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Chapter 13: Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years). Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Chapter Objectives –To examine the world of work as a context for development,

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 13: Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years). Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Chapter Objectives –To examine the world of work as a context for development,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 13: Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years)

2 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Chapter Objectives –To examine the world of work as a context for development, focusing on interpersonal demands, authority relations, and demands for the acquisition of new skills; considering midlife career changes; examining the interaction of work and family life; and examining the impact of joblessness in middle adulthood

3 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Chapter Objectives (cont.) –To examine the process of maintaining a vital intimate relationship in middle adulthood, especially a commitment to growth, effective communication, creative use of conflict, and preserving passion –To describe the expansion of caring in middle adulthood as it applies to two specific roles: that of parent and that of an adult child caring for ones aging parents

4 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Chapter Objectives (cont.) –To analyze the tasks required for the effective management of the household and their impact on the cognitive, social, and emotional development of family members –To explain the psychosocial crisis of generativity versus stagnation and the central processes through which the crisis is resolved: person-environment interaction and creativity. To define the primary adaptive ego strength of care and the core pathology of rejectivity

5 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Chapter Objectives (cont.) –To apply a psychosocial analysis to the issue of discrimination in the workplace with special focus on the cost to society as well as to the individual when discrimination operates to restrict career access and advancement

6 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Managing a Career: Achieving New Levels of Competence in the World of Work –Understanding and managing leadership and authority One must identify the authority structure operating in the work setting and begin to establish a position in it Career advancement means assuming leadership in some areas, while recognizing and cooperating with the leadership of others Leadership is a relationship among people; leaders provide a sense of vision or direction; and leaders have an impact on getting the group to work toward achieving its vision

7 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Managing a Career: Achieving New Levels of Competence in the World of Work (cont.) –Expanding interpersonal relationships Most occupations place a great deal of emphasis on the development and use of interpersonal skills, especially the ability to interact well with customers and co-workers, and the ability to communicate effectively as underlying criteria in the selection and promotion process

8 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Managing a Career: Achieving New Levels of Competence in the World of Work (cont.) –Meeting new skill demands The characteristics of the occupation and the work setting determine what kinds of work-related skills will dominate the adults energies Substantive complexity is the degree to which the work requires thought, independent judgment, and frequent decision making Intellectual flexibility is the ability to handle conflicting information, grasp several perspectives on a problem, and reflect on ones own values and solutions

9 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Managing a Career: Midlife Career Changes –A management of a career does not necessarily mean remaining within the same occupational structure throughout adult life –Between the ages of 18 and 30 a young person is likely to have held 7.5 jobs

10 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Managing a Career: Midlife Career Changes (cont.) –Work activities or work-related goals may change for at least 5 reasons Careers end during middle adulthood (athlete) Cannot resolve conflicts between job demands and personal goals Realization that one has succeeded as much as possible in a given career

11 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Managing a Career: Midlife Career Changes (cont.) –Work activities or work-related goals may change for at least 5 reasons (cont.) Women decided to make a greater commitment to career once their children are in high school or college With the restructuring of the workforce, some workers are laid off and cannot be rehired in the same field

12 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Managing a Career: Balancing Work and Family Life –Almost everyone manages a career while juggling commitments to spouse, children, parents, other household members, and friends –Role overload occurs as a result of too many demands and expectations to handle in the time allowed –Role conflict refers to ways that the demands and expectations of various roles conflict with each other

13 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Managing a Career: Balancing Work and Family Life (cont.) –Role spillover occurs when the demands or preoccupations about one role interfere with the ability to carry out another role –The combination of role overload, role conflict, and role spillover can lead to reduced satisfaction at work and in family roles –Areas of conflict that arise in dual-earner couples often focus on the management of household tasks and child care

14 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Managing a Career: The Impact of Joblessness –There is a difference in how people cope with seasonal or short-term (less than 5 weeks) unemployment and chronic unemployment –Job loss has been associated with both physical and psychological consequences, such as self-doubt, passivity, and social withdrawal

15 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years)

16 Nurturing an Intimate Relationship –Although people derive a significant sense of personal identity from their jobs and may worry a lot about them, happiness in an intimate relationship is a stronger predictor of overall well-being in adulthood than is satisfaction with work –Partners must be committed to growth both as individuals and as a couple –Caring and acceptance of each other deepen as each person willingly permits changes in attitudes, needs, and interest in the other

17 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Nurturing an Intimate Relationship (cont.) –The couple must develop an effective communication system –For many couples who do not have an effective communication system, resentments accumulate with no opportunity to resolve them –A vital marriage is sustained through the couples ability to make creative use of conflict

18 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Nurturing an Intimate Relationship (cont.) –Although high levels of negativity and discord are disruptive to a marriage, some amount of conflict must be permitted in order to sustain the sense of individuality that is central to a vital marriage –As a rule, levels of conflict and hostility are greater within the family than they are at the workplace or in the community

19 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Case Study: The Struggle for Commitment to Growth in a Vital Marriage –Thought Questions What are the obstacles to continued growth for Annette in this case? How might childrearing responsibilities prevent new growth for women or men in middle adulthood? How does Annettes decision lead to new opportunities for growth for Gary and her children? What are some alternatives that Annette might have considered that could have satisfied her needs for continued growth and perhaps been less disruptive for her family?

20 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Case Study: The Struggle for Commitment to Growth in a Vital Marriage (cont.) –Thought Questions (cont.) Imagine that Gary had been the one looking for a new structure - perhaps going into business for himself or going back to school for a new profession. What types of changes might this have had on the family system? On the marital relationship?

21 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Nurturing an Intimate Relationship: Preserving Passion in Long-Term Relationships –According to Sternbergs three-dimensional model of love, passion is the first thing to go –Preserving an erotic and sexual aspect to intimacy continues to play a role in fostering vital relationships –Nurturing vitality in an intimate relationship is a long-term task

22 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Expanding Caring Relationships: Parenting –In parenting we see the critical intersection of adult development and child development –Adults bring a psychosocial history of ego strengths and core pathologies, coping skills and defenses, and adequate or inadequate resolutions of previous psychosocial crises to the task of nurturing a child –The parenting alliance is defined as the capacity of a spouse to acknowledge, respect, and value the parenting roles and tasks of the partner

23 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Expanding Caring Relationships: Parenting (cont.) –Being a parent is a difficult, demanding task that requires a great deal of learning –Developmental stages of the family The years when children are in early and middle childhood The years when children are adolescents The years when no children are living at home Grandparenthood

24 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Expanding Caring Relationships: Caring for Ones Aging Parents –What is filial obligation? – Feeling of responsibility to care for ones parents –Who provides help? – Evidence suggests that daughters assume much more of the responsibility of their aging parents than do sons

25 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Expanding Caring Relationships: Caring for Ones Aging Parents (cont.) –What factors promote an optimal relationship between adults and their aging parents? The adult parent-child relationship is one of choice Adult children are sometimes in a position of trying to supplement the care and support they provide their parents by coordinating social services and agencies Research on caregiving within the family has begun to examine the rewards as well as the costs in its relationship

26 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Case Study: A Daughter Cares for Her Ailing Mother –Thought Questions How would you describe the costs of caregiving in this case? How would you describe the rewards of caregiving in this case? From what you can gather, what is the quality of the mother-daughter relationship in this case? What role might caring for her dying mother play in Loiss development as an adult?

27 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Managing the Household: Managing Resources and Meeting Needs and Building Networks and Coalitions –Household is a term that describes an entity that is created by people for a particular style of living –The value of the many tasks required to establish and maintain a supportive household environment is difficult to assess –The household system has the potential for providing an environment is a developmental task for the middle adult years

28 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Managing the Household: Managing Resources and Meeting Needs and Building Networks and Coalitions (cont.) –One of the most difficult and subtle kinds of new leaning that occurs during middle adulthood is the development of an understanding of how the structures of other organizations affect ones life and the lives of family members

29 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Managing the Household: Remarriage and Blended Families –About 40% of marriages involve a remarriage for the bride, the groom, or both –In remarriage, partners must find ways to create boundaries around the blended family so that children can benefit from the love and support of their parents, grandparents, and other relatives while protecting the new family from unwanted intrusions and pressures for competing loyalties

30 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Managing the Household: One-Parent Families –About 32% of all families are one-parent families –The greatest stressor for single mothers is the lack of financial resources –In addition to the stresses of poverty, single parents may suffer from social isolation, continuous pressure to meet the needs of their children, and experiencing overload in trying to combine work, parenting, and household decision making without a partner

31 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Managing the Household: People Who Live Alone –Approximately 26 million people lived alone in 1998 in America –Little is known about the differences in psychosocial development between adults who live alone and those who live with others

32 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) The Psychosocial Crisis: Generativity Versus Stagnation –Generativity is the capacity to contribute to the quality of life for future generations –Stagnation is a lack of psychological movement or growth during middle adulthood that may result from self-aggrandizement or from the inability to cope with developmental tasks

33 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Case Study: My Leadership Journey –Thought Questions What kinds of changes did Lourie Compos experience as a result of the Womens Health Leadership training experience? What evidence does the case provide about generative concern? Generative commitment? Generative action? Generative narrative? How did the experience of expanding he social network of professionals outside of her job contribute to Louries psychosocial development?

34 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Case Study: My Leadership Journey (cont.) –Thought Questions (cont.) What lessons can be learned from this case about how to support and nurture a sense of generativity in middle adulthood and how to overcome feelings of stagnation? What role does the environment play in promoting generativity? Can you think of some examples of community programs of workplace initiative that may foster psychosocial development in adulthood?

35 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) The Central Process: Person Environment Interaction and Creativity –Person Environment Interaction is personal growth that depends on the interaction between a persons needs, skills, and interpersonal style and the demands of the environments in which he or she is embedded –Creativity is the willingness to abandon old forms or patterns of doing things and to think in new ways

36 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) The Prime Adaptive Ego Quality and the Core Pathology –Care is the commitment to be concerned –Rejectivity is the unwillingness to include certain others or groups of others in ones generative concerns

37 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Applied Topic: Discrimination in the Workplace –Middle adults in leadership positions who, by deliberate practice or informal example, set a tone that promotes the exclusion of certain workers on the basis of age gender, racial or ethnic group characteristics –Others in middle adulthood suffer from discriminatory policies and are unable to reach the levels of achievement and contribution that their talents merit

38 Middle Adulthood (34 – 60 Years) Applied Topic: Discrimination in the Workplace (cont.) –Social policies and practices that interfere with individuals; ability to perform meaningful work, or to achieve recognition and respect for their work, pose a hazard to individual psychosocial development and to the future o the social group


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