Topic 2: Adulthood and Late Adulthood: Impact of Loneliness and Social Isolation



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Topic 2: Adulthood and Late Adulthood: Impact of Loneliness and Social Isolation



The Impact of Loneliness and Social Isolation topic helps to support your achievement of the following Module 5 Objective: MO 14 covered in Chapter 13 and Module 6 Objective: MO 16 covered in Chapter 15:

MO 14: Describe adulthood (ages 25-65) psychosocial development of personality and social characteristics of intimacy and generativity. (Supports Course Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.)

MO 16: Describe psychosocial theories of late adulthood (ages 65 and beyond), activities in late adulthood, and the frail elderly. (Supports Course Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.)



Do the following

  1. Read the article, Loneliness and Social Isolation as Risk Factors for Mortality: A Meta-Analytic Review Download Loneliness and Social Isolation as Risk Factors for Mortality: A Meta-Analytic Review
  2. Read the article, Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for coronary heart disease and stroke: Systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal observational studies (Links to an external site.).
  3. Read in your ebook,
    1. Ch 13-Intimacy: Connecting with Others, pp 468-475.
    2. Ch 15-Theories of Late Adulthood, pp. 532-539 and Activities in Late Adulthood, pp. 539-551.
  1. Write at least three paragraphs (at least 300 words) on the following items using information from the two research articles and information in Ch 13 and 15.

    Paragraph 1: Using information from the two research articles and information in Chapter 13-Intimacy-Connecting with Others, answer the following questions
  • Briefly describe the two research studies and summarize the results from each study.
  • According to the Ch 13 information, what is a social connection? Name some of the ways that adults socially connect with others?
  • What is the importance of connecting with others?
  • Explain the concept of a social convoy.
  • Why do people need a social convoy?

Paragraph 2: Using the information in Chapter 15-Theories of Late Adulthood and Activities in Late Adulthood, answer the following questions

  • Using information on Self Theories (pp 532-535), briefly describe the theories that explain late adulthood psychosocial development.
  • Briefly describe how some of the Stratification Theories (social forces) (pp536-539) might contribute to loneliness and social isolation.
  • Describe Age Stratification, the disengagement theory and the activity theory that help to explain the results of the two research studies on why loneliness and social isolation are risk factors for an earlier death?
  • Using information on Activities in Late Adulthood, briefly describe some of the activities that help to prevent mental and physical decline as described in the two research articles.


Paragraph 3: Apply what you have learned in this topic by answering the following questions:

  • Have you witnessed any late adulthood person who did not have social networks where the research and theories might help to explain that persons early death?
  • Using the new information that you have learned from this topic, do you view the late adulthood and the aging process differently? If so, how?
  • Explain how you might use this new information in your life or career.
  1. Make one substantive comment (about 100-150 words) that provides additional information on a different topic from your paper.



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Stages of a Developing Person



Growth and development is an irreversible and constant increase in size, while development relates to changes in size, shape, and function. Thus, a person's growth and development begin during conception and end during death. Each process is structured in well-defined stages that are also affected by biological and environmental components. Thus, understanding the stages of development is instrumental design health care interventions for optimal developmental outcomes.



Stages from Birth to Death

The stages of the developmental process are structured into eight phases. In particular, the development process begins in the prenatal phase, characterized by conception and other development phases starting from the germinal, embryonic, and fetal periods (Berger, 2019). Both biological and environmental factors influence this stage, and the risk of complication and death is equally higher. Thus, to mitigate the risk of maternal mortality and the subsequent complication, various interventions related to pre-and post-natal care, control of the underlying medical condition, and free access to maternal care are some of the viable strategies to ensure successful birth outcomes.

 Upon delivery, the next step includes infancy and toddlerhood. During these developmental stages, lasting between 1-2 years, the infant develops cognitively, physically, and socially (Berger, 2019). In particular, from an infant with little reflex to well develop reflexes and other significant milestones. During this phase, parental involvement in secure attachment, a sense of security, and intimacy affect the developmental outcomes. Besides, play activities are also instrumental in enabling the child to achieve the required developmental milestone across all three domains.

The third phase includes early and middle childhood. Unlike the toddler phase, early childhood is a period of exploration and increased independence gaining a sense of self. Equally, in late childhood, the growth spurt takes shape, preparing the child for the adolescent phase, and is often characterized by changes in the physical makeup and cognitive ability (Berger, 2019). Late childhood ends, and the most challenging phase, with immense impacts on the development process, is the adolescent stage. The rapid brain changes and the influence of hormones increase the risk and opportunities for teenagers (Mills & Anandakumar, 2020). In this phase, some habits develop that are either detrimental while some habits are equally beneficial. The need for social support both from peers and parental involvement act as a protective factor against poor developmental outcomes.

The last stage is adulthood. This stage is further classified into early, middle, and late adulthood. In each phase, the teenage transition from childhood and take up more significant societal roles and responsibilities (Berger, 2019). Besides, exploration and development of identity on the part are core aspects of early adulthood. In contrast, middle-late adulthood is mainly characterized by aging taking center stage, and psychological decline commences. The last phase of adulthood increases the risk of death due to various factors. In particular, Honarvar et al. (2020) noted elderly abuse and neglect (EAN) are common in the late adulthood phases resulting in poor quality of life. Besides, the aging process also increases the risk of diseases and poor quality of life.



Biosocial, Cognitive and Psychological Influences Throughout the Lifespan

The changes influence each developmental process in the biological, cognitive, and psychological changes. In particular, during infancy and toddlerhood, the biological and psychological domains are the early phases of development (Berger, 2019). However, as the child moves to the next stage, biological changes are marked by the increased complexity of the body function, brain changes, and psychological changes that require a difference in parenting styles and play activities (Yogman et al., 2018). In the teenage phase, the role of hormones and brain development is at the optimal stage. In this stage, risk-taking behaviors increase physical activities, and the need for autonomy and development of senses are equally higher. Finally, the maturity stages ensure that as one move toward adulthood, the biosocial, cognitive, and physical changes tend to decline, increasing the risk of poor health outcomes. Due to the differences across the three domains, the environment and biological factors strongly influence an individual's ability to move from one stage to another successfully.



Benefits Accrued from the Class

In my late childhood, I was depressed and anxious for various reasons. In part, unlike my peers, my physical aspect had not fully developed, and most of the time, I felt that I was abnormal. Later, as a reserved student, I developed the habit of desiring to fit into the crowd and would do anything to gain my peers' approval. We moved to a different state during my fifteenth birthday, and my life took a different turn. In the absence of peer pressure, increased parental involvement in my life, and a positive social convoy, some habits changed. I ended up succeeding both academically and in my personal life. Understanding the after-mentioned experience has been enhanced based on the class reading, research, and course assignment. Thus, the key takeaways from the class will inform my parenting style in the future and also help me develop effective strategies to maintain optimal health during the late adulthood phase.




The developmental process occurs throughout the lifespan. One common theme across all stages is the influence of genetic and environmental factors in increasing the risk of mortality or wellness, resulting in prolonged life. In this case, for optimal growth and development, factors related to play, effective parenting, a safe environment, and nutrition are some of the main requirements needed to influence the developmental process.






Berger, K. S. (2019). Invitation to the life span. (4th ed.). Worth Publishers.

Honarvar, B., Gheibi, Z., Asadollahi, A., Bahadori, F., Khaksar, E., Rabiey Faradonbeh, M., & Farjami, M. (2020). The impact of abuse on the quality of life of the elderly: A population-based survey in Iran. Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, 53(2), 89–97.

Mills, K. L., & Anandakumar, J. (2020). The adolescent brain is awesome. Frontiers for Young Minds, 8.

Yogman, M., Garner, A., Hutchinson, J., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2018). The power of play: A pediatric role in enhancing development in young children. Pediatrics, 142(3).




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