Friendships in Adulthood Three broad themes underlie adult friendships: –Affective or emotional basis This includes self-disclosure, expressions of intimacy, appreciation, affection, and support. Based on trust, loyalty, and commitment –Shared or communal nature Friends participate in or support activities of mutual interest. –Sociability and compatibility Friends keep us entertained and are sources of amusement, fun, and recreation.
Men, Women’s, and Cross-Sex Friendships Women tend to have more friendships than men. Friendships between men and women tend to: –have a beneficial effect, especially for men –be difficult to maintain
Love Relationships Sternberg has identified three ideal components of love: Passion Intimacy Commitment Assortative mating: selecting a mate based on shared values, goals, and interests Homogamy: the degree to which people share similar values and interests
Violence in Relationships Abusive relationships occur when one person becomes aggressive toward their partner. –Aggression can range from verbal to physical to murder. People remain in abusive relationships for many reasons, –including low self-esteem and the belief that they cannot leave –Battered woman syndrome
Violence in Relationships Many college students report experiencing abuse while dating. –In studies done since 2000: 7% reported physical abuse 36% reported emotional abuse –Acquaintance (date) rape is experienced by 1 in 4 college women –Roughly 40 to 50% of women are injured during a sexual attack
Violence in Relationships Honor killings: Common cause of women’s murders in Arab countries is brother or other male relatives killing the victim because of honor.
Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation Elder abuse has several categories: –Physical –Sexual –Emotional or Psychological –Financial or material –Abandonment –Neglect –Self-neglect Risk factors and causes of Elder Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation: –Spouses or partners who have a history of being abusive tend to remain that way in late life. –Unscrupulous businesspeople take advantage of cognitively disadvantaged older adults.
Singlehood Most adults between 20 and 24 are single –Approximately 80% of men and 70% of women People remain single for a variety of reasons. Three distinct groups of young singles: Those who suffer distress at being single. Those who are experiencing a continuum of desiring to remain single and wanting to be married. Others that are quite happy being single.
Cohabitation Becoming an increasingly popular lifestyle choice –523,000 couples in 1970 –5,500,000 couples in 2000 Couples cohabitate for three main reasons 1.Convenience, sharing expenses, sexual accessibility – part-time or limited cohabitation 2.Couples are engaging in a trial marriage with an intent on marrying – premarital cohabitation 3.Long-term commitment that is a marriage in fact, but lacking official sanction – substitute marriage
Marriage The median age at first marriage is increasing and has done so over the last few decades. Factors influencing marital success –Maturity of the partners at time of marriage –Homogamy - Marriage based on similarity –Feelings of equality Exchange theory –each partner contributes something to the relationship that the other would be hard pressed to provide
The Developmental Course of Marital Satisfaction Marital satisfaction is highest at the beginning of the marriage, falls until children leave home, and rises in later life.
Keeping Marriages Happy Most long-term marriages tend to be happy, because both members of the couple: show an ability to adapt to changes in their relationship realize that expectations about one's marriage change over time Seven Key Things to Keep a Good Marriage 1.Make time for your relationship 2.Express your love to your spouse 3.Be there in times of need 4.Communicate constructively and positively about problems in the relationship 5.Be interested in your spouse’s life 6.Confide in your spouse 7.Forgive minor offenses, and try to understand major ones
Divorce Grandma's Advice Video Clip Grandma's Advice Video Clip Divorce in the U.S. is common and rates are higher than in many other countries. Men and women agree on reasons for divorce: InfidelityIncompatibilityDrug and alcohol useGrowing apart
Effects of Divorce on the Couple Divorce may impair well-being even several years later. –Divorce Hangover: inability to “let go” –Divorce in middle- or late-life If the woman initiates the divorce, she reports self-focused growth and optimism. If she did not, she tends to ruminate and feel vulnerable. –Middle-aged divorced women are less likely to remarry and more likely to have financial problems than men.
Remarriage Despite adjustment problems, the vast majority of divorced people remarry. Usually men and women wait about 3.5 years. Few differences between first marriages and remarriages. –Most second marriages have 25% higher risk of dissolution than first marriages. Remarriage in late life appears to be very happy, especially if the partners were widowed. –In this case, the biggest problem is usually resistance by adult children.
Widowhood Experiencing the death of one's spouse is a traumatic event, but one which is highly likely. Reactions to widowhood depend on the quality of the marriage. Widowed people are vulnerable to being abandoned (socially isolated) by their couples-based friendship network. Gender differences –More than half of women over 65 are widows; only 15% of same- aged men are widowers –Widowhood is more common among women because they tend to marry older men. –Widowed men are typically older than widowed women. –Men are more likely to die soon after their spouse. Either by suicide or natural causes
Family Dynamics and the Life Course The Parental Role Today, couples have fewer children and have their first child later than in the past.
Single Parents in the United States Single-parent households have remained constant since 1994 at 9 percent. –Proportion of births to unmarried mothers is at an all time high at 37%. –Single parents are mostly women –Single mothers and ethnic patterns: 70% of African American births are to single mothers 48% of Latino births are to single mothers 25% of European births are to single mothers Concerns/obstacles of the single parent –Financially less well-off –Integrating work and parenthood is difficult –Dating
Midlife Issues: Adult Children and Parental Caregiving Sandwich generation: –Middle-aged parents caught between caring for their children and acting as caregivers for their parents
Adult Children: Becoming Friends and the Empty Nest –Middle aged parents experience two positive developments. Suddenly their children see them in a new light. The children leave home. –Only 25% report negative emotions when their children leave home. Difficulties emerge when children were a major source of a parent’s identity. –Most parents typically report distress if adult children move back home.
Caring for ones parents Filial obligation : to care for one’s parents when necessary –44 million Americans provide care for older parents, in- laws, grandparents. Caregiving Stresses include: Coping with parent’s declining cognitive ability and problematic behavior Workload burnout Loss of previous relationship with parent When the caregiving role infringes on other responsibilities
Grandparenthood How do Grandparents Interact with Grandchildren? –Grandparents pass on skills, religious, social, and vocational values. –Grandchildren give to grandparents by keeping them in touch with youth and the latest trends (computers, iPods). Being a Grandparent is meaningful. Kivnick has identified five meanings of being a grandparent: –Centrality (most important part of ones life) –Value as an elder (source of wisdom) –Immortality through clan –Reinvolvement with one’s personal past (recalling their own grandparents) –Indulgence (ability to spoil grandchildren)
Grandparents, Grandchildren, and Divorce Grandparents are increasingly being put in the position of raising their grandchildren. Approximately 800,000 U.S. households include a grandparent raising a grandchild under the age of 18. –Grandparents who raise their grandchildren face many special problems. –Reasons for raising grandchildren are varied.
Family Dynamics and the Life Course Great-Grandparenthood Increasing numbers of people are living long enough to become great-grandparents. –Which brings additional status and meaning to one's life Being a great-grandparent is an important source of personal and family renewal.