Chapter 17 : Live to Age

To what age do you think you will live? Why? To what age would you like to live?


Many people believe that aging is a process that begins at birth (Santrock, 2019). When it comes to aging in today's society, women statistically live longer than men, and many of those women live alone (Santrock, 2019). An interesting way of determining age is the cellular clock theory, based on the idea that cells have a limited number of times that they can divide throughout a human lifespan, usually theorized being between 75 and 80 times (Santrock, 2019, p. 523). Each time a cell divides, it shortens its telemere, an essential part of the cell in division (Santrock, 2019). After 75 to 80 divisions, the telemere is too short to divide, and the theory is that shorter telemeres contribute to the aging effect. Another fascinating theory is the hormonal stress theory which theorizes that our bodies release hormones in response to stress naturally (Santrock, 2019). However, after years of defaulting and releasing hormones, these release systems can become over-used and the mechanisms fire too readily (Santrock, 2019). At an older age, the effects of the hormone release last longer in our bodies, a sort of hormonal hangover that gets worse with age (Santrock, 2019). It is thought that the firing of stressor hormones into our bodies depletes our immune systems and increases the ware on our bodies, accelerating the aging process (Santrock, 2019).


I have no idea how long I will live. After losing a dear friend young to an undetected heart condition, and a family friend unexpectedly in his sleep while he was in full young health, I no longer consider life as a choice. It seems incredibly fragile. I would love to live a long, full life in order to spend as much time on the planet with those that I love as possible, and hopefully to see any future kids that I have to grow and support them in their lives. I do not have an age in mind for my death. I trust that if life ends naturally at an old age, there will be a moment at which my body (and soul) will know that my time is up and I will pass. However, that would be lucky. I think a lot of people die of accidents or unexpected illnesses.

Santrock, J. W. (2019). Lifespan development (17th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.