Development in Adulthood / Edition 4

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This comprehensive, multidisciplinary text presents an empowering view of adulthood through an examination of the nature and sources of diversity and the influences of age, gender, cohort, race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, and culture on development. This fourth edition continues its commitment to being the most current, comprehensive, scholarly, and readable text on adult development and aging available. While retaining its theoretical foundations in the life-span developmental perspective and the contextual model of development as represented by Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory, this text has been thoroughly revised to strengthen and polish its pedagogy and organization, still allowing room for the most current research and thinking in the field and expanded treatment of emerging hot topics. Students will find this topically organized text an engaging and accessible introduction to the challenges and opportunities of adult life.


  • Fresh perspectives are offered from the field, including expanded coverage of high-interest and highly relevant material.
  • Emphasis on development-in-context, and on the nature and sources of diversity helps the reader to grasp and appreciate individual differences in development.
  • Strong pedagogical structure actively engages the reader, clarifies and reinforces content, enhances comprehension, and maximizes retention.
  • Real-life applications integrated throughout provide a bridge between theory, research, and practice, enabling students to connect with the material on a personal level.

New to This Edition

  • Material on emerging hot topics exposes students to the most current research and perspectives in the field.
  • Additional material enhances student appreciation for the context of development, including Understanding the Developmental Context boxes throughout. Two new boxes include a discussion of a new transitional developmental stage called Midcourse: Let's Retire the Concept of Retirement in Chapter 2 and a review of research on so-called brain-enhancing chemicals called Better Thinking through Chemistry? in Chapter 5.

Incl. demography & changing views of adulthood; social devpt/friendship/mate selection; work & retirement.

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Editorial Reviews

An introductory psychology text which emphasizes development in the context of the impact of partners, gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and culture. Theoretical foundations for the work include a life-span development perspective and Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205439645
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 4/28/2005
  • Series: MySearchLab Series 15% off Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Table of Contents


1. The Study of Development in Adulthood.

Demography and a Changing View of Adulthood.

Increased Life Expectancy.

The Baby Boom
Why Study Adult Development?

Life-Span Developmental Perspective.

Development Is a Lifelong Process.

Development Includes Both Gains and Losses.

Development Is Multidimensional, Multidirectional, and Multicausal.

Development Is Plastic.

Development Is Embedded in Historical, Cultural, and Social Contexts.

Development Is a Multidisciplinary Field.

Research Concepts, Methods, and Designs.

Two Key Concepts in Research: Reliability and Validity.

Methods of Collecting Data.

Nondevelopmental versus Developmental Research.

General Research Designs.

Developmental Research Designs.

Special Considerations and Limitations in the Research.



Cultural, Racial, Socioeconomic, and Gender Bias.

Box: Difficulties in Identifying and Defining American Ethnic Groups.

Review Questions.

Key Terms.

2. Theories of Psychosocial Development.

Organismic, Mechanistic, and Contextual Models.

Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory.

Rigor versus Relevance: Caught between a Rock and a Soft Place?

A Systems Approach: Reciprocal Interactions.

Phenomenology: Through the Eyes of the Beholder.

The Ecological View of the Environment.

Ages and Stages: The Psychoanalytic Tradition.

Stage Theory Defined.

Freud, Jung, and Erikson.

Erikson’s Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development.

A Closer Look at Generativity.

Levinson’s Sea sons of a Man’s Life.

Havighurst’s Developmental Tasks.

A Final Look at Stage Theory: Major Criticisms.

Multiple Meanings of Time and Age.

Box: Midcourse: Let’s Retire the Term Retirement.

Trait Models: McCrae and Costa’s Five-Factor Model of Personality.

Defining a Trait.

Defining the Five Factors.

Do I Know You? Stability versus Change in the Adult Personality.

A Historical View of the Issue: The Pendulum Swings.

What Changes and What Stays the Same?

Review Questions.

Key Terms.

3. The Self: Development and Issues of Culture, Gender, Ethnicity, and Age.

Defining the Self.

Contributions of William James.




Setting Things Straight: A Confusion of Monikers.

The Self-Concept: The Cognitive Theory of Self.

Viewing the Self-Concept as a Self-Schema.

Cognitive Impact of the Self-Concept.

How Many of You Are There?

Self-Esteem: The Assessment of One’s Worth.

Importance of a Sense of Worth.

Building Blocks of Self-Esteem.

I Think I Can, I Think I Can: A Look at Self-Efficacy.

Sources of Self-Efficacy.

Correlates of Self-Efficacy.

Gender Differences in Self-Efficacy.

Identity: Who Am I and Where Am I Going?

Identity Defined: Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory.

Formation of Identity: Marcia’s Identity Status Approach.

A Critique of the Identity Status Model.

The Self in Cross-Cultural Perspective.

Collectivism versus Individualism.

Women, Men, and Identity Formation.

Traditional Gender Roles.

Social versus Evolutionary Origins.

Prominence of the Male Model of Development.

Identity Research and Women.

Box: Does It Matter What Year You Were Born?

The Intersection of Gender, Generation, and History.

Race/Ethnicity and the Development of the Self.

Self-Esteem among Black Americans.

Self-Efficacy among Black Americans.

Identity Formation among Blacks.

Race, Ethnicity, and Socioeconomic Status.

Ethnic Groups and Core Characteristics: Hispanics, Asian Americans, and Native Americans.

Effect of Age on the Self.

Patterns of Age-Related Change in Adult Personality.

Maintaining Continuity of the Self.

You’re Only as Old as You Feel: The Impact of Subjective Age.

Impact of Age on Self-Esteem.

Defenses Used to Protect the Self.

Causes of Low Self-Esteem in Late Adulthood.

Review Questions.

Key Terms.

4: Cognitive Processes in Adulthood: Dimensions and Directions

A Life-Span View of Cognitive Development.

Evolution of Cognitive Psychology.

Defining Adult Intelligence.

Key Perspectives of Life-Span Cognitive Development.

Growth, Stability, or Decline?

Evidence of Cognitive Decline: The Decrementalist View.

Major Findings.

Evidence of Cognitive Growth: The Continued Potential View.

Adult Life-Span Learning.

Quantitative versus Qualitative Gains in Adult Cognition.

Expertise, Wisdom, and Creativity.

Successful Cognitive Aging.

Review Questions.

Key Terms.

5. Cognitive Processes in Adulthood: Influences and Explanations

Research and Measurement Issues.

Psychosocial Explanations.

Exposure to a Stimulating Environment.

Psychological Factors.

Demographic Variables.

Information-Processing Explanations.


Speed of Processing.


Status of Information-Processing Approaches.

Physiological Explanations.

Changes in the Brain with Age.

Changes in and between Neurons and Plasticity.

Box: Better Thinking through Chemistry?

Applications and Implications of Cognitive Aging Research.

Final Comments on Cognitive Development.

Review Questions.

Key Terms.

6. Social Development, Friendship, and Mate Selection.

Overview of Social Relationships.

Nature of Relationships.

Benefits of Relating.

Social Support.

Convoy Model of Social Relationships.

Equity Theory: A Theory of Social Interaction.

Ethnic Differences.

Impact of Early Experience on Adult Relationships.

Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages.

Attachment Theory.

Attachment Theory and Romantic Love.

Concluding Thoughts.


Research Problems.

Nature of Friendship.

Functions of Friendship.

Gender Differences.

Friendship Development over the Life Span.

The Future of Friendship.

Leaving Home: Transition from the Family of Origin.

Box: Emerging Adulthood: The Age of Possibilities.

Mate Selection: Who Marries Whom and Why?

Propinquity: “The Girl (or Boy) Next Door”.

Attractiveness: “I Know What I Like”.

Similarity (Homogamy): “Birds of a Feather”.

Reciprocity: “You Scratch My Back and I’ll Scratch Yours”.

Complementarity: “Completing the Self”.

The Right Person at the Right Time: “Timing Is Everything”.


Male-Female Differences in Sexual Attitudes.

Sexuality among Young and Middle-Aged Adults.

Late-Life Sexuality.

Sexual Orientation.

Review Questions.

Key Terms.

7. Family Ties, Transitions, and Challenges.

Family Development.

Family Life Cycle.

Family Developmental Tasks.

Cycle of Generations.

Limitations of the Family Development Model.

Changing Families, Changing Times.

Marriage: Establishing a Family of One’s Own.

Statistical Trends.

Components of Romantic Love.

Marital Roles.

Alternative Unions (Same-Sex and Nonmarried Romantic Relationships).

Benefits of Marriage.

Marital Satisfaction.




A Life-Span View of Parenthood.

Changing Roles.

Delayed Parenthood.

The Transition to Parenthood: Changes in Lifestyle and Family Life.

Where’s Daddy?

Children and Marital Satisfaction.

The Middle Years of Parenthood.

The Later Years of Parenthood.

The Context of Parenthood.

Intergenerational Ties.

Parent—Adult Child Relationships.


Box: Grand-parenthood among the Navajo.

Adult Sibling Relationships.

Sibling Relationships as Attachments.

Unique Qualities.

Pattern over Time.

Functions of the Sibling Relationship.

Additional Questions.

Family Caregiving.

Caregiving as a Normative Experience.

Changed Nature of Caregiving.

Who Is the Caregiver?

Caregiving Career.

Caregiver Tasks.

Caregiver Stress.

Family Violence.

A Brief History of the Study of Domestic Violence.


Causal Factors.

Abuser and Victim Profiles.

Consequences of Family Violence.

Developmental Patterns in Adult Abusive Relationships.


Review Questions.

Key Terms.

8. Work and Retirement.

Nature of Work.

Significance of Work in Adult Life.

Why Work?

A Changing Work World: Work, Workers, Workplace.

Career Development.

Career Cycle.

Challenges to the Traditional View: Increasing Diversity of Career Paths.

Why Do We Choose the Work We Do?

How Effectively Do We Choose?

Age and Job Satisfaction.

Growing Up and the Dream.

Gender and Work: Women’s Career Paths and Special Career Issues.

Changing Nature of Women’s Work and Working Women.

Women’s Career Patterns and Work Experiences.

Multiple Roles: Combining Career and Family.

Retirement and Leisure.

Retirement as a Life Stage: A Brief Social History.

Research Limitations.

A Life-Span View of Retirement.

Predictors of Retirement.

Retirement as a Developmental Process.

Impact of Retirement on Individual Well-Being.

Economics of Retirement: Social Security and Pensions.

Work and Retiring: The 21st Century.

Box: Finding Niches for Golden Workers.

Importance of Leisure over the Life Span.

Review Questions.

Key Terms.

9. Physical Development and Aging.

What Is This Thing Called Aging?

Primary versus Secondary Aging.

Current Conceptions of Aging.

Physical Development in Adulthood.

Changes in the Skin and Connective Tissue.

Changes in the Skeletal System.

Changes in Skeletal Muscle.

Changes in the Cardio-vascular System.

Changes in the Respiratory System.

Changes in the Immune System.

Changes in the Endocrine System.

Changes in the Reproductive System.

Changes in Sensory Capacity with Age.

Theories of Biological Aging.

Aging by Design: Programmed Theories of Aging.

Aging by Accident: Stochastic Theories of Aging.

In Search of an Integrated Theory.

The Goal of Aging Research: Adding Life to Years or Years to Life?

Review Questions.

Key Terms.

10. Health, Longevity, and Prevention.

Health, Disease, and Disability.

Defining and Measuring Health, Disease, and Illness.

Age and Health.

Box: Transgenerational Design: Designing Products and Environments for People of All Ages.

Effects of Gender and Race on Health and Longevity.

Prevention of Illness and Promotion of Health.

Three Levels of Prevention.

Matching the Program to the Person.

Risk Factors.

An Overview of Preventive Behaviors.

Context of Health and Illness: An Ecological View.

Medication Use among Older Adults: A Health Concern.

Long-Term Care.

Successful Aging: A Multidimensional Effort.

Review Questions.

Key Terms.

11. Coping, Adaptation, and Mental Health.


Most People Are Happy.

Determinants of Happiness.

Religious Involvement and Spirituality.

Stress, Coping, and Locus of Control.

Nature of Stress.

Effects of Stress.

Coping with Stress.

Beliefs about Personal Control.

An Overview of the Mental Health Status of Adults.

Age-Related Trends in Psychological Health.

Gender Differences in Rates of Mental Disorders.

Gender, Age, and Racial/Ethnic Differences in Help Seeking.

Science of Prevention.

A Look at Two Mental Disorders in Adulthood.

Major Depression.

Alzheimer’s Disease.

Review Questions.

Key Terms.

12. Death, Dying, and Bereavement.

The Changed Nature of Death.

Attitudes toward Death.

The Death-Denying Society.

Psychology’s Approach to Death.

Death Anxiety.

The Dying Person.

Contributions of Kübler-Ross.

Dying Well.


Right-to-Die Movement: Suicide, Assisted Suicide, and Euthanasia.

Improving Care of the Dying.

Grief and Bereavement.

Cultural and Historical Context of Grief.

Resilience in the Face of Loss.

Box: Death and Grief among the Lakota Sioux.

Grief Process.

Unanticipated and Anticipated Death.

Health and Mortality Risks of Bereavement.

The Funeral and Other Leave-Taking Rituals.

Condolence Behavior.

Bereavement as a Transition.

Review Questions.

Key Terms.



Name Index.

Subject Index.

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