Anda di halaman 1dari 14

CHAPTER 11: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFE SPAN - sequence: sequence of age-related changes as an individual progresses from

birth (conception) to death A) PROGRESS BEFORE BIRTH: PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT 1) Germinal Stage 2) Embryonic Stage - 1-2 weeks - rapid cell divisions (zygotes) - 7th day, zygote tries to implant but usually rejected - Placenta: formed when zygote is implanted. Allows O2 and nutrients to babies and its bodily waste to their moms - 2-2months - formation of vital organs (heart, spine, brain) - sensitive period: basic physiological structures are being formed - miscarriage may occur at this time

3) Fetal Stage - 2 months until birth - month 2 muscles and bones > fetus capable of physical movement - month 3: sex organ - final 3 months: brain cells multiply , fat deposited, respiratory and digestive mature

- zygote: one-celled organism formed by the union of sperm and an egg > each cell contains messages from parents that lie in chromosomes > each chromosome houses many genes > genes carry hereditary blueprints - prenatal period: from conception to birth (usually 9-month period) A.1) THE COURSE OF PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT - 3 stages: germinal (first 2 weeks), embryonic (2 weeks to 2 months), fetal stage (two months to birth) A.1.1) GERMINAL STAGE - the first 2 weeks after conception - zygote > rapid cell division > microscopic mass of multiplying cell - on the 7th day, zygote tries to implant itself (for which many are rejected) - during implantation, placenta begins to form - placenta: allows oxygen and nutrients to pass into fetus from the mothers bloodstream and bodily waste to pass out to the mother A.1.2) EMBRYONIC STAGE - from 2 weeks until 2 months - most of the vital organs and bodily systems begin to form - structures such as heart, brain, spine emerge - about 2.5 cm and begins to look like human - very vulnerable as physiological structures are being formed - also, miscarriage usually occurs during this stage A.1.3) FETAL STAGE - from 2 months until childbirth - muscles and bones begin to form

- the now fetus can make physical movements as skeletal structures harden - sex organs develop during the 3rd month - the final 3 months, brain cells multiply at a brisk (very rapid) pace - a layer of fat is deposited under the skin to provide insulation and the respiratory and digestive system mature - age of viability: age at which a baby can survive premature birth but the babies usually experience many developmental problems afterwards A.2) ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS AND PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT - babies can still be affected as developing organisms are linked to its mother by the placenta - Teratogens: any external agents such as drugs or viruses that can harm an embryo or fetus

A.2.1) Maternal Drug Use - heroin babies: born addicted to narcotics and have an increased of early death due to prematurity, birth defects, respiratory difficulties and problems associated with their addiction - prenatal marijuana exposure: disturbances in executive functioning associated with the prefrontal part of the brain at age three- affect attention/impulsivity and problem-solving domains - Fetal alcohol syndrome: collection of inborn problems associated with excessive alcohol use during pregnancy . Also, common cause of intellectual disability > typical problem: microcephaly (small head), heart defects, irritability, hyperactivity, delayed motor and mental development >> study: higher alcohol intake is associated with an elevated risk for deficits in IQ, motor skills and attention span , antisocial and delinquent (unacceptable) behavior - Smoking: increased risks for miscarriage, stillbirth (birth of dead baby), prematurity and sudden infant death syndrome - Prenatal exposure to tobacco: slower than average cognitive development, attention deficits, hyperactivity and conduct problem A.2.2) Maternal Illness and Exposure to Toxins - placenta screens out quite a number of infectious agents but not all - rubella, syphilis, cholera, smallpox, mumps and severe case of flu can be hazardous to the fetus - genital herpes and Acquired Immune Deficiency System (AIDS) are very deadly. > genital herpes when offspring is in contact with the genital part > causes: microcephaly, deafness, blindness and brain damage - HIV virus that causes AIDS are transmitted through placenta, delivery or breast-feeding > but antiretroviral drugs and more cautious obstetrical care can reduce this - others: air pollution , chemicals - but can be helped by: qood-quality medical care that begins early in pregnancy A.2.3) Maternal Nutrition and Emotions

- diet rich in folic acid can reduce the likelihood of a variety of birth defects - maternal emotions can have an impact on prenatal development A.2.4) Fetal Origin of Disease - research suggests that events during prenatal development can program the fetal brain in ways that influence ones vulnerability to various types of illness decades later - low birth weight: increased risk of heart disease many decades later B) THE WONDROUS YEARS OF CHILDHOOD B.1) Exploring the World: Motor Development -Motor development: progression of muscular coordination needed for physical activities B.1.1) Basic Principles Trend a) Cephalocaudal trend: head-to-foot direction of motor development > children tend to gain control over upper part followed by the lower part b) proximodistal trend: centre-outward-direction > torso before extremities (learn to reach by twisting body before manage to extend their arms) - Maturation: development that reflects the gradual unfolding of ones genetic blueprint > genetically programmed physical changes that come with age > research: infants are active agents rather than passive waiting for brains and limbs to mature B.1.2) Understanding Developmental Norms - Developmental norms: median age at which individuals show various abilities and behaviors B.1.3) Cultural Variations and Their Significance - some cultures encourage motor movement due to the nature of environment that needs the children to learn to hunt, or in some cases they are also prohibited from move a lot due to the dangerous nature of the environment B.2) Easy and Difficult Babies: Differences in Temperament Basic Styles in Temperament 2) Slow-to-warm-up children - 15% - less: cheery, regular in sleeping, eating, adapting

1) Easy children - 40% - happy, regular in sleeping, adaptable

3) Difficult children - 10% - glum, non-adaptable, erratic in sleeping and eating, irritable

- Temperament: characteristic mood, activity level, and emotional reactivity - Longitudinal design: observe one group repeatedly over a period of time > participants often drop out because they lose interest - Cross- sectional design: compare groups of participants of differing ages at a single point in time > tend to be more sensitive to developmental changes

- Cohort effects: differences between age groups are due to growing in different period of times Result: - 40%: happy, regular in sleeping and eating , adaptable and not readily upset 15%: slow-to-warm-up children who tend to be less cheery, less regular in their sleeping and eating, slower in adapting to change - 10%: difficult children tend to be glum, erratic in sleeping and eating, resistant to change relatively irritable > develop more emotional problems requiring counseling than other children - 15%-20%: inhibited temperament. Children tend to be shy, timid, wariness of unfamiliar people, objects and events - 20%-30%: uninhibited temperament: children are less restrained, approaching unfamiliar people, objects and events with little trepidation B.3) Early Emotional Development: Attachment - Attachment: close, emotional bonds that develop between infants and caregivers - Separation anxiety: emotional distress seen from infants when they are separated from people with whom they have formed an emotional attachment > peak around 14-18 months

B.3.1) Theories of Attachment - mothers are associated with the powerful, reinforcing event of being fed; conditioned reinforcer - infants are biologicall programmed to emit behavior (smiling, cooing clinging etc) that triggers an an affectionate, protective response from adults - evolutionary slant: need to raise offspring to reproductive age and help them develop the social maturity required for successful mating B.3.2) Patterns of Attachment - note: Pauls note describes this differently Patterns of Attachment 1) Secure Attachment 2) Anxious-ambivalent Att - play and explore comfortably with mom, upsets when she leaves and calmed by her return - anxious when mom is near, protests when she leaves, not particularly comforted when she returns

3) Avoidant Attachment - seeks little contact with mom, not distressed when she leaves, not comforted when she returns

4) Disorganized-disoriented attachment - confused whether to avoid or approach their mom and insecure - Strange situation procedure: infants are exposed to 8 series of separation and reunion episodes to assess their quality of attachment

Result: - most develop secure attachment > play comfortably with mom > sad when she leaves and quickly calmed when she returns - some anxious-ambivalent attachment > anxious when mom is near > protests when she leaves > not comforted when she returns - avoidant attachment > seek little contact with mom > not distressed when she leaves - later: disorganized-disoriented > confused whether they should approach or avoid their mother > insecure - affected by moms sensitivities and responsiveness to childrens needs - depend on the nature of the infants temperament and mothers sensitivity - internal working models: dynamics of close relationships that influence their social interaction - secure attachment kids: tend to be high in self-esteem resilient, competent toddles, curios, persistence - also sets the tone for peoples romantic relationships in adulthood, gender roles, religious beliefs patterns of self disclosure B.3.3) Culture and Attachment - attachment is a universal feature of human development B.4) Becoming Unique: Personality Development - Figure: Sigmund Freud : basic foundation of ones personality firmly laid at age 5 - Figure: Erik Erikson: agrees with SF that it begins early in childhood and it is stamped into adulthood - Stage: developmental period during which characteristics patterns of behavior are exhibited and certain capacities become established > Stage Theories assume: 1) individuals must progress through specified stages in a particular order because each stage build on the previous stage 2) progress through these stages is strongly related to age 3) development is made by major discontinuities that usher in dramatic transitions in behavior

1) Erik Erikson -focus: psychosocial crisis (facing crises) - 8 stages > S1: Trust vs Mistrust > S2: Autonomy vs Shame and Doubt > S3: Initiative vs Guilt > S4: Industry vs Inferiority > S5: Identity vs Confusion > S6: Intimacy vs Isolation [early adult] > S7: Generativity vs Self-absorption [middle] > S8: Integrity vs despair [late adulthood] (pg 504)

Stage Theory 2) Jean Piaget -focus: cognitive development - 4 stages > S1: sensorimotor (0-2) = coordination of sensory input and motor response, object permanence > S2: preoperational (2-7) = symbolic thought: irreversibility, centration, egocentrism, conservation >S3: concrete operational (7-11) = mental operation applied to concrete events: reversibility, decentration , decline egocentrism >S4: formal operational (11 < ) = mental operations applied to abstract ideas: logical, systematic thinking - children are active agents

3) Lev Vygotskys Sociocultural Theory - focus: cognitive development (social interact) - no stage - children cognitive development: 1) depends on social interaction 2) culture exerts great influence 3) through language acquisition

4) Lawrence Kohlberg -focus: morality determined by cognitive develop. > focus on moral reasoning than overt behavior - 3 levels of moral development w 2 sublevels 1) preconventional level = S1: punishment orientation = S2: nave reward orientation 2) Conventional Level = S3: Good boy/girl orientation = S4: Authority orientation 3) Postconventional Level = S5: Social contract orientation = S6: Individual principles and conscience orientation

B.4.1) Eriksons Stage Theory - personality is shaped by how individuals deal with psychosocial crisis - stage concept: can be understood by tug-of-war that determined the subsequent balance between opposing polarities in personality

a) Trust versus Mistrust - if all bio needs are met, infants develop secure attachment b) Autonomy versus Shame and Doubt (2-3) - during 2nd and 3rd year of life when toilet training and other independent efforts take place - if succeed, they acquire self-sufficiency - if there are constant conflicts, child may be ashamed and have self-doubt c) Initiative versus Guilt (3-6) - from 3-6, children may take initiative that conflict with parents rules - overcontrolling: feeling of guilt and self-esteem may suffer - if done correctly, children retain sense of initiative while respect the rights and privileges of other family members d) Industry versus Inferiority (6 through puberty) - learning to function socially extended beyond family to the broader social realm of the neighborhood and school - those who able to function effectively will develop a sense of competent B.4.2) Evaluating Eriksons Theory - it accounts for both continuity and transition in personality development - transition: how new challenges in social relationships stimulate personality development throughout life - Drawback: depended heavily on illustrative case which are open to varied interpretations > also, the theory provides an idealized description of typical developmental patterns - not well suited to explain the enormous personality differences that exist among people A bit prone to stereotype B.5) The Growth of Thought: Cognitive Development - Cognitive development: transitions in youngsters patterns of thinking, including reasoning, remembering and problem solving spearheaded by Jean Piget B.5.1) Overview of Piagets Stage Theory - Figure: Jean Piget: interdisciplinary scholar whose cognitive development was also remarkable - also, a stage theory development - proposed: youngsters progress through 4 major stages of cognitive of development by fundamentall different thought processes: 1) sensorimotor motor period (birth 2) - infants are developing the ability to coordinate their sensory input with their motor actions - key to this transition: acquisition of the concept of object permanence - object permanence: develops when a child recognizes that objects continue to exist eventhough they are no longer visible 2) preoperational period ( 2-7)

- children improve their use of mental images and they may not master the principle of conservation - Centration: tendency to focus on just one feature of a problem, neglecting other important aspects - Irreversibility: inability to envision reversing an action - Egocentrism: thinking characterized a limited ability to share another persons viewpoint >> inability to put oneself in another persons shoes > animism: all things are living thing so children attribute living things qualities to inanimate objects 3) concrete operational period (7-11) - children can perform operations only on images of tangible objects and actual events - reversibility: permits children to mentally undo an action - decentration: allows children to focus on more than one feature of a problem simultaneously Which leads to - decline in egocentrism and gradual mastery of conservation: applicable to liquid, mass, number, volume, area and length - preoperational children cant handle hierarchical classification problems that require focus on two levels of classification simultaneously but children that have achieved concrete operational can 4) formal operational period (11 onwards) - children begin to apply their operations to abstract concepts in addition to concrete objects - after that, Piaget believes that further development in thinking are changes in degree rather fundamental changes in the nature of thinking - adolescent in the formal operational period are more systematic in problem-solving - children in earlier age tend to attack problems quickly with trial-and-error approach - age norm is just an approximation - Assimilation: interpreting new experience in terms of existing mental structure without changing them - Accommodation: changing existing mental structure to explain new experience > both occur interactively B.5.2) Evaluating Piagets Theory - children are active agents Criticisms on Jean Piagets Theory: 1) underestimated young childrens development 2) had little to say about individual differences in development 3) sequences stages are largely invariant but the timetable that children follow in passing thrught these stages varies considerably across cultures B.5.3) Neo-Piagetian Theories [NEW DIRECTION] - Figure: introduced by Pascual-Leone - analyzed the typical performances of children of different ages in the data collected by Piaget > complexity that children can deal with varies across age - M-capacity: predates (precede-sort of) but overlaps with working memory > def: maximum number of mental concepts that an individual can keep in mind at one time - Figure: Robbie Case develops Staircase model of development and the concept central processing structures

- build on previous pro-Piaget theorist. There are 4 major stages of cognitive development but each stage is assumed to have its own distinct structure and cognitive operation > while cognitive development proceeds in line with Piagets view but there is a distinct set of cognitive skills involved that may show uneven development B.5.4 ) Vygotskys Sociocultural Theory - book: Thought and Language. He died if TB - he had to devise a theory that would not be incompatible with the Marxist social philosophy that ruled communist thinking - Piaget vs Vygotsky: > P: children actively explore the world around them and V: childrens cognitive development is fuelled by social interactions with parents, teachers and older children who can provide invaluable guidance - P: cognitive development is a universal process is same across culture. V: culture exerts great influence over how cognitive growth unfolds - P: childrens gradual mastery of language is just another aspect cognitive development. V: language acquisition plays a crucial, central role in fostering cognitive development - V sees cognitive development in children as apprenticeship where it is achieved better with experienced members of society - zone of proximal development (ZPD): gap between what a learner can accomplish alone and what can be achieved with guidance from more skilled partners - scaffolding: assistance provided to a child is adjusted as learning progresses - private speech: children talk loudly as they go about their activities B.5.5) Are Some Cognitive Abilities Innate? - Habituation: gradual reduction in the strength of a response when a stimulus event is presented repeatedly - Dishabituation: new stimulus elicits an increase in the strength of habituated process - YES B.5.6) Critical Periods in Development - critical period: limited time span in the development of an organism when it is optimal for certain capacities to emerge because the organism is especially responsive to certain experience s > CP is to acknowledge that, if a knowledge is not acquired at that period, it wont be acquired later on - sensitive period: an optimal period for acquisition for acquisition but one that does not obviate acquisition at a later point - six-month threshold: little impairment on children if exposed to deprived environment but, if increases more than 6 months, the significance in impairment increases Theory of Mind - About: childrena understanding about the mind and mental states and how children conceive (imagine) of another persons thought process, knowledge, beliefs and feelings

- most children under the age 4 do not yet appreciate that people can hold false belief that do not accurately reflect reality - copy-view of the mind: mind operates like a recording device that may produce accurate or inaccurate representations - more mature theory of mind: interpretive theory of mind: children understand that minds creatively construct and uniquely interpret reality - around age 2, children begin to distinguish between mental states and overt behavior > first they understand: desires and emotions - by age 3, children start talking about others beliefs and thoughts as well as their desires - age 4: children consistently make the connection between mental states and behavior > they began to understand peoples beliefs, thoughts and desires motivate and direct their behavior B.6) The Development of Moral Reasoning - morality: involves ability to discerns right from wrong and behave accordingly B.6.1) Kohlbergs Stage Theory - inspired by Jean Piaget: moral development is determined by cognitive development > the way individuals think out moral issues depends on their level of cognitive development - discovered that: individuals progress through 3 levels of moral development for which is subdivided into 2 parts. Each stages represent the different approach to thinking about right and wrong - preconventional level: young children think in terms of external authority > acts that are wrong are punished and that of right, are rewarded - conventional level of moral reasoning: rules as necessary for maintaining social order > internalize these rules not to avoid punishment but to be virtuous and win approval from others > moral thinking at this stage is relatively inflexible > rules are viewed as absolute guidelines that should be enforced rigidly (bendul) - postconventional level (adolescent): working out a personal code of ethics > acceptance of rules are less rigid and moral thinking shows some flexibility > allow for some possibility that other individuals might not comply with some of societys rules if they conflict with personal ethics B.6.2) Evaluating Kohlbergs Theory Critics: 1) not unusual to find that a person shows signs of several adjacent levels of moral reasoning at a particular point in development 2) Kohlbergs dilemmas may not be valid indicators of moral development in some cultures > critics believe that the value judgment built into Ks theory reflect a liberal, individualistic ideology characteristic of modern Western nations that is much more culture-specific than K appreciated 3) ignore many other aspects of moral development 4) Ks theory was based primarily on male participants responses and is biased against the equally principled moral reasoning of females

C) THE TRANSITION OF ADOLESCENCE - Adolescence: transitional period between adulthood and childhood > not universal across culture C.1) Physiological Changes - Adolescent Growth Spurt: when growth pace becomes rapid (11 years for girls and 2 years later for boys) > could be triggered by leptin that reflects body fat storage - pubescence: 2-year span before hitting puberty where changes leading to physical and sexual maturity take place. - in addition, children develop physical changes that reflect their sexes. Known as secondary sex characteristics - secondary sex characters: physical feature that distinguish one sex from another but not essential for reproduction - Puberty: sexual functions reach maturity which also marks the beginning of adolescence > primary sex characteristics(necessary for reproduction) begin to fully developed - menarche: the first occurrence of menstruation > there has been changes in the maturation age which reflects improvement in medical care and nutrition > girls who mature or boys who mature later facing emotional difficulties with the transition to adolescence -- such as poor academic performance, earlier intercourse, unwanted pregnancies, eating problems and disorders and psychological disorder C.2) Neural Development: The Teen Brain - Prefrontal cortex: the last part to mature fully - Grey vs White Matter > Grey: thinking part and consists of neuron and branch-like extension - decreases with age which reflects synaptic pruning (elimination of less active synapses) > White: facilitates communication and linking between regions of the brain - increase with age where brain becomes more myelinated - this phenomenon increases the conductivity and connectivity in the brain - prefrontal cortex receives the most pruning and increase in myelinization - executive control centre crucial to planning, organizing, emotional regulation and response inhibition lie here - immaturity of prefrontal cortex could explain experimenting with drugs, dangerous stunt, binge drinking etc C.3) Time of Turmoil? - some adolescents experience recurring depressive episodes In the US, suicide is the 3rd leading cause if death among adolescent but its still lower compared to the older age group - attempted suicide is higher in Canadian females than males

- First Nations are vulnerable : cultural continuity factors differentiate the settings where suicide rates are high. A sense of personal and cultural continuity is necessary, especially in times of change - more teenage girls are charged with violent crimes than ever - Figure: Debra Pepler conducted longitudinal study over seven years on preadolescent and adolescent boys and girls - Results: > those troubled usually have relationship problems with parents and friends - not all adolescent experience storm and stress, but storm and stress is more likely during adolescence than at other ages - on average adolescence is somewhat more stressful than other developmental periods C.4) The Search for Identity [Personality Development] - Figure: James Marcia > the presence or absence of a sense of commitment (to life goals and values) and a sense of crisis (active questioning and exploration) can combine to produce four different identity statuses - Marcia 4 Identity Statuses 1) Identity Diffusion - no commitment to an ideology 2) Identity Foreclosure (foreclosure- prevents any possibility of changing) - premature commitment to visions, values and roles- typically prescribed by ones parents - not very open to new experience 3) Identity Moratorium - delaying commitment for a while to experiment with alternative ideologies and careers 4) Identity Achievement - arriving at a sense of self and direction after some consideration of possible alternatives - associated with higher self-esteem, conscientiousness (hardworking+effort), security achievement motivation and capacity for intimacy - Debate: whether marcias theory is a stage that individuals eventually pass through or just a stable individual dispositions (that people tend to behave) - but, 63% of the sample showed same identity status, thus it is a relatively stable trait - so, identity status represents stages that people move through - the data also showed that people tend to reach identity achievement at later ages C.5) Emerging Adulthood as a New Developmental Stage - Figure: Jeffrey Arnett- emerging adulthood > year between 18-25 - the new transitional stage of life > notable fact: more people delaying marriage, lengthier participation in education, increased barriers to financial independence - Characteristics of emerging adulthood 1) one doesnt feel like an adolescent and doesnt see as an adult either

2) age of possibilities- optimist about ones future 3) self-focused time of life: freedom to explore new options Finally: a period of identity formation D) THE EXPANSE OF ADULTHOOD D.1) Personality Development D.1.1) The Question of Stability - Figure: Robert Gould: evolution of personality continues until the 5th decade of life - conclusion from longitudinal studies: personality tends to be quite stable over periods of 20-40 years D.1.2) Eriksons View of Adulthood - divided into 3 stages: 1) Early Adulthood Stage (intimacy versus isolation) > concern: capability to share intimacy with others. Promote empathy and openness 2) Middle Adulthood (Generativity versus self-absorption) > acquire a genuine concern for the welfare of future generation. Unselfish guidance to younger people and concern with ones legacy 3) Late Adulthood stage (Integrity versus Despair) > avoid the tendency to dwell on the mistakes of the past and on ones imminent death D.2) Transitions in Family Life - Family life: sequence of stages that families tend to progress through > adults who expected not to marry have less conventional views about the importance of love, family, children and marriage D.2.1) Adjusting to Marriage - common problem: balancing work and marriage and financial concerns - speculation: people inclined to cohabit were less traditional, mire individualistic, weaker commitment to the institution of marriage - one of the major conflicts: negotiations of marital roles in relation to career commitments (more women are demanding career roles) > research: husbands careers continue to take priority over their wivess career ambitions D.2.2) Adjusting to Parenthood - disruption of old routines can be extremely stressful - dual roles of moms increase the level of stress and the tendency to experience marital dissatisfaction - Review of research shows that: 1) parents exhibit lower marital satisfaction than comparable nonparents 2) mother of infants report the steepest decline in marital satisfaction 3) the more children couples have, the lower their marital satisfaction tends to be - Consistent with this: found that transition to parenthood was associated with deteriorated in relationship quality - The key: make realistic expectations about parental responsibilities

> research: stress is the greatest in new parents who have overestimated the benefits and underestimated the costs of their new role - parental influence on growing children decline with age - closeness to parents decline with conflicts becoming more frequent but when it does occurs, effect is more powerful on the parents than the children D.2.3) Adjusting to the Empty Nest - improvement to marriage due to increase in womens enjoyment of their time with their husbands - boomerang children: returning young adult to their parents D.3) Aging and Physiological Changes - weights tend to increase - feeling younger is associated with better health and cognitive functioning and reduced mortality risk -decrease in: vision, sensitivity to color and contrast, hearing - menopause: ending of menstrual periods (loss of fertility) D.5) Aging and Neural Changes - decrease in the number of active neurons - dementia: multiple cognitive deficits that include memory impairment > can be caused by: Alzheimer, Parkinson, Huntington, AIDS - Alzheimer: major structural deterioration in brain, widespread loss of neurons and brain tissue, accumulation of abnormalities: neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles > early stage: damage centred in hippocampal region (crucial role in memory) > so, likely to have problem in concentrating > patients can fail to recognize completely family members - so far, no cure has been found D.6) Aging and Cognitive Changes - fluid intelligence: basic information processing skills > much more to decline with age - crystallized intelligence: application of accumulated knowledge - concept of meta-memory: level of seniors awareness of the nature of his or her own memory functioning > measured by: Multifactorial Memory Questionnaire - mental speed declines with age but problem-solving ability remains unimpaired - factors that may slow down the decrease in cognitive function: > mentally demanding work, bilinguals, continuing to engage in intellectually engaging activities