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a. a period of history marked by some feature or characteristic; era
b. (capital when part of a name): the Middle Ages; the Space Age
2. Geology palaeontol
a. a period of the earth's history distinguished by special characteristics
b. the period during which a stage of rock strata is formed; a subdivision of an epoch
3. Myth any of the successive periods in the legendary history of man, which were, according to Hesiod, the golden, silver, bronze, heroic, and iron ages
4. Psychol the level in years that a person has reached in any area of development, such as mental or emotional, compared with the normal level for his chronological age
5. of age adult and legally responsible for one's actions (usually at 18 or, formerly, 21 years)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in humans, a stage of development that is characterized by specific regularities of formation of the organism and personality and by relatively stable morphophysiological and psychological traits. While age is a stage in the biological maturing of the organism, a process controlled by genetic factors, it is also a concrete result and stage of the social-psychological development of the personality and is determined by the conditions of life, training, and upbringing.

The content and form of training and upbringing are historically composed and varied according to age; in their turn they affect the determination of the boundaries and possibilities of a given age. In contemporary pedagogy and developmental psychology, several ages are differentiated with respect to the known relationships of the boundaries: infancy (from birth to one year); pre-preschool, or early childhood (from one to three); preschool (from three to seven); early school age (from seven to ten years); juvenile, or middle school (from ten to 15); and late school, or early youth (15 to 18 years old). Beyond these limits there is no generally accepted classification in the literature; only old age is considered separately. With the increased longevity noted in the 20th century, gerontology and gerontopsychology have arisen as disciplines to study the problems of prolonging the active life of a human being. Each age has a characteristic structure of cognitive, emotional, and volitional properties and qualities; forms of behavior; types of relationships to the environment; and peculiarities of structure and functioning of various organs and systems of the organism. This structure, however, is not invariable: in the 20th century a general acceleration of the physical and mental development of children has been noted. On the other hand, educational theory, in solving the problem of optimizing training, widens the possibilities of age and the boundaries of acquiring knowledge. Training must take into account not only the level of development achieved but also the development perspectives (the concept of “zones of imminent development,” as formulated by L. S. Vygotskii): the teacher must know not only what is present in a child of a given age but also what can be achieved, given certain conditions, by the child in the near future.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Period of time from origin or birth to a later time designated or understood; length of existence.
Any one of the named epochs in the history of the earth marked by specific phases of physical conditions or organic evolution, such as the Age of Mammals.
One of the smaller subdivisions of the epoch as geologic time, corresponding to the stage or the formation, such as the Lockport Age in the Niagara Epoch.


(aerospace engineering)
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Advanced maternal age and the risk of caesarean birth: a systematic review.
Advanced maternal age is not a risk factor for omphalocoele in the local population and there is an equal gender distribution in this series.
This could be attributed to the high fertility rate and trends toward reproduction even at an advanced maternal age.[sup][58]
Does advanced maternal age confer a survival advantage to infants born at early gestation?
(16) Obesity and breech presentation in older maternal age are other risk factors implicated in cesarean deliveries at advanced maternal age. (17-19)
Though it is still undeniable that advanced maternal age brings a higher risk of miscarriage and conditions such as Trisomy 21, "early births appear to be more dangerous for children than late ones," said study researcher Mikko Myrskyla of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany.
One of the suggested risk factors for pre-eclampsia is advanced maternal age. In the Western countries, maternal age at first delivery has been steadily increasing, yet few studies have examined women of advanced maternal age with pre-eclampsia.
Advanced maternal age, defined as age 35 years and older at estimated date of delivery, has become increasingly common (Martin et al, 2002).
High risk factors are previously scarred uterus, dilatation and curettage, advanced maternal age and abnormal placentation (2).
Because I was of "advanced maternal age," my doctor asked if we wanted to test for genetic conditions.
Studies showed that the main demographic factors associated with stillbirth were teenage mothers (Hollander, 2006; Brian, Bateman and Lynn 2006), advanced maternal age, greater than 34 years (Hollander, 2006; Fretts, 2005; Brian, et al., 2006; Ferraz and Gray, 1990), maternal and paternal illiteracy (Fikree and Gray, 1996), maternal education, rural communities (Cripe, Pung, Nguyen and Williams 2007), low socioeconomic status (Fretts, 2005; Fikree and Gray, 1996; Ferraz and Gray, 1990), consanguinity (Stoltenberg, Magnus, Lie, Daltveit and Irgens, 1998 and 1999) and maternal race/ethnic group (Parsons, et al., 1990; Ferraz and Gray, 1990).

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