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Psychology of Adulthood and Aging

Study Guide Kit

Study Guide Specifications

Type of
Cost of
ECE 3 hours $325

ECE exams are administered at colleges and universities

In 1900, the average life in the United States lasted 47 years. Things sure have changed over the span of a century! Average life expectancy has increased by more than 50% in the decades since then, to about 75 years now. While the majority of this change has been due to a reduction in infant mortality, some of it has also come from the other end of the spectrum. People living to 100 years of age or older used to be a rarity – practically a miracle. Today, about 60 new centenarians are celebrated every day in this country. Adults 80-90 years old represent the fastest-growing age group in our society. Clearly, there is more reason than ever to understand better what getting older is really all about.

The Psychology of Adulthood and Aging is really just one part of the larger field of developmental psychology, or how people's behavior changes as a result of the maturation process. Developmental psychology has long been important and influential among the many sub-fields of psychology. The study of human development attracts a great deal of interest and enrollment to the entire field of psychology. Adulthood and old age have lately become prime areas for research, especially as the "Baby Boom" generation (those born during the era of high birth rates from 1946-1964) has entered middle age. Consumers from this group have tended to be affluent and are eager to spend their disposable income on books, magazines, and even some professional journals with answers to offer about what the second half of life is "supposed" to be like. Financial issues related to age also show up in people's concerns about the viability of the federal Social Security program. Research still consistently finds differences in aging, illness, and death rates by race, gender, and socioeconomic status. Stereotypes about aging are also beginning to unravel, with fewer traditional images of old people sitting in rocking chairs on the porch. We've also begun to map the human genome, which holds out the promise of possibly understanding aging in general.

So where can we look to find a relatively unbiased view of all this? The scientific approach of Adulthood and Aging studies is certainly one major option. Presumably, the continued improvements in standard of living for most people, and the greater quality of life experienced by many elderly people, will also continue to make scientists more interested in studying how adults adapt to their new and changing circumstances.

This overview of the topic is designed to prepare you to pass the Excelsior College examination titled "Psychology of Adulthood and Aging." The study guide is organized into six units. As you read the text, pay particular attention to the terms in bold print, as test-out exams tend to be vocabulary-intensive. Multiple-choice practice questions are at the end of each unit. In addition, a final comprehensive practice exam appears at the end of the book. This practice examination is formatted like the actual test. Taking the practice exam will reinforce key concepts from the study guide, identify areas for further review, provide a gauge for managing testing time appropriately, and verify that the material has been mastered.

Order this study guide online.