G & D Ch. 14


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Socioemotional Development in Middle Adulthood

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  • G & D Ch. 14

    1. 1. Chapter 14 Socioemotional Development in Middle Adulthood
    2. 2. Erikson’s Stage in Midlife <ul><li>Generativity vs. Stagnation </li></ul><ul><li>People consider their contributions to their family, the community, & the society </li></ul><ul><li>Guiding & encouraging future generations </li></ul><ul><li>Leaving a lasting impression through creative, artistic output </li></ul><ul><li>Looking at life continuing through your influence on others </li></ul><ul><li>Stagnation: focusing on the trivial areas of life, feeling of not contributing to the world, & one’s presence doesn’t amount to much </li></ul>
    3. 3. Other Views of Midlife <ul><li>Vaillant </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping the meaning vs. rigidity </li></ul><ul><li>Adults seek to extract the meaning from their lives by accepting the strengths & weaknesses of others </li></ul><ul><li>The rigid become more isolated from others </li></ul><ul><li>Gould </li></ul><ul><li>Adults pass through 7 stages associated with specific age periods </li></ul><ul><li>In late 30s-early 40s there’s an urgency to achieve goals & this reality propels them into adulthood </li></ul><ul><li>Levinson </li></ul><ul><li>Adult men pass through a series of stages beginning in early adulthood & going through midlife </li></ul><ul><li>Early adulthood is leaving the family & pursuing the dream </li></ul><ul><li>By late 30s, they settle down & establish themselves in career & family </li></ul><ul><li>Between 40 & 45 is time of “midlife transition,” a time of questioning themselves & their life </li></ul><ul><li>May lead to a “midlife crisis” </li></ul>
    4. 4. Perspectives on Adult Personality Development <ul><li>Normative Crisis Model </li></ul><ul><li>Personality develops in terms of fairly universal stages, tied to a sequence of age-related crises </li></ul><ul><li>Critics say that stage models are outdated, coming from a time when gender roles were more rigid </li></ul><ul><li>Life Events Model </li></ul><ul><li>The timing of a particular event in an adult’s life, rather than age per se, determine the course of personality development </li></ul><ul><li>An event at age 21 & the same event at 39 would cause the same emotional feelings </li></ul><ul><li>Adulthood is not a time of passivity but of continued psychological growth </li></ul>
    5. 5. The “Big Five” <ul><li>The Five Factor Model </li></ul><ul><li>Paul Costa, Jr. & Robert McCrae </li></ul><ul><li>Organizes personality traits into opposing factors and describes differences in personality using five categories. These traits have been see in cultures as widely divergent as American, German, Portuguese, Hebrew, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. </li></ul><ul><li>Factor Description of Traits </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Extraversion vs. Sociable vs. Withdrawn </li></ul><ul><li>Introversion Fun-loving vs. Sober </li></ul><ul><li>Friendly vs. Aloof </li></ul><ul><li>Adventurous vs. Cautious </li></ul><ul><li>Neuroticism vs. Anxious vs. Relaxed </li></ul><ul><li>Stability Insecure vs. Secure </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional vs. Calm </li></ul><ul><li>Self-pitying vs. Content </li></ul><ul><li>Openness vs. Closed Original vs. Conventional </li></ul><ul><li>To Experience Imaginative vs. Down-to-Earth </li></ul><ul><li>Broad vs. Narrow Interests </li></ul><ul><li>Open vs. Closed to New Ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Agreeableness vs. Good-natured vs. Irritable </li></ul><ul><li>Antagonism Soft-hearted vs. Ruthless </li></ul><ul><li>Courteous vs. Rude </li></ul><ul><li>Sympathetic vs. Tough-minded </li></ul><ul><li>Conscientiousness vs. Well-organized vs. Disorderly </li></ul><ul><li>Undirectedness Dependable vs. Undependable </li></ul><ul><li>Hardworking vs. Lazy </li></ul><ul><li>Ambitious vs. Easygoing </li></ul>
    6. 6. The Family in Midlife <ul><li>Marriage </li></ul><ul><li>Satisfaction declines after marriage & falls to the lowest after childbirth </li></ul><ul><li>Begins to climb after child’s teens & reaches highest when they leave </li></ul><ul><li>See spouse as “best friend” & marriage as a long-term commitment </li></ul><ul><li>See spouse as growing more interesting over the years </li></ul><ul><li>Sex life, though less frequent, is more satisfying </li></ul>
    7. 7. The Family in Midlife <ul><li>Satisfaction keeps falling </li></ul><ul><li>1 in 8 women divorce after 40 </li></ul><ul><li>Reasons: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Spending less time together </li></ul><ul><li>2. Feel more concern for personal happiness & leave the marriage </li></ul><ul><li>3. Divorce is more accepted now </li></ul><ul><li>4. Wives feel less dependent on their husbands economically & emotionally </li></ul><ul><li>5. Feelings of romance & passion subside </li></ul><ul><li>6. Stress in the household with both parents working </li></ul><ul><li>75%-80% remarry within 2-5 years </li></ul><ul><li>Less than 1/3 of women over 40 remarry </li></ul>
    8. 8. Empty Nest Syndrome <ul><li>When last child leaves home </li></ul><ul><li>Feelings of unhappiness, worry, loneliness, & depression </li></ul><ul><li>Worse for stay-at-home moms </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits: </li></ul><ul><li>1) Can work harder </li></ul><ul><li>2) More time alone </li></ul><ul><li>3) House stays cleaner </li></ul><ul><li>4) Phone doesn’t ring as often </li></ul>
    9. 9. Boomerang Children <ul><li>Young adults return to live with middle age parents </li></ul><ul><li>Reasons: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Unable to find work </li></ul><ul><li>2. Difficult to make ends meet </li></ul><ul><li>3. Break-up of marriage </li></ul><ul><li>Men are more likely to come back than women </li></ul><ul><li>Parents give sons more freedom </li></ul><ul><li>Parents’ reactions are both + & - </li></ul>
    10. 10. Sandwich Generation <ul><li>Must fulfill the needs of both children & parents </li></ul><ul><li>Due to: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Marrying & having children later </li></ul><ul><li>2. Parents living longer with care involving money to living in child’s home </li></ul><ul><li>Problems: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Is difficult because of role reversal </li></ul><ul><li>2. Most of burden on wife </li></ul><ul><li>Can be rewarding for children & parents </li></ul>
    11. 11. Work & Leisure <ul><li>Midlife is time of highest productivity, success, & money </li></ul><ul><li>Midlife workers care more about the here-&-now qualities of work </li></ul><ul><li>The older the worker the more overall job satisfaction they experience </li></ul><ul><li>Job satisfaction is not universal </li></ul><ul><li>Burnout (experience of dissatisfaction, disillusionment, frustration, & weariness from the job) can occur </li></ul><ul><li>“ Downsizing” can occur leaving one unemployed with ageism occurring </li></ul><ul><li>Voluntary job change may occur </li></ul><ul><li>Due to little satisfaction with the old job </li></ul><ul><li>Achieved the challenges of the old job </li></ul><ul><li>No longer enjoy what they do </li></ul>
    12. 12. Work & Leisure <ul><li>Middle-age adults have 70 hours a week for leisure time </li></ul><ul><li>Average middle-age adult watches 15 hours of TV per week </li></ul><ul><li>Spend about 6 hours a week socializing </li></ul><ul><li>Some volunteer their time </li></ul><ul><li>U.S., Japan, & Western Europe have fast-paced lives </li></ul>
    13. 13. Friendships <ul><li>Friendships in adulthood follow 5 identifiable stages: </li></ul><ul><li>Acquaintanceship, Buildup, Continuation, Deterioration, & Ending </li></ul><ul><li>If a friendship ends it depends mostly on availability of alternative relationships </li></ul>
    14. 14. Friendships <ul><li>People tend to have more acquaintances during young adulthood than later on </li></ul><ul><li>Friendships important because, in part, life satisfaction is highly related to the quantity & quality of friends </li></ul><ul><li>Friendships play a major role in determining how much we enjoy life </li></ul><ul><li>3 broad themes that underlie adult friendships </li></ul><ul><li>The emotional basis of the friendship </li></ul><ul><li>Refers to self-disclosure & expressions of intimacy, appreciation, affection, & support all of which are based on trust, loyalty, & communications </li></ul>
    15. 15. Friendships <ul><li>The shared or communal nature of the friendship </li></ul><ul><li>Friends participate in or support activities of mutual interest </li></ul><ul><li>Sociability & compatibility </li></ul><ul><li>Friends keep us entertained & are sources of amusement, fun, & recreation </li></ul>
    16. 16. Friendships <ul><li>Gender differences in friendships </li></ul><ul><li>Women tend to base friendships on more intimate emotional sharing & use friendships as a means to confide in others </li></ul><ul><li>Getting together takes the form of discussing personal matters </li></ul><ul><li>Have much more experience with intimate sharing early in life, & are more comfortable with vulnerability </li></ul><ul><li>Men tend to base friendships on shared activities or interests </li></ul><ul><li>Go to sporting events or talk sports with friends </li></ul><ul><li>Competition is often part of friendships </li></ul>