Middle Adulthood as a Twentieth Century Phenomenon in Western Culture Essay

Middle Adulthood as a Twentieth Century Phenomenon in Western Culture Essay

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Middle Adulthood as a Twentieth Century Phenomenon in Western Culture Middle adulthood is a 20th century phenomenon in Western culture. In
1900, the average life expectancy was 47 years, but now life
expectancy has increased- people are living longer and more
professionals are studying life during this age period. Between the
ages of 35-64, there are vast changes in many areas of their lives.
Stress is anything that causes a change in your body. The most obvious
changes related to lifestyle in middle-adulthood include: physical
development and health, marital status, family, career and finances
and self-concept. Stress is a natural part of living, but too much
stress can cause illness and increase the risk of death. In order to
maintain a proper level of stress, adults must rely more on knowledge
and insight to enhance overall health, well-being and longevity, as
well as learning to come to grips with developmental challenges and
transitions, to avoid having a stressful life. This can be achieved by
learning what stress is, its causes and effects, and solutions of how
one can be relieved of it. Stress plays a role in many of the diseases
of middle adulthood; it has been identified as being associated with
cardiovascular disease, reduced immunological resistance to diseases
and psychosomatic distress, to name a few. In 1936, Hans Selye, the
father of stress research, defined stress as the body's response to
any demand placed on it. He discovered the General Adaptation
Syndrome, which consists of three stages: the alarm, the resistance...

... middle of paper ...

...ropriate planning and management. To maintain a
balanced level of stress, one can learn solutions to managing everyday
stressors. Managing stress requires a personal, self-assuring,
pro-active commitment in order to effectively create a healthier
lifestyle, and the experience of well-being. Physical and biological
changes, marriage status, family relationships, career and finance,
and self-concept are not the only causes of stress. There is a variety
of stressors, good and bad; how one reacts to it is important. Success
depends on adaptation to, or the anticipation of change. It is
essential to welcome change, in order to avoid intense stress and be
able to exploit the new niches opening up on a constant basis.


Dacey, J. & Travers, J. (2003). Human Development Across the Lifespan.
Boston: McGraw-Hill.

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