Biological Changes and Physical and Mental Health in Middle Adulthood

Biological Changes and Physical and Mental Health in Middle Adulthood

Middle age is from about mid-40s through retirement age (say mid/late 60s). So before middle age, the stages are young adult and “prime of life,” and after middle age, one is a retiree or senior citizen (which in the US usually means 65+). Then beyond that, elderly, which implies a certain fragility. Several physical, psychological and social changes occur during middle adulthood and can significantly affect people’s lives (Lea, 2017). One of the major physical changes in middle adulthood is the development of body wrinkles. From the Southside Community Services: Mrs. Bargas Case History video it is evident that Mrs. Bargas is in her middle adulthood because of the wrinkles on her face (Laureate Education, 2017). Among other physical changes in middle adulthood include a decrease in sensation, reaction time, coordination, and strength.

When it comes to psychological changes many people in middle adulthood complain about their mental capacities. Their brains do not work as quickly as they used to. In the Southside Community Services video, Mrs. Bargas is affected by psychological changes in middle adulthood since at some point she appears unfocussed and distractible. She cannot even remember what her counselor talked about. While the speed in perception and memorization skills decline during this stage, cognitive skills, vocal skills, intellectual reasoning skills, and simple math skills progress (Lea, 2017). Some of these are evident in the video as Mrs. Bargas can communicate effectiveness and reason well concerning her family’s life and her decisions.

Social changes during middle adulthood are many. People in middle age are usually beyond the stage of having little kids at home, but often have older children (middle school, high school, college). In the Southside Community Services video, Mrs. Bargas a teenage daughter in high school whom she is concerned about her behavior (Laureate Education, 2017). During middle adulthood individuals frequently have to balance supporting and assisting both their kids and meeting their needs. This is the time when people have gotten many years of experience to be capable enough to weigh things out in their heads and have learned how to be more rational. To Mrs. Bargas, it is finally sensible enough for her to get better in control of her thoughts and develop more mature mindsets.

Mrs. Bargas who is in her middle adulthood finds herself not having accomplished her goals. She is not able to pay her rent, does not have a job, and finds it hard to balance support between her sick husband and teenage daughter (Laureate Education, 2017). These points are where individuals naturally dump the vessel of her worldview of anything, they had thought would work which did not. That is normal but when it takes on the form of total reassessment or change in lifestyle is when it is commonly called a midlife crisis. Mrs. Bargas seems to have found a purpose during this stage which is to find a job and help her family.

One important theory I would apply to Mrs. Bargas is the psychosocial theory of development. In this theory, Erick Erickson provides stages of development in human life that are brilliant in their insight. His theory reflects the fluidity of life and the very real, hard work that is required for growth. From the theory, it is evident that Mrs. Bargas is in the seventh stage of development known as generativity vs. stagnation or middle adulthood. An individual at this stage experiences a conflict of trying to feel positive about their contribution to the continuity of life. Unresolved conflicts at this stage could lead to feelings of deep dissatisfaction regarding one’s achievements or activities (Lea, 2017). The dissatisfied individual would consider their activities as trivial or stagnant for the upcoming generation. As parents age, the dynamics of their roles change. Mrs. Bargas is now focused on finding a suitable job, relating with her teenage daughter, helping her husband which is a huge paradigm shift related to generativity vs stagnation.























Laureate Education (Producer). (2017). Southside Community Services: Mrs. Bargas case

history, episode 1 [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Lea, P. (2017). Human development from middle childhood to middle adulthood: Growing up to be middle-aged (First Edition). Routledge.

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