Historically, the life span or longevity of the human being has been the focus of the studies of anthropologists. However, in more contemporary times the field of psychology has realized the inherent impact that psychological factors have upon the lifespan of the individual. Furthermore it has been realized that various factors impact the human lifespan. Those factors are stated to be psychological, physical, mental and emotional in nature.
The objective of this work in writing is to research and relate findings in relation to precisely what determinants exist in deciding the human lifespan and most specifically relating to the element of "respect" and the resulting affect of the presence or of the lack of the presence of respect in the life of the individual. Furthermore the full range of the individual age possibility from young to old will be given consideration in the research of this work.
According to author, Laura Berk (2005) the study of the development of the lifespan perspective is a view of "lifelong, multidimensional ....as well as "multiple contexts" [which] "serves as a unifying approach to human change."(Berk, 2005) It is further related by Berk (2005) that considerations in relation to the lifespan are inclusive of physical aspects such as motor skills as well as other aspects such as development of the human brain, development of cognitive competencies, temperament and personality. Recent research has witnessed a shift towards "viewing thoughts; feelings and behavior as an integrated whole affected by a wide array of influences in biology, social context and culture."(Berk, 2005)
In order to thoroughly research this subject area consideration must be given to the psychological fields of social and educational psychology, health and clinical psychology, neuropsychology, biology, pediatrics, geriatrics, sociology, anthropology and social welfare. While all of these fields of study are very critical for gaining well informed knowledge, none of these fields is of itself all inclusive in the attempt to understand the human lifespan and its determinant factors. Vital as well to comprehension of this subject area is the understanding of the existing interdependency that exists among all developmental areas of physical, cognitive, emotional and social development.
The Presence of Respect and the Impact/Affect to the Human Lifespan
While it is nigh impossible to find through research a work that directly names respect to be integral in determining the individual human lifespan, it is not whatsoever difficult to discover literature that avers quite clearly to and focuses poignantly upon the vital importance in the individual's self-esteem and efficacy and the existing links to the resulting lifespan of that individual. According to Baltes, et al. (1999) in a report of Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany, "Specific predictions are advanced dealing with the general architecture of lifespan ontogeny, including its directionality and age.-differentiated allocation of development resources into the major goals of developmental adaptation; growth, maintenance, and regulation of loss. Consistent with this general lifespan architecture, a meta-theory of development is outlined that is used on the orchestrated and adaptive interplay between three processes of behavioral regulation: (1) Selection; (2) Optimization; and (3) Compensation. (Baltes, et al., 1999)
It is revealed in the work of Seefeldt & Clark (2002) that "a large proportion of adults in western culture are inactive physically speaking. While this does not speak directly to the empowerment experienced by being acknowledge in a manner of respect, the study goes on to relate that "social support from family, peers, community and healthcare providers has resulted in modest improvement across cultures, ages and genders." In another separate study conducted by Medley (1980) in relation to life satisfaction across all four stages of adulthood found that "family life and standard of living were found to be significant determinants of life satisfaction for both sexes at each stage of adulthood.
The work of Barbara Hawkins, PhD (2005) entitled "Aging Well: Toward a Way of Life for All People" states that "while significant gains have been made a knowledge gap still exists linking one of more specific areas to longevity across the cultures. Hawkins (2005) stated that determinants important are those of (1) Physical, (2) Health, and (3) Mental effectiveness however, the domains of mental and cognitive effectiveness indicate measures of self-esteem, perceived control, resilience of mental well-being.
Social support sources are also stated by Hawkins (2003) The work of Koukouli, et al. (2002) agrees stating the "socio-demographic factors are as important as physical health variables ..." Social support appears to play a significant role in explaining differences in subjective functioning. Koukouli (2003) explains that even in the absence of a chronic disease, there are those whose subjective functioning" or "self=perceived functional state is a key issue in an understanding of the path from early symptoms to disability. Further stated is that "Different patterns of living arrangements seem to have an impact on "not only the area of functional health, but on health in general." Results of the study by Koukouli et al. (2003) state as being consistent with past researchers who also states "the quantity and quality of social support is probably the main facto as well having a positive impact on health.
Bandura states that "among the mechanisms of personal agency, none is more central of pervasive than people's beliefs about their own capabilities to exercise, contact over events that affect their lives. There is a growing body of evidence that human attainment and positive well-being requires an optimistic sense of personal efficacy. (Bandura, 1986) Further related by Bandura is the fact that "because the acquisition of knowledge and competencies, usually requires sustained effort in the face of difficulties and setbacks it is resiliency of self-belief that counts. "The belief of the individual in their own capabilities affects how much stress and depression they experience in threatening of taxing situations. Such emt9ional reactions can affect actions both directly and indirectly by altering the rationale and causes of thinking.
Examination of Bandura et al., 1982 and Bandura, et al., 1985 reveals the fact that "the combined results from the different psychobiological manifestations of emotional arousal are consistent in showing that anxiety and stress reactions are low when people cope with tasks in their perceived self-efficacy range." Importantly stated is that "Self-doubts in coping efficacy produced substantial increases in subjective distress and physiological arousal. "(Bandura, et al. 1985) Bandura (2005) states that "Among the mechanisms of personal agency, none is more central or pervasive than people's belief about their capabilities to exercise control over events that affect their lives. In relation to health affects the study of Bandura, et al. (1999) states that "Other efficacy-activates processing the affective domain concern the impact of perceived coping efficacy on basic biological systems that mediate health functioning. Bandura, et al., (1999) states that Stress has implanted as an important contributing factors to many physical dysfunctions."
Summary & Conclusion
It is clear that social support is a critical element affecting the individual's lifespan. In order to fully understand the implications of what researchers have stated as findings one must come to a full comprehension of what is meant by the term "social support." In order to accomplish a full understanding it must be understood from whence this social support springs. Social support is stated to be provided by the family, peers, community and healthcare provider of the individual. The family provides, ideally (1) esteem (or respect) for the unique and individual worth of each family member; (2) relief from being depersonalized in the realm of job, society and stressful situations (3) mediation and buffering on behalf of the individual; (4) emotional life and a bond; (5) a support system for the meeting of basic human needs; and (6) raising of children in a manner that is appropriate for survival and functional capacity in the adult world. The family furthermore provides commitment, mutual support, responsibility to the need and welfare of other family member, positive interactions on an interpersonal level, and most importantly the family provides the element of "respect."
This is accomplished in the family through interaction, communication, problem-solving and through the meeting of developmental tasks both on the familial and individual level. The way that a family speaks to, listens to and interacts with other family members therefore, is quite clearly a major determinant in the lifespan of the individual. This is more clearly seen when considering the statement of Bandura, et al., 1982 which relates that "Perceived coping inefficacy is accompanied by high levels of subjective distress, autonomic arousal, and plasma catecholamine secretion. Self-doubts in coping efficacy produce substantial increases in subjective digress and physiological arousal."
Finally stated by Bandura, et al. 1982 is that "Other efficacy-activated processes in the affective domain concern the impact of perceived coping efficacy on basic biological systems that mediate health functioning. (Bandura, in press0a). Stress has been implicated as an important contributing factor to many physical dysfunctions. Carefully consider the following statement of Bandura, et al. (1982) Exposure to physical…