Psychological Development Across the Lifespan

Later Adulthood (60 and Older)

How does the relationship with mortality change in this phase of life?

While mortality becomes real in middle adulthood, it becomes immediate in late adulthood. Middle-aged adults deal with the death of their parents and other people in their parents’ generation. Elderly adults deal with the death of people in their own generation, their spouses, siblings, and longtime friends. While middle-aged adults confront the reality of future death, adults in late life recognize their own death may be coming soon. Of course, the period of late life plays into this. Healthy adults in their mid-sixties can expect to live into their eighties (eighty-one for males and eighty-six for females according to the U.S. Census Bureau), while people in their ninth and tenth decade of life are looking at a much shorter time horizon.


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