If a person develops good eating habits, exercises daily, and possesses a positive attitude with regard to the everyday activities since early childhood. He/she will have higher probability to live longer as compared to a person who uses drugs, drinks alcoholic beverage excessively or lives a sedentary life.
Many of the late adulthood in the developed countries live longer due to more medical assistance and educational resources available. However, living longer truly depends on the person's mindset. The development and resulting lifespan of people may be dependent on such factors as their perception of death or afterlife, resiliency in confronting changes in adulthood and attributed value to life.
This paper discusses how factors such as their perception of death or afterlife, resiliency in confronting changes in adulthood and attributed value to life have affected the development and quality of the lives of the interviewees who are in their late stages of adulthood. As their views are compared and further information gathered, the apparent role of adult development factors are exhibited.
Fear of death or dying is natural and sometimes may cause individuals to become preoccupied and obsessive with the thoughts of death. At times, just the mere mention of death may even cause substantial anxiety for some people. To further illustrate how the fear of death is actually universal, the presence of death is often frightening and unwelcome or even taboo to discuss in some cultures. In more modern cultures, death has been accepted as eminent, thus, embraced. However, the restrictions to certain foods that can be eaten or clothing that can be worn to avoid death or prolong life still prevail.
Based on recent psychological studies, there are five primal fears, i.e. fear of dying, the unknown, abandonment, loss of control, pain, and bodily deterioration (Garfield, 2001). All these fears stem from people's fear of death. According to Clinical Psychology Professor Charles Garfield, the most common fear, fear of the unknown occurs when one questions "what will happen". We fear not knowing what is next to come particularly in the afterlife. He further explains that the fear of abandonment is the unintentional abandonment that people leave when responding to a near death situation. For instance, as he was questioning his dying friend's wife about being alone, she affirmed that as people came and went after visiting and consoling her of her husband near death experience, she felt abandoned as they disappeared.
Fear of loss of control is related to the loss of independence as individuals who are nearing death rely a great deal on others. This is especially difficult for an individual who has always been independent (Garfield, 2001). In this regard, individuals who are asked how they would like to die would highly likely state that they would like to die peacefully and without pain or "a quick, agony-free end during sleep or a clear-minded final few moments in which they can say farewell and review their lives," (Berk, 2004).