Unit8disc1peerresponse | Psychology homework help


Response Guidelines

Read as many of your peers’ posts as time allows, and respond to at least two of them. Try to choose posts that have had the fewest responses.

Your responses to other learners are expected to be substantive in nature and to reference the assigned readings, as well as other theoretical, empirical, or professional literature to support your views and writings. Use the following critique guidelines:

The clarity and completeness of your peer’s post.

The demonstrated ability to apply theory to practice.

The credibility of the references.

The structure and style of the written post.

Peer 1Raymond Lam

Balte’s theory on the gains and losses in middle adulthood revolves around the idea of biological and cultural supports.  Adequate parenting, nutrition, education, and protection are examples of some of these (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). In middle adulthood, biological supports such as hearing and vision can start to weaken (loss), but cultural supports such as postformal thinking may be reinforced (gain).  

                The processes of growth, maintenance, and regulation of loss can be adaptive for development at this stage because they are adaptations. Growth is adapting through self-improvement. Maintenance is adapting by maintaining the concept of self through hardship and struggle. Regulation of loss is adapting by adjusting expectations and settling for a lower standard (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015).

                In middle adulthood, people also experience age-graded and history-graded changes. Age-graded changes include physical changes like hair loss and skin wrinkling, as well as cognitive changes like intellectual declines and learning things slower. History-graded changes depends on the individual’s sociocultural context. For example, a person who grew up in poverty could be more frugal than a person who grew up wealthy.

Srivastava, John, Gosling, & Potter (2003) also find that personality can change during this period, with a significant result found for the increase of conscientiousness and agreeableness. Additionally,  Merline, Jager, & Schulenberg (2008) find that factors such as parental drinking, risk taking, and use of cigarettes could predict heavy drinking during the middle adulthood period, signaling a negative change.

Broderick, P.C., & Blewitt, P. (2015). THE LIFE SPAN: Human Development for Helping Professionals (4th ed.). Boston: Pearson. 

Merline, A., Jager, J. and Schulenberg, J. E. (2008), Adolescent risk factors for adult alcohol use and abuse: stability and change of predictive value across early and middle adulthood. Addiction, 103, 84–99. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2008.02178.x

Srivastava, S., John, O. P., Gosling, S. D., & Potter, J. (2003). Development of personality in early and middle adulthood: Set like plaster or persistent change? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(5), 1041-1053. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.84.5.1041

Peer2 Kenwyn Avery

Middle Adulthood-Gains & Losses

Balte’s theory on gains and losses is that gains are obvious early in life and losses are obvious later in life. Post formal thinking and close relationships are gains early in life while the beginnings stages of losing sensory abilities, immune function, and relationships happen later in life (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). The older the adult the more time and practice it takes to attain learning gains and to some extent some of those gains may not ever be attainable no matter how much the individual trains (Baltes, Staudinger, and Ulman, 1999).

Process of Growth, Maintenance, and Regulation of Loss

The adaptive development during middle adulthood has three stages, growth, maintenance, and regulation of loss. These are a part of development from infancy through old age. In middle adulthood the balance is shifting between all three and successful development is established with there is a balance between losses with maintenance and growth (Broderick et al., 2015).

Growth, according to Baltes et al., (1999), is defined as behaviors aimed at reaching a higher level of functioning and adaptive capacity. According to Broderick & Blewitt (2015) lifespan development theory defines development as a process of adapting to the constant flux of influences in our lives. Adding new characteristics, understanding, and skills to our behavior repertoire. An example would be learning a new task at work resulting in growth of knowledge and in skill.

Maintenance is finding ways to continue functioning at the same level in the face of challenges or restoring functions after suffering a loss. An example of maintenance could be an employee still working as an Accountant while going through a divorce.

Regulation of loss is reorganizing the way we behave. It involves adjusting our expectations and accepting a lower level of functioning. Much like the texts example, my mother worked with kids for over thirty years and as she aged and her memory abilities began to fade, she came up with new ways of remembering all of the children’s names by placing picture/name boards in the rooms at the beginning of the year. It was less work and stress and her way of adapting to her new level of functioning.

Age-Graded and History-Graded Changes

Broderick and Blewitt (2015) explains the details of age-graded and history graded changes as follows. Development during the age-graded changes are physical, cognitive, and relative importance. During the physical stage there are body changes, adolescing to senescing, wrinkling, hair loss, and health changes. During cognitive changes, intelligence becomes fluid and crystallized. Fluid is based on how well the hardware f the nervous system is functioning, and crystalized is storing the skills and information acquired over life.

Development during the history-graded changes involves historical events that affect our lives. Year of birth marks the entry into a cohort of peers that accompany you through age-graded developmental changes with the context of a specific set of historical events. Development during middle adulthood at this time is influenced by the history of events past. Negative events early in life postpone positive adult decisions and vice versa. Living in a world that is less favorable to their positive development, may discourage improvement.


Broderick & Blewitt (2015) Life Span, The: Human Development for Helping Professionals. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Publishing.

Baltes, P. B., Staudinger,U.M., & Ulman, L. (1999). Lifespan psychology: Theory and application to intellectual functioning. Annual Review of Psyhology, 50, 471-507

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