Personality in adulthood
Personality change and stability occur in adulthood. For example, self-confidence, warmth, self-control, and emotional stability increase with age, whereas neuroticism and openness to experience tend to decline with age. Growing older has a direct influence on personal preferences. Samples which are influenced by aging:
Two types of statistics are used to classify personality change over the lifespan.
Intelligence in adulthood
According to the lifespan approach, intelligence is a multidimensional and multidirectional construct characterized by plasticity and individual variability. Intellectual development throughout the lifespan is characterized by a decline (increasing failure rate) as well as stability and improvement. Mechanics of intelligence, the basic architecture of information processing, decreases with age. Pragmatic intelligence, knowledge acquired through culture and experience, remains relatively stable with age. In this reference, we speak of the crystalized = fixed long-term intelligence and liquid intelligence which is based on idea development and creativity.
Developmental trends in intelligence
Primary mental abilities are independent groups of factors that contribute to intelligent behavior and include word fluency, verbal comprehension, spatial visualization, number facility, associative memory, reasoning, and perceptual speed. Primary mental abilities decline around the age of 60 and may interfere with life functioning. Secondary mental abilities include crystallized intelligence (knowledge acquired through experience) and fluid intelligence (abilities of flexible and abstract thinking). Fluid intelligence declines steadily in adulthood while crystallized intelligence increases and remains fairly stable with age until very late in life.
A combination of friendships and family are the support system for many individuals and an integral part of their lives from young adulthood to old age.
Ties to family become increasingly important in old age. Family relationships tend to be some of the most enduring bonds created within a person’s lifetime. As adults age, their children often develop a sense of filial obligation, in which they feel obligated to care for their parents. This is particularly prominent in Asian cultures. Marital satisfaction remains high in older couples, often increasing shortly after retirement. This can be attributed to increased maturity and reduced conflict within the relationship. However, when health problems arise, the relationship can become strained. Most people will experience the loss of a family member by death within their lifetime. This life event is usually accompanied by some form of bereavement, or grief.
Friendships are often the support system for many individuals and a fundamental aspect of life from young adulthood to old age. Social friendships are important to emotional fulfillment, behavioral adjustment, and cognitive function. Research has shown that emotional closeness in relationships greatly increases with age even though the number of social relationships and the development of new relationships decline.
In young adulthood, friendships are grounded in similar aged peers and goals. In older adulthood, friendships have been found to be much deeper and longer lasting but also harder to evolve or even to establish. While small in number, the quality of relationships is generally thought to be much stronger for older adults. On the other side when friends fall out due to disease or passing over the elderly becomes less connected and more prone to loneliness. Socializing factors are needed in this group.
Retirement, or the point in which a person stops employment entirely, is often a time of psychological distress or a time of high quality and enhanced subjective well-being for individuals. Most individuals choose to retire between the ages of 50 to 70. Depending on the profession there may be some dangers to a complete withdraw from work activities.
Currently, most 40+ are deeply involved and highly active in work-related activities and have nearly or no hobbies. When retiring they lose their goals and daily engagements which create a “black hole” effect. Disengage of all daily activities develops a high-stress level as suddenly an individual goes from 12+ hours a day of work to nothing to do. This decrease of activity increases cortisol and adrenaline levels makes a person irritable and moody. More than often people suffer from heart failure or likewise health troubles and if not taken seriously the person dies soon after. In most cases within 2 – 3 years after retirement.