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Middle Age/Midlife

The middle age, or midlife, period, generally considered as the ages of 40–65 years, links the life-span stages of young adulthood and old age. According to the World Health Organization, between 1900 and 2013, the global average life expectancy more than doubled from 31 to 65.6 years. Although this increase is due principally to reduced infant and child mortality, a majority of the population surviving into and through midlife is a relatively new phenomenon. This growth in middle-aged and older populations is leading to changes in how midlife is conceptualized and experienced with significant implications for a range of social policies. This entry provides a general overview of physical health, psychological functioning, and social context as they relate to midlife, then explores how experiences from ...

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