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The Psychopathology of Social Phobia, Annotated Bibliography Example

Pages: 8

Words: 2238

Annotated Bibliography

Webster, J. D., & Ma, X. (2013). A balanced time perspective in adulthood: Well-being and developmental effects. Canadian Journal on Aging, 32(4), 433-442. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0714980813000500

Webster and Ma (2013) seek in this study to better define how perspectives on time influence well-being, and in adults of the primary age ranges. To that end the authors employed Webster’s Balanced Time Perspective Scale (BTPS), and questioned 90 younger, 69 middle-aged, and 69 older adults. The 28-item BTPS equally inquires as to positive and negative perceptions, thoughts, and feelings of the past and future. The participants also responded to an abbreviated version of the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire and the five-item Satisfaction with Life Scale provided by Diener, et al (Webster, Ma, pp. 435-436). Individual assessments of the past and future were then the focus, to determine how these perspectives influence adult states of mind at various ages.

The results, obtained through quantitative analysis, reinforced the authors’ expectation that a balanced perspective is more conducive to personal happiness and well-being. Moreover, and also as anticipated, Webster and Ma concluded that younger adults incline to positive future orientations as older adults are more oriented to reflecting on the past. The 69 senior citizens revealed minimal negative past orientations, such as bitterness and regret, and scored highly regarding the positive effects of passing along life lessons, etc., as middle-aged adults struck a balance or more expansive perspective of both past and future. The authors note as well that each age group expressed some deviations in the norms, as in some younger adults focusing more on the past than future (pp. 439-440), and they caution as to “blanket statements” perceived as correctly applying to age-group perspectives of life balance.

Webster and Ma clearly rely on carefully constructed analysis, just as they seek to validate Webster’s findings on age-related senses of perspective as influencing individual satisfaction. The authors essentially reinforce Erikson, if the findings more reflect integrity as the norm in later life stages (Santrock, 2012, p. 596).  Course readings emphasize that retirement potentially generates loss of identity (SOU, Retirement, 2015, p. 2), yet the authors here, focusing on individual introspection, find that senses of well-being in older adults, which must relate to ideas of identity, are maintained when the perspective is balanced, and apart from social or career experience.

Cierpka, A. (2012). Narrative identity in late adulthood. Psychology of Language and Communication, 16(3), 237-252. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.2478/v10057-012-0016-6

Anna Cierpka’s study (2012) is based on exploring how Erikson’s seventh life stage is validated in terms of elderly adults alternately experiencing sense of despair or integrity. She also is motivated to examine to what extent stagnation is countered by self-fulfillment, as defined by Buhler. To that end the author surveyed 22 individuals in Warsaw, aged between 65 and 80, and by means of Schultze’s and Rosenthal’s narrative interview method. The method incorpotates an introduction informing the participants of the study’s nature, the interview itself, and a conclusion in which closure relies upon leaving the subjects in positive frames of mind (Cierpka, pp. 239-240). The author then analyzed the results through both a quantitative assessment of dominant themes expressed and a qualitative approach to interview content.

Cierpka’s findings centered on the six key themes: self-description, historical events, present time assessment, key events, family description, and generative transfer (p. 241). Each theme was individually analyzed, with varied findings; for example, description of self was usually reliant upon key events, as views of the present time indicated strong attachments of moral perspectives (p. 244).  The author extensively quoted long passages from the narrative interviews, and concluded that, apart from the participants as being uniformly self-defined by World War II experiences, older adults tend to rely upon an expansive life view, and are enabled by extensive life experience to reflect on their identities in balanced ways (p. 250). The “self” at this life stage is then a composite of vast life experiences and adjusted self-appraisal.

Wessell, R., & Edwards, C. (2012). Principles of longevity and aging: Interventions to enhance older adulthood. Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology, 2(1), 108-121. Retrieved from http://origin-search.proquest.com/docview/1045485296?accountid=87314

The article by Wessell and Edwards (2012) exists to focus on the physicality of older adults and how this translates to longevity and, ideally, improved health.  The authors’ goal is to provide information assisting health care agencies in preventing disabling conditions, and through a greater understanding of the factors adversely affecting senior health (Wessell, Edwards, p. 108). Extensive research is cited as Wessell and Edwards examine diet, exercise, mental health, spirituality, and other considerations of general physical well-being. The study is then a qualitative meta-analysis, with each component investigated as relevant and each discussed in terms of diverse reasearch findings.

While each element of the article is important in affecting senior physicality, several  are of greater interest in that they are less focused upon, generally speaking, in gerontology study. Given the life stage in question, for example, discussion of substance abuse centers on how tobacco and alcohol are the primary issues for senior health. The authors note that twelve-step programs are typically helpful, but acknowledge as well how such interventions are not significantly studued regarding the elderly (p. 112), the implication being that seniors are more resistant to such external and “social” models of substance-abuse prevention. Similarly, the section dealing with spirituality is important in emphasizing how illness and infirmity related to age often motivates older persons to turning to faith, and that seniors tend to benefit more from spiritual interventions which do not challenge their existing beliefs (p.113). Wessell and Edwards conclude by reinforcing that longevity is desirable only when quality of life is encouraged (p. 114), as the authors carefully delineate each significant element necessary for senior health.

The article in question offers, again, a vast range of data and is helpful in a mote comprehensive understanding of how senior health is so greatly linked to environment, maintenance of the body, and mental health status. However, a great deal of the information here is well-established and does not require repeating, as in the need for the elderly to eat properly and take exercise (SOU, Health and wellness, 2015, p. 1). Of greater value are the discussions on environment, substance use, and spirituality, because in these areas the authors touch upon relatively new perspectives. For example, their emphasis on the importance of a positive environment for the elderly (p. 110) reflects the modern concerns of seniors as frequently relocated to institutions, which weakens senses of self and esteem (Santrock, 2012, p. 607). Nonetheless, the article is weakened by a virtual excess of data and an absence of strategy recommendations beyond the obvious ones reinforcing the benefits of physical activity and proper diet.

Chakraborty, N., Chatterjee, T., & Das, S. (2012). Midlife and the life-course: The associated shifts in life perspective and societal obligations. Indian Journal of Positive Psychology, 3(4), 388-393. Retrieved from http://origin-search.proquest.com/docview/1614159882?accountid=87314

This is a quantitative study (2012) conducted to ascertain specific realities of generativity in an equally specific population: 88 working adilts, aged 30 to 50, in Kolkata, India. The authors’ intent was to determine psychological transitions occurring inmidlife stages and how they influence actual generativity, and to note gender distinctions. The study then utilized opinion surveys directed to the participants, who were all married, had at least one child, and were educated to a secondary level in the culture. The Loyola Generativity Scale was then used to measure responses to questions about the actual stage of life perceived by the participants, any changes in their perspectives regarding their focuses, and how they perceived obligations to work toward the well-being of future generations (Chakraborty, Chatterjee, & Dasm pp. 389-390).

The authors found, most importantly, that 35 was typically viewed as the age at which midlife begins, which in turn promotes reflection on the past and future; the vast majority of participants expressed a sense of transition at this age, and also that they were uniformly more concerned with impacting in positive ways on the next generation (p. 391). Regarding gender, an age differential was found in that the women focused more on generativity five years earlier than did men (p. 391). The authors also found that, in both women and men, generativity concern and behaviors promoting the well-being of the succeeding generation were closely linked (p. 392).  It is important to note as well that the authors repeatedly refer to a lackof research on midlife stages in these regards.

While the focus of the authors on midlife transitions and generativity factors is admirable, there is no real discussion as to how Indian culture may reflect realities for this population different from the Western. This appears to be a significant neglect, as culture must strongly influence the values supporting or neglecting generativity. At the same time, the study has worth in terms of its defined approach and consistent results. There is also the implication that the findings support Selective Optimization Theory, in terms of the compensation factor; more exactly, as the participants in their middle 30s felt themselves to be well-situated in life, they were better able to turn theit attention to matters removed from themselves, as in encouraging the well-being of younger people (Santrock, 2012, p. 600). Perhaps most importantly and as the authors emphasize, the midlife stage demands far more investigation, as this will certainly enhance understanding of younger and older life stages and perspectives.

Summary

The range of study on life-span development is, in a word, vast.  Multiple theories support or contrast with one another, just as the specific circumstances of life stages must always affect other periods. Then, what seems most evident from the articles and research is that a great deal of study does not so much conflict with other views, as they emphasize certain aspects of development as more critical than others. In this arena, it appears new findings and perspectives “springboard” off of one another. The earliest life stages may be the most problematic because study here relies more on genetics and environment as generating the most basic forms of awareness and emerging personality. At the same time, it is inevitable that the earliest interactions create perceptions of experience that must influence, if not guide, how the developing person takes in each new experience. This is reinforced by a “reverse” perspective; while “Midlife and the life-course: The associated shifts in life perspective and societal obligations,” for example, does not specifically indicate the midlife generativity as focused on the participants’ children, this is clearly implied and it supports other research finding how positive personality traits are encouraged when parents are better educated and have established careers (Cheng, Furnham, 2014). In other words, the earliest developmental stage is powerfully affected by how a later stage, in the form of parental encouragement and support, generates confidence that will define further events and experiences. This is in fact the cmmon thread found in most research, in that no stage or trait exists independently from the forces creating it.

This then leads to how life-span development in general can only be valid when all stages are considered as equally impactful, and no matter the individual concept or theory. As research validates, all age ranges are subject to how external realities affect development. For example, the anxiety created by any degree of social phobia in childhood may well factor into later life; those experiencing social phobia early are all the more vulnerable to it increasing as they age (Rosellini et al, 2013). Life-events perspectives similarly promote how the multiple factors in an individual’s life shape their reality in almost impossibly complex ways. No event, even one shared by many, has the same effect because the person’s response will be based on how they have been conditioned to receive it, as well as their unique emotional and cognitive make-up (Santrock, 2012, p. 513). Many development theories are valid, but it may be argued that all essentially rely on one another, and because the variables of human development are basically limitless in terms of individual possibilities interacting with all external agents. Theorists classify and define but, as each compenent impacts on the others, the exponential reality is too large to allow for any single, definitive theory.  At the same time, recognizing this reality then adds value to the life-span perspective in general. The work of Erikson, for example, is strong and supported by research including Cierpka’s “Narrative identity in late adulthood,” as well as that of Chakraborty, Chatterjee, and Das. In the final life stage, it does seem that positive generativity is an expression of Erikson’s integrity v. despair model (santrock, 2012, p. 597).  Nonetheless, and as even Erikson acknowledges, all stages depend upon the constantly evolving nature of the individual as shaped by all ages and experiences. This being the reality, the life-span perspective is literally required for any valid understanding of any specific period in an individual’s life.

References

Cheng, H., & Furnham, A. (2014). The associations between parental socio-economic conditions, childhood intelligence, adult personality traits, social status and mental well-being. Social Indicators Research 117(2), 653-664.

Rosellini, A. J., Rutter, L. A., Bourgeois, M. L., Emmert-Aronson, B. O., & Brown, T. A. (2013). The relevance of age of onset to the psychopathology of social phobia.  Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment,35(3), 356-365.

Santrock, J. (2012). Life-Span Development (14th ed.). [VitalSource Bookshelf Online].Retrieved from             https://digitalbookshelf.southuniversity.edu/#/books/0077733908/

South University Online (SOU). (2015). Week 5: Health and wellness. In PSY2022: Online Course. Retrieved from myeclassroom.com.

South University Online (SOU). (2015). Week 5: Older adults. In PSY2022: Online Course. Retrieved from myeclassroom.com.

South University Online (SOU). (2015). Week 5: Retirement. In PSY2022: Online Course. Retrieved from myeclassroom.com.

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