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Later Life & Theories of Aging Unit 5 – Chapter 13.

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1 Later Life & Theories of Aging Unit 5 – Chapter 13

2 The Stability Template Model Assumes that individuals do not change once they achieve adulthood Based on the belief that the basic personality is formed in childhood This model explains that if an individual’s identity is stable over time, they will respond to events and stresses in life in a consistent manner There will be variations in behaviour from person to person, but an individual’s behaviour will be predictable

3 The Orderly Change Model Explains that an individual’s identity is formed earlier in life but changes through interaction with the environment in the present Daniel Levinson suggests that in midlife, individuals examine their Dream, the life structure they have been building in early adulthood, and define a new life structure for themselves in later life based on changing circumstances Suggests that identity changes according to the options available in society

4 The Theory of Random Change Explains that fate, or non-normative events, causes change in identity because of how individuals adapt to their new roles Patterns of behaviour exist because cohorts are exposed to the same events Although the behaviour of individuals within generations might conform to a pattern, it is not possible to predict the behaviour of future generations

5 Social Construction Theory The actions and feelings of individuals have no intrinsic meaning of their own but are given meaning by the theoretical perspectives that are developed for their explanation Individuals’ behaviour does not necessarily differ from place to place or from generation to generation, but the meaning ascribed to the behaviour changes to reflect the expectations of the society

6 Generativity Meaning productivity The range of ways people are able to reach out to leave their mark on future generations By investing in the future and caring for others, individuals can develop the virtue of care However, by becoming self-indulgent, focusing only on their own lives, individuals do not develop, a state that Erikson called stagnation

7 Generativity Individuals may have a need to nurture others, but society expects adults to take responsibility for themselves, care for their children and pass on the culture to their offspring Therefore, adults in their 30s and 40s who are not ready for steady employment and a family are considered to be “out of time” with the social clock

8 Generativity People who do not meet the time lines of the society in which they live might be judged as “immature” and be encouraged to “settle down” Generativity is a universal task of adulthood, but the form and the timing are defined by the society

9 Generativity However, for some individuals, generativity is not attainable They may feel that they cannot generate good products and outcomes, that they are unable to leave a positive mark on their world Their struggle to tend to and maintain themselves may be so taxing that they cannot find the resources to care for those who will eventually survive them

10 Forms of Generativity Generativity is the motivation for the rest of adult life Psychologist John Kotre states that because of the limits of fertility, especially for women, generativity must be defined as something more than reproduction and parenthood

11 Forms of Generativity 1)Biological generativity or parenthood 2)Parental generativity or the raising of children 3)Technical generativity or the passing on of knowledge 4)Cultural generativity or the sharing of culture and tradition

12 Biological Generativity Parenthood is occurring later in life for most Canadians As a result of the impact of contraception, parenthood has become a choice Individuals saw less need for children when improved health enabled them to live longer and healthier lives in which they could accomplish their goals Therefore, there is currently less biological generativity

13 Parental Generativity Attained through interaction with children, as active participants in parenting In the past, women bore most of the responsibility for childcare and parenting, so parental generativity was assumed to be the motivation for a woman’s life in adulthood Now, men have gained greater opportunities for parental generativity as they share an active parenting role with their working wives

14 Parental Generativity Increased life expectancy is changing the nature of parental generativity A longer life allows individuals to have longer connections with past and future generations within the family Grandparenting provides additional parental generativity roles Those who did not have children achieve parental generativity by taking on the role of “guardian” and caring for others’ children as teachers or childcare providers

15 Technical Generativity Another way of providing for the future and leaving one’s mark on the world that extend beyond family Technical Generativity means teaching knowledge and skills to the next generation so that they can develop competence Parents or aunts and uncles teaching children, teachers instructing students and older men and women mentoring younger adults are some examples of the ways technical generativity is expressed

16 Cultural Generativity Means creating and sharing ideas and artifacts that will contribute to the cultural experience of society Whether by producing beneficial products or services at work or by expressing creativity by sewing painting, singing, writing or dancing, individuals can achieve cultural generativity Like Technical Generativity, Cultural Generativity can be achieved by developing and nurturing ideas

17 Is Marriage a Rewarding Investment? Those who maintain their marriages into old age are healthier, live longer and are happier than their widowed, divorced or single peers Post-retirement marriages are happier, perhaps the happiest since the time of being newlyweds This may be that older people are better at resolving problems or that senior couples are tough marriage survivors

18 Is Marriage a Rewarding Investment? 50% of married Canadians say they are very satisfied with life, compared with only 38% of the common-law population Among widows and widowers, about 40% are very satisfied with life, compared with 35% of divorced men and women and 27% of separated men and women

19 Is Marriage a Rewarding Investment? Older couples may continue to interact using strategies that they established early in the marriage, but they seem to perceive each other’s behaviour in a more positive way However, there is evidence that those who are happiest in middle-aged and older marriages were also happiest before they married Couples who are happy are more likely to marry, recover from the transitions and stay married

20 Remarriage Remarriage is becoming more common in Canada for several reasons Improved health and a longer life expectancy enable widows and widowers to consider remarriage, especially after the early death of a spouse About 16% of widowed people have married again

21 Remarriage In 2006, 43% of adults who had divorced were remarried 10% of Canadians are married for the second time and 1 % are married for the third time Although many believe remarriages are motivated by money, the research does not support this idea, the second time around, people still marry for love and romance

22 Establishing A Second Marriage Both partners must first recover from their first marriage and get over the grief, anger and other intense emotions that result from divorce or bereavement Those with lasting remarriages often have a more practical than romantic attitude that allows them to deal with conflict under the watchful eyes of children, in-laws and ex-spouses

23 Establishing A Second Marriage A second marriage may fail if 1)The individual’s problems from the first marriage continue in the second 2)Remarriage occurs later in life and coincides with greater involvement in work than during the first marriage, so there may be conflicting marital and work roles 3)Couples have difficulty negotiating a new marital system when they both have old strategies that have been established in other roles in their lives

24 Establishing A Second Marriage In second marriages as with first marriages, the older couples are when they marry, the more durable the marriage will be Older widowed and divorced people remarry for similar reasons to those in middle age; they seek companionship, social support, health and well-being, financial standing and sexual activity

25 Establishing A Second Marriage Widowers are 5 times more likely to marry than widows because there is a larger pool of eligible women A long-term stable marriage is associated with significant health benefits for men and women of all demographic groups It may be that the healthiest people marry or that married people have healthier, less risky lifestyles

26 Establishing A Second Marriage Married couples provide social support and care for one another, which improves health and longevity Since society expects that individuals will delay remarriage until an appropriate period of mourning has passed, there is usually a longer waiting period for remarriage after the death of a spouse than after divorce Remarriage after widowhood usually reflects the success of the previous marriage and the desire to achieve that happy state again

27 Bereavement Marriage is much more likely to be dissolved by death in old age, not by divorce The death of a spouse is the most stressful and disruptive event in life Because women have traditionally married men who are several years older and because the life expectancy of men is shorter by several years, women are more likely than men to be widowed

28 Bereavement Women will probably spend their final years alone, while men are likely to die with a spouse and family around them In 2001, 42% of older women were widowed compared to 11.2% of men Men have more difficulty adjusting to the death of their spouse than women do Men tend to have a greater dependence on their wives for meeting their needs

29 Bereavement Traditionally, men have fewer close friends and depend on their partners for companionship Men have performed fewer household activities in the past, so the loss of their wife has a greater impact on their lifestyle The older a woman is when her husband dies, the more likely she is to live alone

30 Bereavement Three-quarters of Canada’s older widows are living on their own, but few of them report being lonely Women are less likely to remarry than men Women compared to men, have more actively maintained family ties and have closer relationships with their children and friends

31 The Stages of Death Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross made it her life’s work to study the process of dying to learn how to support those who are dying She identified 5 stages of death, which are experienced in order, if there is time 1)Denial of the diagnosis and attempting to find a solution or another explanation 2)Anger at the fact of death, which might be directed at anyone, including self, family or health-care staff

32 The Stages of Death 3)Bargaining, with promises to alter who they are and what they do, to change the diagnosis 4)Depression, arising from the certainty of death and the resignation that there is no hope 5)Acceptance, indicating that the individual has come to terms with his or her fate and is ready to prepare for the end of life

33 Grieving The grieving process occurs in 3 distinct but overlapping phases over a period of several years 1)In the shock phase, bereaved individuals experience periods of numbness and crying. Daily activities will be disrupted and are completed with little thought or pleasure. At this time, others might wish to increase their closeness, but the bereaved person might prefer time alone.

34 Grieving 2)In the disorganization phase, there is a need to talk about the deceased person and vent feelings of sadness, anger, anxiety and guilt. A person might be less able to function in day-to-day life because of the necessity to make lifestyle changes. Unfortunately, other people are less available to talk after the brief period of mourning.

35 Grieving 3)In the reorganization phase, new routines have been established for day-to-day life and there is less evident grief. The bereaved person has a new relationship with the deceased as someone they remember rather than someone with whom they share their life.

36 Unit 5 Test Outline Format: a)10 Multiple Choice b)5 Short Answer Material: 1)Photocopied text book package on ‘The History of Adulthood’ 2)Middle & Later Life: Chapter 12 Power Point 3)Later Life & Theories of Aging: Chapter 13 Power Point

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