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The middle-aged adult’s cognitive and intellectual abilities changes very little. Cognitive processes include reaction time, memory, perception, learning, problem solving and creativity. Reaction time during the middle years stays much the same or diminishes during the latter part of the middle years. Memory and problem solving are maintained through middle adulthood. Learning continues and can be enhanced by increased motivation at this time in life.

The experiences of the professional, social, and personal life of middle-aged persons will be reflected in their cognitive performance. Thus approaches to problem solving and task completion will vary considerably in a middle-aged group. In terms of social development, in this stage the developmental choice of the middle aged adult is generativity versus stagnation which in turn directly affects how he/ she is interacting with the environment. People in their 20s tend to be self- and family- centered.

In middle age, the self esteem seems more altruistic and concepts of service to others and love and compassion gain prominence. These concepts motivate charitable and altruistic actions such as church work, social work, political work, community fund- raising drives, and cultural endeavors. Marriage partners have more time for companionship and recreation; thus, marriage can be more satisfying in middle years of life, this part I think is the most interesting one. There is time to work together in volunteer activities.

There is time for one partner to go out for lunch and for the other to go fishing. Middle- aged persons are able to feel a sense of comfort in their life- style and receive gratification from charitable endeavors.

References: 1. Hurlock, E. B. (1982). Old Age: Personal and Social Adjustments. Developmental Psychology, 5th edition, 389-409 2. Kozier B. , Erb G. , Blais K. , and Wilkinson J. M. (2002). Fundamentals of nursing: Concepts process and practice (5th Ed. ). Singapore: Pearson Ed. Asia Pte. Ltd.

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