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Middle age

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Title: Middle age  
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Subject: Young adult (psychology), Ageing, Human development (biology), Majar, History of Bordeaux wine
Collection: Human Development, Middle Age
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Middle age

Middle age is the period of age beyond young adulthood but before the onset of old age. Various attempts have been made to define this age and it can vary between cultures and historic or previous definitions of this stage of life.


  • Definitions 1
  • Young Adulthood 2
  • Middle Adulthood 3
    • Physical characteristics 3.1
    • Cognitive characteristics 3.2
    • Social and personality characteristics 3.3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


According to Collins Dictionary, this is "... usually considered to occur approximately between the ages of 40 and 60".[1] The current edition of the Oxford English Dictionary gives a similar definition but with a shorter span: "The period of life between young adulthood and old age, now usually regarded as between about forty-five and sixty." The US Census lists the category middle age around 45 to 64, while prominent psychologist Erik Erikson saw it ending a little later and defines middle adulthood as between 40 and 65. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the standard diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association, used to define middle age as 40–60, but as of Edition IV (1994) revised the definition upwards to 45–65.

Sociologists and psychologists have made different divisions in human development. Those who are 20-40 years of age are considered to be in young adulthood. Those aged 40-60 are referred to as being in middle adulthood. Late adulthood includes those who are 65 years of age and older.[2]

Young Adulthood

This time in the lifespan is considered to be the developmental stage of those who are between twenty years-old and forty-years-old. Recent developmental theories have recognized that development occurs across the entire life of a person as they experience changes cognitively, physically, socially, and in personality.[2]

Middle Adulthood

This time period in the life of a person can be referred to as middle age. This time span has been defined as the time between ages forty to sixty years old.[2] Many changes occur between this stage and young adulthood.

There is not a specific age or markers of transitioning between young adulthood to middle adulthood. The maturing process is viewed as completed and gives way to the aging process. The body slows down and the middle aged become more sensitive to diet, substance abuse, stress, and rest. Chronic health problems can become an issue along with disability or disease. Approximately one one centimeter per year of heighth is lost. Emotional responses and retrospection vary from person to person. Experiencing a sense of mortality, sadness or loss is common at this age.[3]

Those in middle adulthood or middle age continue to develop relationships and adapt to the changes in relationships. Changes can be the interacting with growing and grown children and aging parents. Community involvement is fairly typical of this stage of adulthood.[3] Continued development of a satisfying career...

Physical characteristics

Middle-aged adults begin to show visible signs of

Preceded by
Young Adult
Stages of human development
Middle age
Succeeded by
Old age

External links

  1. ^ middle age. "Collins English Dictionary" - Complete & Unabridged 11th Edition. Retrieved December 05, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i
  3. ^ a b c d
  4. ^ BBC - Health: Menopause
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Fertility Treatment Less Successful After 35: In Vitro Fertilization Doesn't Compensate for Decreased Fertility With Age
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b
  14. ^


See also

Those in middle adulthood come to the realization that life will not last forever and that there are limitations to what one might accomplish or achieve. It quite often that a middle aged family member must experience the death of one's parents. This makes the issue of mortality irrefutably. As children grow and leave the one's role as caregiver and provider changes. The relationships in middle adulthood evolve into connections that stable.[3]

Marital satisfaction remains but other family relationships can be more difficult. Career satisfaction focuses more on inner satisfaction and contentedness and less on ambition and the desire to 'advance'.[2][3] Even so, career changes often occur. Middle adulthood or middle age can be a time when a person re-examines their life by taking stock, and evaluating their accomplishments. Morality may change and become more conscious. The perception that those in this stage of development or life undergo a 'mid-life' crisis is largely false. This period in life is usually satisfying, tranquil. Personality characteristics remain stable throughout this period.[2]

Social and personality characteristics

Erik Erikson refers to this period of adulthood as the generatitivity-versus-stagnation stage. Persons in middle adulthood or middle age have some cognitive loss. This loss usually remains unnoticeable because life experiences and strategies are developed to compensate for any decrease in mental abilities.[2]

Cognitive characteristics

In developed countries, yearly mortality begins to increase more noticeably from age 41 onwards, mainly due to age-related health problems such as heart disease and cancer.[13][14] However, the majority of middle-age people in industrialized nations can expect to live into old age. Life expectancy in developing countries is much lower and the risk of death at all ages is higher.[13]

Changes occur to skin and hair. Other changes are a decline in physical fitness. Along with an increase in the accumulation of body fat there is a reduction in aerobic performance and a decrease in maximal heart rate. These measurements are generalities and people exhibit these changes at different rates times.[2][12]

[11][10][9][8].bipolar disorder, and intellectual capacity, decreased autism, schizophrenia, as well as possibly slightly increasing the risk of Down syndrome, miscarriage significantly increases the risk of paternal age. Advanced Down syndrome increases the risk of a child being born with some disorders such as maternal age Advanced [7][6] declines with advancing age.fertility Both male and female [2]

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