Chapter 7

The Adult in Society

Section 1

Life structure is the combination of statuses, roles, activities, goals, values, beliefs, and life circumstances that characterize an individual. Early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood are the three basic eras of adulthood. Early adulthood begins with the early adult transition period which are ages 17 through 22. The next stage in early adulthood is called entering the adult world which are ages 23 through 27. For many people, the age 30 transition, the ages 28 through 32, is a difficult period. It is a time to look back on the choices that have been made up to this point. Novice phase is referred to the first three periods of the early adulthood era. The last stage of early adulthood is the settling down period which are ages 33 through 39. Mentor is someone who fosters an individual’s development by believing in the person, sharing the person’s dreams, and helping the person achieve those dreams. The first stage in the middle adulthood era is the midlife transition which are ages 40 through 44. Levinson suggested that his findings were equally valid for women. Women’s entry into the adult world begins much the same way as that of men. It involves leaving home, making a psychological break from parents, and developing a life plan. Age at first marriage in the United States has been rising since the 1960s. Once their children reach school age, many mothers who left the labor force again seek employment.


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Section 2

Labor force consists of all individuals age 16 and older who are employed in paid positions or who are seeking paid employment. Profession is a high-status occupation that requires specialized skills obtained through formal education. Unemployment is the situation that occurs when a person does not have a job but is actively seeking employment.

Unemployment rate is the percentage of the civilian labor force that is unemployed but actively seeking employment. As in the case of labor-force composition, there have also been changes in the nature of work in the united states.


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Section 3

Gerontology is the scientific study of the processes and phenomena of aging- provides answers to this question. Social gerontology is the study of the nonphysical aspects of the aging process. Young-old which are ages 65 through 74 and adjusting to retirement is one of the most important developmental issues. Middle-old which are ages 75 through 84 and the old-old which are ages 85 and older are considered, issues surrounding physical and mental decline and death take on added importance. Alzheimer’s disease is an organic condition that results in the progressive deterioration of brain cells. Dependency is the shift from being dependent on others for physical or financial assistance. New Opportunities is where some older amercians go into retirement but some others go into a second career with volunteering or having a smaller job.


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