digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















For other uses, see Middle Ages (disambiguation).

Middle age is the period of age beyond young adulthood but before the onset of old age. Various attempts have been made to define this age and it can vary between cultures and historic or previous definitions of this stage of life.


According to Collins Dictionary, this is "... usually considered to occur approximately between the ages of 40 and 60".[1] The current edition of the Oxford English Dictionary gives a similar definition but with a shorter span: "The period of life between young adulthood and old age, now usually regarded as between about forty-five and sixty." The US Census lists the category middle age around 45 to 64, while prominent psychologist Erik Erikson saw it ending a little later and defines middle adulthood as between 40 and 65. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the standard diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association, used to define middle age as 40–60, but as of Edition IV (1994) revised the definition upwards to 45–65.

Sociologists and psychologists have made different divisions in human development. Those who are 20-40 years of age are considered to be in young adulthood. Those aged 40-60 are referred to as being in middle adulthood. Late adulthood includes those who are 65 years of age and older.[2]

Young Adulthood[edit]

Further information: Young adult (psychology)

This time in the lifespan is considered to be the developmental stage of those who are between twenty years-old and forty-years-old. Recent developmental theories have recognized that development occurs across the entire life of a person as they experience changes cognitively, physically, socially, and in personality.[2]

Middle Adulthood[edit]

This time period in the life of a person can be referred to as middle age. This time span has been defined as the time between ages forty to sixty years old.[2] Many changes occur between this stage and young adulthood.

There is not a specific age or markers of transitioning between young adulthood to middle adulthood. The maturing process is viewed as completed and gives way to the aging process. The body slows down and the middle aged become more sensitive to diet, substance abuse, stress, and rest. Chronic health problems can become an issue along with disability or disease. Approximately one centimeter per year of height is lost. Emotional responses and retrospection vary from person to person. Experiencing a sense of mortality, sadness or loss is common at this age.[3]

Those in middle adulthood or middle age continue to develop relationships and adapt to the changes in relationships. Changes can be the interacting with growing and grown children and aging parents. Community involvement is fairly typical of this stage of adulthood.[3] Continued development of a satisfying career...

Physical characteristics[edit]

Middle-aged adults begin to show visible signs of aging. Vision usually changes and many who did not need corrective lenses or eyeglasses may find that they need them. Hearing loss begins, especially at the higher frequencies. Height begins with the maximum height from young adulthood but then begins to diminish. This process is more rapid in women who have osteoporosis. Changes occur in the nervous system and reaction time slows. The ability to perform complex tasks remains intact. Those in middle age usually begin to gain weight, 5–10 kg (10–20 lb) and experience a decline in strength and flexibility. Women in late middle age experience menopause. Menopause can have many side effects, some welcome and some not so welcome.[2] Menopause ends natural fertility during this life stage.[4][5] Men also experience physical changes related to sex and reproductive organs but these are not usually as apparent.[2] Both male and female fertility declines with advancing age.[6][7] Advanced maternal age increases the risk of a child being born with some disorders such as Down syndrome. Advanced paternal age significantly increases the risk of miscarriage, as well as possibly slightly increasing the risk of Down syndrome, schizophrenia, autism, decreased intellectual capacity, and bipolar disorder.[8][9][10][11]

Changes occur to skin and hair. Other changes are a decline in physical fitness. Along with an increase in the accumulation of body fat there is a reduction in aerobic performance and a decrease in maximal heart rate. These measurements are generalities and people exhibit these changes at different rates times.[2][12]

In developed countries, yearly mortality begins to increase more noticeably from age 41 onwards, mainly due to age-related health problems such as heart disease and cancer.[13][14] However, the majority of middle-age people in industrialized nations can expect to live into old age. Life expectancy in developing countries is much lower and the risk of death at all ages is higher.[13]

Cognitive characteristics[edit]

Erik Erikson refers to this period of adulthood as the generatitivity-versus-stagnation stage. Persons in middle adulthood or middle age have some cognitive loss. This loss usually remains unnoticeable because life experiences and strategies are developed to compensate for any decrease in mental abilities.[2]

Social and personality characteristics[edit]

Marital satisfaction remains but other family relationships can be more difficult. Career satisfaction focuses more on inner satisfaction and contentedness and less on ambition and the desire to 'advance'.[2][3] Even so, career changes often occur. Middle adulthood or middle age can be a time when a person re-examines their life by taking stock, and evaluating their accomplishments. Morality may change and become more conscious. The perception that those in this stage of development or life undergo a 'mid-life' crisis is largely false. This period in life is usually satisfying, tranquil. Personality characteristics remain stable throughout this period.[2]

Those in middle adulthood come to the realization that life will not last forever and that there are limitations to what one might accomplish or achieve. It quite often that a middle aged family member must experience the death of one's parents. This makes the issue of mortality irrefutably. As children grow and leave the one's role as caregiver and provider changes. The relationships in middle adulthood evolve into connections that stable.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ middle age. CollinsDictionary.com. "Collins English Dictionary" - Complete & Unabridged 11th Edition. Retrieved December 05, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Feldman, Robert (2015). Discovering the life span. Boston: Pearson. ISBN 9780205992317. 
  3. ^ a b c d Stern, Theodore (2016). Massachusetts General Hospital comprehensive clinical psychiatry. London: Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-323-29507-9; Access provided by the University of Pittsburgh 
  4. ^ BBC - Health: Menopause
  5. ^ Cannon, Mary (2003-06-26). "Male Biological Clock is Ticking, Too". WebMD Health News. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  6. ^ Rabin, Roni (2007-02-27). "It Seems the Fertility Clock Ticks for Men, Too". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  7. ^ Fertility Treatment Less Successful After 35: In Vitro Fertilization Doesn't Compensate for Decreased Fertility With Age
  8. ^ Heubeck, MA, Elizabeth; Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD (2005-06-29). "Age Raises Infertility Risk in Men, Too: Risks associated with men's biological clocks may be similar to women's.". WebMD. MedicineNet. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  9. ^ "Miscarriage significantly associated with increasing paternal age". Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. 2006-08-03. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  10. ^ Raeburn, Paul (February–March 2009). "The Father Factor: Could becoming a father after age 40 raise the risks that your children will have a mental illness? (PDF)" (PDF). Scientific American Mind: 30–33. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  11. ^ Cannon, Mary (2009-03-10). "Contrasting Effects of Maternal and Paternal Age on Offspring Intelligence". Public Library of Science. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  12. ^ Shephard, Roy J. (7 March 1998). "Aging and Exercise". Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine and Science (T.D.Fahey). Retrieved 2007-06-26. 
  13. ^ a b "Life Expectancy Profiles". BBC. 6 June 2005. Retrieved 2007-06-26. 
  14. ^ "UK cancer mortality statistics by age". Cancer Research UK. May 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-26. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Young Adult
Stages of human development
Middle age
Succeeded by
Old age

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_age — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
1000000 videos foundNext > 

Middle Age Architecture: How the great cathedrals were built - Documentary

For more science and technology videos and documentaries, please subscribe to my channel 'Science&Technology 4U'

The Dark Ages...How Dark Were They, Really?: Crash Course World History #14

Crash Course World History is now available on DVD! Visit http://store.dftba.com/products/crashcourse-world-history-the-complete-series-dvd-set to buy a set for ...

The Middle Ages in 3 1/2 minutes

An animated timeline from the book 'Science: a Discovery in Comics' by Margreet de Heer. More information: http://margreetdeheer.com/eng/science.html ...

Middle age training and fat

40 and over are now trying to get into shape and it's not easy. I"ll tell you how.

Full House Clip - Middle Age Crazy (by request)

Stephanie feels neglected as the only child and starts daydreaming about how no one would even care if she went to space. A subscriber request from the ...

T.Graham Brown - Middle Age Crazy

I do not own the rights to anything! Just love this song :-) Today he traded his big Cadillac Deville, He got a heck of a deal on a new Porsche car He ain't wearin' ...

Saffire - Middle Aged Blues Boogie

Saffire - Middle Aged Blues Boogie - Give Me a Young Man ------------------- Well I was looking round and checking out my very best friends Seems that they`d all ...

Jerry Lee Lewis ~ Middle Age Crazy

Watch Middle Age Woman? How To Lose Belly Fat! - Menopause Belly Fat

http://bellyfattrimmer.com - Click Here To Learn How To Lose 1-2 Inches From Your Belly Within A Week, With This Crazy Tip! how to get rid of double chins how ...

Naruto Shippuden Road to Ninja OST - Track 19 - Middle Age Attack

Another epic song from Road to Ninja OST !

1000000 videos foundNext > 

115659 news items

Huffington Post

Huffington Post
Fri, 06 Nov 2015 09:53:29 -0800

People in your 40s and 50s -- you can stop calling yourself "old" now. With rising life expectancies, middle age ends a lot later than you might have thought. A new survey of 2,000 Britons, released today, reveals that 68 is the true age at which ...

The Times of Israel (blog)

The Times of Israel (blog)
Mon, 23 Nov 2015 10:33:45 -0800

As I sink more deeply into middle age I sometimes have the wildly narcissistic idea that I'm dragging the rest of my Jewish/American world with me. Middle age is not a time of great dreams or ambitions; the goals are maintenance, avoiding the worst ...

New York Times

New York Times
Wed, 18 Nov 2015 19:02:02 -0800

Hello, not-so-young lovers, wherever you are. Do you know what Rodgers and Hammerstein show I'm (sort of) quoting there? Even if you don't (it's “The King and I”), you're likely to have a swell time at “Steve,” a surprisingly serious comedy by Mark ...


Tue, 24 Nov 2015 11:07:30 -0800

This year marks the 50th birthday for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. We are officially middle aged. We've seen what works and learned from mistakes, and over the last several years, we've been using that experience to adapt and ...

New Statesman

New Statesman
Sat, 21 Nov 2015 01:16:21 -0800

But unlike the fictional Kane, who dies a thin man, Welles in middle age was now “a fastidious yet insatiable glutton . . . perilously fat”. That acid description had oozed from the pen of Kenneth Tynan, who was making careers and causing backstage ...


Mon, 02 Nov 2015 14:02:41 -0800

White Americans have been dying more often in middle age over the past 15 years, and the causes are mostly self-inflicted, according to a new study. This signals a reverse of a long-term trend of declining death rates among this age group in the United ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 19:57:00 -0800

Life now begins at 60, and middle age stretches for almost a decade after that, according to new research. Baby boomers approaching retirement have a similar outlook and an equivalent lifespan and upbeat prospects as 40-year-olds had in the 1930s.
Sat, 21 Nov 2015 10:22:30 -0800

The Benefits of Gusbandry, a new web series following a straight woman and a gay man who are attempting to “grow up” as they face middle age, recently premiered to rave reviews at the Portland Film Festival. Director Alicia J. Rose says the series ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight