Emotional and Social Development in Middle Adulthood

chapter 16 Emotional and Social Development in Middle Adulthood


Midlife is a time of increased generativity—giving to and guiding younger generations. Charles Callis, director of New Zealand’s Olympic Museum, shows visiting schoolchildren how to throw a discus. His enthusiastic demonstration conveys the deep sense of satisfaction he derives from generative activities.

chapter outline

·   Erikson’s Theory: Generativity versus Stagnation

· ■  SOCIAL ISSUES: HEALTH  Generative Adults Tell Their Life Stories

Other Theories of Psychosocial Development in Midlife

·   Levinson’s Seasons of Life

·   Vaillant’s Adaptation to Life

·   Is There a Midlife Crisis?

·   Stage or Life Events Approach

Stability and Change in Self-Concept and Personality

·   Possible Selves

·   Self-Acceptance, Autonomy, and Environmental Mastery

·   Coping with Daily Stressors

·   Gender Identity

·   Individual Differences in Personality Traits

· ■  BIOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT  What Factors Promote Psychological Well-Being in Midlife?

Relationships at Midlife

·   Marriage and Divorce

·   Changing Parent–Child Relationships

·   Grandparenthood

·   Middle-Aged Children and Their Aging Parents

·   Siblings

·   Friendships

· ■  SOCIAL ISSUES: HEALTH  Grandparents Rearing Grandchildren: The Skipped-Generation Family

·   Vocational Life

·   Job Satisfaction

·   Career Development

·   Career Change at Midlife

·   Unemployment

·   Planning for Retirement