to give the student in-depth knowledge in one area of
adulthood and aging. A secondary purpose is to have the student
relate that knowledge to his/her own major area. Final product will
be a paper of approximately 20 pages in length. Students will also
make a class presentation of approximately 20 minutes based on the
same topic as their paper. Papers will be due on December 9. In
addition, there will be short (one-page) written assignments. GRADES
will be based on the paper (40%), the two exams (25% each), and the
other assignments (10%).
Text: Cavanaugh, J. C. & Blanchard-Fields, F. (2002) Adult
Development and Aging. (4th edition). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Additional required readings on reserve in Education Library and/or
September 2 Introduction. Explanation of course structure and
syllabus. Basic Concepts in Adult Development. . Demographics.
History of Study of Adult Development. Early adulthood as a life
Video: Seasons of Life: Early Adulthood
Read: pp. 1-13 in text (Cavanaugh & Blanchard-Fields)
Assignment: Reflect on changes in your own life during the early adult
period. Write a one-page paper describing such changes and how they
do or do not parallel those seen in the video. To be handed in at next
September 4 Middle Adulthood - Major issues.
Video: Seasons of a Life: Middle Adulthood
Read: Merrell, S. S. (1996) Getting over getting older. Psychology
Gallagher, W. (1993) Midlife Myths. The Atlantic Monthly, May 1993.
Clark, K.; Shute, N.; & Kelly, K. (2000) The new midlife. U.S. News
AND World Report, March 20, v128, i11, p 70.
Assignment: Reflect either on changes you have experienced in mid-life
or changes you have observed in parents or others during this period.
To what extent did these changes parallel those seen in the video?
Write one page to turn in next time.
September 9 Late Adulthood - What do we mean by aging? How old is old?
A bio-psycho-social approach to aging.
Video: Seasons of Life: Late Adulthood
Read: Wagner, C. (1999) The Centenarians Are Coming!!
The Futurist, May, 1999
Kemperman, G. & Gage, F. (1999) New nerve cells for the adult brain.
Scientific American, May, 1999
Assignment: Think about your term paper. Scan textbooks and journals
on adult development for ideas. (Nothing to hand in this time.)
September 11The Life-Span Perspective on Development
Re-read: text, 1-4
Read: Baltes, P.B. (1987) Theoretical propositions of life-span
development theory: On the dynamics between growth and decline.
Developmental Psychology, 23, 611-626.
Small group discussion: What are the major influences on human
development according to Baltes? How do they differ during different
life periods, such as adolescence, early adulthood, middle adulthood,
and late adulthood? Or do they differ? Can you give examples of each
of the types of influence and effects each might have on development?
September 16 Developmental Research Methods
Read: text pp. 14 - 27.
Vaillant, G. E. & Mukamal, K. (2001) Successful aging.
American Journal of Psychiatry, 158 (6), 839 - 847.
Assignment: Find one research article in adult development or aging
from journals listed at end of this syllabus. Copy article and bring
to class next time to hand in with a one-page description of the
research methods used in the article. Which of the approaches
discussed in class today or in your textbook were used in your
September 18 Biological Bases for Adult Development
Video: Research on Aging
Read: text pp. 31-40
Rowe, J. W. & Kahn, R. L. (1987) Human aging: Usual and Successful.
Science, 237 : 143-149.
Read: Rowe, J. W. & Kahn, R. L. (1997) Successful aging.
The Gerontologist, 37, 433-440.
September 23 Sensory Changes with Age
Read: text pp 40 -66
Assignment: Observe older adults in a public setting (such as College
Mall). What examples do you see from which you might infer sensory
changes? Write a one page description of the behaviors you see which
you interpret as sensory-related changes.
September 25 Longevity, Health and aging
Excerpt from tape on exercise and aging
Read: text 69 - 105
Assignment: Take the longevity questionnaire on-line which is
described in your text on p. 71 (top of page) and be prepared to
discuss how you could extend your life expectancy through life-style
changes. To be discussed in small groups.
September 30 Attention and Perceptual Processing
Read Chapter 6 in text.
October 2 Memory
Video: The Aging Mind
Read: Text Chap. 7
Cowley, G. & Underwood, A. (1998) Memory. Newsweek, June 15, pp. 48 -
Read: Willis, S.L. Towards an educational psychology of the older
adult learner: Intellectual and cognitive bases. In J. E. Birren
& K. W. Schaie (Eds.), Handbook of the Psychology of Aging, N.Y.: Van
( Schedule appointments to discuss paper topics. Choice of topic due
on Oct. 21. Paper due on Dec. 9)
October 7 Intelligence
Read: text Chap. 8
Chappell, M.S. (1996) Changing perspectives on aging and intelligence.
Journal of Adult Development, 3, 233-239.
Seeman, T. E., et al. (2001) Social relationships, social support, and
patterns of cognitive aging in healthy, high-functioning older adults:
MacArthur Studies of successful aging. Health Psychology, 20 (4), 243
October 9 Exam 1 - will cover all material to date.
October 14 Social Cognition
Read: Text, Chap. 9
October 16 Personality
Read: Chap. 10 in text.
Costa, P.T. & McCrae, R.R. (1994) Stability and change in personality
from adolescence through adulthood. In C.F. Halverson, Kohnstamn, &
Martin(Eds.), The Developing Structure of Temperament and Personality
from Infancy to Adulthood, pp139 -150)
October 21 Mental Health and Mental Illness
Video: Living with Grace
Read: Text, Chap. 4
Readings: Gatz, M., Kasl-Godley, J. E. , & Karel, M. J. (1996)
Aging and mental disorders. In J. E. Birren & K. W. Schaie (Eds.),
Handbook of the Psychology of Aging, 4th Ed, San Diego: Academic
Hill, C. & Eklund, S. J. (2002) Cross-cultural gerontological
counseling. In P. B. Petersen, J. G. Draguns, W. J. Lonner, & J. E.
Trimble (Eds.) Counseling Across Cultures, 5th Edition. (Reserve)
Paper topic statement due today - turn in a proposed title and a short
paragraph describing what the paper will be about.
October 23 Mental Health & Mental Disorders (continued)
Read: Wilson, R. S. , et. Al. (2002) Participation in cognitively
stimulating activities and risk of incident Alzheimer Disease. JAMA,
287 (6), 742 -748, Feb. 13, 2002.
October 28 Relationships
Read: Text, Chap. 11
Kantrowitz, B. & Wingert, P. (1999) The science of good marriage.
Newsweek, April 19, 1999 (Reserve)
Aldous, J. (1995) New views of grandparents in
intergenerational context. Journal of Family Issues, 16, 104 - 122.
Video: For Better or For Worse
October 30 Person - Environment Interactions
Read: Text Chap. 5
November 4 Work, Leisure and Retirement
Read: Text, Chap. 12
Video: Retirement, Work, & Leisure
Nov. 6 Death and Dying
Read: Text, Chap. 13
Assignment: Prepare a Living Will and decide who you would designate
to hold your health care power of attorney? Your general power of
attorney? Would they be different people? Why or why not?
November 11 Exam # 2 - to cover everything since last exam
November 13 Discussion of Death and Dying issues. Go over exam.
(Remaining sessions devoted to student presentations)
November 27 - THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY
December 9 PAPERS DUE TODAY
December 11 Last class. Final student presentations and class
JOURNALS (Of particular relevance to this course)
Experimental Aging Research
Journal of Gerontology
International Journal of Aging and Human Development
OMEGA, The International Journal of Death and Dying
Psychology and Aging
Journal of Adult Development
Handbook of the Psychology of Aging (Editions 1 - 4)
Also, the Ageline database is available through the IU library.
Infotrac can be accessed using the card that came with your text. All
assigned readings outside of your text will be available on-line or on
reserve in the Education library.