Theories on adulthood - Adult Health 1 PCU MAN


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  • Major life shifts can occur during this stage.  For example, children leave the household, careers can change, and so on.  Some may struggle with finding purpose.  Significant relationships are those within the family, workplace, local church and other communities.
  • At the center of Levinson's theory is the life structure.  This is an underlying pattern of an individual's life at any given point in time.  A person's life structure is shaped mainly by their social and physical environment, and it primarily involves family and work.  Other variables such as religion, race, and status are often important as well.  
  • The questions, confusion, and exploration of career is a huge factor in emerging adulthood and feelings of crisis in your twenties (Arnett, 2000). With this pressure to find the right career and rapid layoffs for emerging adults with little work experience.One of the main struggles of emerging adulthood pinpointed by research is the feeling of lost identity and self-definition amongst emerging adults. Atwood and Scholtz in Contemporary Family Therapy explain that growing up emerging adults received their self-worth through external success and accolades, so when those are removed so is their sense of worth.
  • Psychiatrist Roger Gould -----that people must overcome in order to move successfully from childhood to adult consciousness and become more fully functioning adults.
  • a. subjects completed a checklist regarding their participation I in social activities (visiting friends or family), productive activities (housework, volunteering) and solitary activities (hobbies) b. well-being was assessed by asking them to rate how happy they were on a provided scale, function in terms of whether cognitive impairment or physical problems existed and mortality by checking data from the office of vital statistics
  • Theories on adulthood - Adult Health 1 PCU MAN

    2. 2. "Theories [serve] as a lens through which we view the life course; that lens illuminates certain elements and tells a particular story about adult life" . The four lenses through which adult development will be seen are: behavioral / mechanistic, cognitive / psychological, contextual / sociocultural, and integrative.
    3. 3. Erikson’s Stages of Development
    4. 4. Young adult: 18 to 35 • Intimacy and Solidarity vs. Isolation – Love At the young adult stage, people tend to seek companions hip and love. Some also begin to ―settle down‖ and start families, although seems to have been pushed back farther in recent years. • Young adults seek deep intimacy and satisfying relationships, but if unsuccessful, isolation may occur. Significant relationships at this stage are with marital partners and friends.
    5. 5. Middle-aged Adult: 35 to 55 or 65 • Generativity vs. Self absorption or Stagnation – Care Career and work are the most important things at this stage, along with family. Middle adulthood is also the time when people can take on greater responsibilities and control. • For this stage, working to establish stability and Erikson’s idea of generativity – attempting to produce something that makes a difference to society. Inactivity and meaninglessness are common fears during this stage.
    6. 6. Late Adult: 55 or 65 to Death • Integrity vs. Despair – Wisdom As older adults, some can look back with a feeling of integrity — that is, contentment and fulfillment, having led a meaningful life and valuable contribution to society. • Others may have a sense of despair during this stage, reflecting upon their experiences and failures. They may fear death as they struggle to find a purpose to their lives, wondering ―What was the point of life? Was it worth it?‖
    7. 7. Theory of Adult Development
    8. 8. DANIEL LEVINSON Who is he? • graduated from Yale as a psychologist. • developed a comprehensive theory of adult development. • one of the only ones which suggests that development and growth happens well into the adult years.
    9. 9. His theory: In his theory there are two key concepts: 1) the Stable Period - This is the time when a person makes crucial choices in life. 2) the Transitional Period - This is the end of a person's stage and the beginning of a new one. Life during these transitions can be either rocky or smooth, but the quality and significance of one’s life commitments often change between the beginning and end of a period.
    10. 10. 6 stages of adulthood :"Seasons of a Man's Life" 1) Early adult transition (17-22) - leave adolescence - make preliminary choices for adult life 2) Entering the adult world (22-28) - make initial choices in love, - occupation, - friendship, - values, - lifestyle
    11. 11. 3) Age 30 transition (28-33) - changes occur in life structure, either a moderate change or, more often, a severe and stressful crisis 4) Settling down (33-40) - establish a niche in society, - progress on a timetable, in both family and career accomplishments; - are expected to think and behave like a parent so they are facing more demanding roles and expectations .
    12. 12. 5) Mid-life transition (40-45) - life structure comes into question, usually a time of crisis in the meaning, direction, and value of each person's life. - neglected parts of the self (talents, desires, aspirations) seek expression. - Men are seen more as parents than as ―brothers‖ to other men who are somewhat younger than them and this message comes as an irritation at first. - Also at this time, men becoming increasingly aware of death and they are reminded of how short life really is. They become involved in trying to leave a legacy and this usually forms the core of the second half of his life.
    13. 13. • 6) Entering middle adulthood (45-50) - choices must be made, a new life structure formed. person must commit to new tasks. * Some sources also stated that there was a late adulthood stage during which time a man spent time reflecting on past achievements and regrets, and making peace with one's self and others (including God).
    14. 14. “the dreams we have are so compelling that nothing short of total success satisfies.” • Once men reach the age of thirty, or so, they are taking more senior positions in their jobs as their focus is to provide care for their children and their aging parents. Once a man reaches his forties, he begins questioning, ―Is this all I am going to do for the rest of my life?‖. This often causes one to drastically change their field of work, an act that has come to be known as a ―midlife crisis‖. By this age, men have often made the amount of money that they desire and so they begin looking into jobs that benefit others.
    15. 15. The theory of Emerging Adulthood
    16. 16. Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, Ph.D - suggests that the majority of twenty-somethings in Westernized cultures go through a specific sort of ambiguous waiting period between the transition from adolescence to adult. - The typical ―adult‖ markers of leaving home, getting married, and having children, are no longer the indicators that you have boarded the Adult Train.
    17. 17. Facts of Emerging Adulthood • • • • What Career? Lost and Found Identity Leave Me Alone To Faith or Not to Faith
    18. 18. Psychiatrict Roger Gould • Adults pass through series of seven, agerelated stages. • People in late 30s and early 40s begin to feel sense of urgency in attaining life’s goals. • Descriptions not research supported.
    19. 19. Gould's stage / phase model theory of transformation: four major false assumptions • identity formation occurs between the ages of 16 and 22, when people are challenging the false assumption "I will always belong to my parents and believe in their world". • The false assumption to be overcome between 22 and 28 is: "Doing things my parents' way with willpower and perseverance will bring results. But if I become too frustrated, confused or tired or am simply unable to cope, they will step in and show me the right way―.
    20. 20. • From the ages of 28 to 34, people confront the false assumption: "Life is simple and controllable. There are no significant co-existing contradictory forces within me," and, • from 35 to 45, people grapple with: "There is no evil or death in the world. The sinister has been destroyed" .
    21. 21. Gould’s transformations in Adult development STAGE APPROXIMATE AGE DEVELOPMENT(S) 1 16 TO 18 Desire to escape parental control 2 18 TO 22 Leaving the family; peer group orientation 3 22 TO 28 Developing independence; commitment to a career to children 4 29 TO 34 Questioning self; role confusion; marriage and career vulnerable to dissatisfaction 5 35 TO 43 Period of urgency to attain life’s goals; awareness of time limitation; realignment of life’s goals 6 43 TO 53 Settling down; acceptance of one’s life 7 53 TO 60 More tolerance; acceptance of past; less negativism; general mellowing
    22. 22. George Valliant
    23. 23. George Valiant • Keeping meaning versus rigidity occurs between the ages 45 to 55 Adults seek to extract meaning from their lives by accepting strengths and weaknesses of others. Those who are rigid become increasingly isolated from others.
    24. 24. PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT DOES PERSONALITY CHANGE OR REMAIN CONSTANT OVER THE COURSE OF DEVELOPMENT? Erikson and Levinson = substantial change Paul Costa and Robert McCrae = stability in traits across development.
    25. 25. Personality in Late Adulthood • Robert Peck Personality development in elderly people is occupied by three major developmental tasks or challenges. 1. Redefinition of self-versus-preoccupation-with-work-role 2. Body-transcendence-versus-body-preoccupation 3. Ego-transcendence-versus-ego-preoccupation
    26. 26. Bernice Neugarten Four different personality types in people in their 70s • • • • Disintegrated and disorganized Passive-dependent personalities Defended personalities Integrated personalities
    27. 27. Does age bring wisdom?
    28. 28. Things to Consider • Wisdom reflects accumulation of knowledge, experience, and contemplation • Wisdom is not the same as intelligence
    29. 29. Staudinger and Baltes Study • Older participants benefited more from experimental condition designed to promote wise thinking • Older adults appear to be able to draw on a more sophisticated theory of mind
    30. 30. Successful Aging Secrets Three major approaches • Disengagement theory • Activity theory • Continuity theory
    31. 31. Disengagement Theory: Gradual Retreat •Late adulthood involves gradual withdrawal from world on physical, psychological, and social levels •Withdrawal is a mutual process and not necessarily negative
    32. 32. Activity Theory: Continued Involvement • Happiness and satisfaction from high level of involvement • Adaptation to inevitable changes • Continuing/replacing previous activities
    33. 33. And so… Neither disengagement theory nor activity theory provides a complete picture of successful aging
    34. 34. Continuity Theory: A Compromise Position • People need to maintain their desired level of involvement in society to maximize their sense of well-being and self-esteem • Regardless of activity level, most older adults experience positive emotions as frequently as younger individuals • Good physical and mental health is important in determining overall sense of well-being
    35. 35. General Model of Successful Aging Selective Optimization with Compensation
    36. 36. Activity Theory 1. The more active older adults are, the more likely they are to be satisfied with their lives. 2. Menec study (2003) Greater activity, especially social and productive activity, was related to happiness, better functioning and a lower mortality rate
    37. 37. Socioemotional Selectivity Theory 1. Older adults become more selective in their social networks 2. They spend more time with people with whom they have enjoyable relationships 3. Studies have found that older adults have smaller social networks than do young adults (Lee & Markides, 1990; Palmore, 1981)
    38. 38. 4. Late adults are more likely to pursue emotion-related goals, perhaps because they realize that they have less time left to live. a. They therefore, pursue, emotional satisfaction through relationships 5. Compared with young adults, older adults have a more even emotional life with fewer highs and lows