Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Geriatric Psychology on Language - Dictionary of Arguments

Upton I 141
Language/memory/Geriatric psychology/Upton: The belief is that, in adulthood, language skills are maintained (Thornton and Light, 2006)(1). However, there is evidence that language development continues even into late adulthood: vocabulary increases (Willis and Schaie. 2006)(2) and older adults often maintain or even improve their knowledge of words and what they mean (Burke and Shafto, 2004)(3).
However, some decline in language abilities may appear in late adulthood. This could link to physiological changes that take place in old age, such as hearing difficulties, which can lead to problems in distinguishing speech sounds (Gordon-Salant et al., 2006)(4). >Memory/Geriatric psychology.


1. Thornton, R and Light, LL (2006) Language comprehension and production in normal aging, in Birren, JE and Schaie, KW (eds) Handbook of the Psychology of Aging(6th edn). San Diego, CA: Elsevier.
2. Willis, SL and Schaie, KW (2006) Cognitive functioning among the baby boomers: longitudinal and cohort effects, in Whitbourne, SK and Willis, SL (eds) The Baby Boomers. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum.
3. Burke, DM and Shafto, MA (2004) Aging and language production. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13: 21-4.

Further reading:
Salthouse, TA (2009). When does age-related cognitive decline begin? Neurobiology of Aging,
30(4): 507—14. Available online at http :! /faculty.virginia .edulcogage/hnks/publications/.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Geriatric Psychology
Upton I
Penney Upton
Developmental Psychology 2011


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