Lifespan Development Paper When studying the Lifespan Developmental stages throughout Chapter 1 of our textbook, I began to realize that I have traveled down some of the same common paths as my personal idols. Although most were dead long before I was ever conceived, I find it rather fascinating. The textbook states that Lifespan perspective is defined as lifelong, multidimensional, multidirectional, plastic, multidisciplinary, and contextual, and as a process that involves growth, maintenance, and regulation of loss.
The human life expectancy has truly surpassed all other living animals from a house mouse that has a life span of a measly 3 years, to an Indian elephant that can live to be 70 years. Jeanne Calmet, who was the oldest living person, was born in Arles, France was born February 21, 1875 and died August 4, 1997. She was 122 years and 164 days old at the time of her death. Although most would love to live as long of life as Mrs. Calmet, that is somewhat unrealistic. The average life expectancy for people living within the United States of America is 78 years of age.
That is a humungous leap from the average life expectancy of a man who lived during the Pre-historic which was the early age of 18. People go through many different changes as the world is ever changing. There are three different types of influences which include: 1) normative age-graded influences, 2) normative history-graded influences, and 3) nonnormative or highly individualized life events. Examples of normative age-graded influences are things that people of the same age go through together. Let’s take my twin sister and me as an example.
At the early age of 1, we both began walking with 2 weeks of one another. Although not at the same time, we both were starting our menstrual cycles both at the age of 11 years old. In life we will experience menopause around the same time, and possibly even retirement within a short time between each other. Examples of normative history-graded influences would be people who have experienced history changing events with one another. How about two mothers who may live on the opposite sides of the United States, but both lost children as a result to fighting over in Afghanistan.
They will never know one another but they will have a similar bond because they went through a similar event. Another would be the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Even I will never forget where I was and what I was doing on that fateful day. Lastly, examples of nonnormative or highly individualized life events could be anything from hitting it rich with the lottery, to an unexpected, devastating event like Hurricane Katrina. It may not have happened to all of us, but it influenced us all in different ways.
When I began reading the part in Chapter 1 that was titled, “Women’s Struggle for Equality: An International Journey”, I was truly astonished by the figures. It is sad when I look around my neighborhood, and think that one in every six of these homes, a person is/was abused by their partner. Last weekend, my 10 year old son and I witnessed physical abuse as a girl was being drug as she was attempting to get into the passenger side of a vehicle while at our local Burger King. Then the teenage boyfriend began slapping her. My son and I were panicking to help this young girl whom we didn’t even know.
I immediately called 9-1-1 and reported it to the authorities. The police arrived before we even left the parking lot, and I pray that this girl knows her worth in life, and realizes that she deserves better than that. The story in our textbook about Doly Akter, who is only 17 years of age and has lived her life in the slums of Bangladesh, is stepping out to do her part to help make her community a better one. She has created a club that is sponsored by UNICEF and goes door to door to monitor the hygiene and health of her neighbors.
With her help, along with others that are a part of this phenomenal club, they are already seeing a major improvement in people’s health and hygiene. To make this story even better, she is talking to parents of girls to explain that arranged child marriages are not always in the best interest of these young ladies and staying in school will improve the lives of these girls. Health care in America has done amazing things for their citizens but still has a long way to go. I don’t want to imagine that when I become older, I only have a 52% chance of receiving the recommended proper care to treat something as important as heart disease.
Along with the government regulated Medicare, and improper care for the millions of senior citizens in the United States, I can only hope that it gets better and fast to help these people. With the (2) factors that show that today’s senior citizens need our help more know that decades earlier, it should be our duty and privilege to help them. Going to your local Senior living facility and seeing the many, who have no spouses still living, or no family to talk to, they are forced to go through their later part of life, not really communicating with others.