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Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Middle Adulthood Personality and Sociocultural Development Chapter 15 15.

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Presentation on theme: "Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Middle Adulthood Personality and Sociocultural Development Chapter 15 15."— Presentation transcript:

1 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Middle Adulthood Personality and Sociocultural Development Chapter 15 15

2 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Middle Adulthood Personality and Sociocultural Development Personality Continuity and Change Family and Friends The Changing Family Occupational Continuity and Change Continuity and Change in the Structure of Personality

3 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Personality Continuity and Change The Tasks of Middle Adulthood –Erikson's Generativity vs. Self-Absorption Generativity: contributing in worthwhile ways to others and community People act within 3 domains: procreative, productive, and creative –Peck extended Erikson’s views: Middle adulthood sets the stage for the rest of a person's life

4 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Peck’s Issues of Adult Development Middle Adulthood –valuing wisdom versus physical powers –socializing versus sexualizing in human relationships –emotional flexibility versus cathectic impoverishment –mental flexibility versus mental rigidity Older Adulthood –ego differentiation versus work-role preoccupation –body transcendence versus body preoccupation –ego transcendence versus ego preoccupation

5 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Personal Reactions to Middle Adulthood Men and women have different experiences, but they share some patterns of development Men traditionally focus on work, but family is also important Women traditionally define themselves more in terms of family than in terms of work Men and women experience role strain and role conflict from overload of demands within a given role Men and women may reassess their lives at midlife and shift their attention to other goals and choices

6 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Family and Friends: Interpersonal Contexts The Generation That Runs Things –Middle-aged adults must live in the present –They are family kinkeepers, maintaining family rituals, and keeping family together Relationships with Adult Children –launching adolescents into the adult world –Empty nest transition –developing mutually reciprocal relationships with children

7 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Relationships With Aging Parents –Life expectancy has risen dramatically in United States –Only 1 in 20 children experience the death of a parent before they are 15 years old, compared to 1 in 4 in 1900 –Many middle-aged children will care for their aging parents –Only 10% of U.S. parents live with their children Family and Friends: Interpersonal Contexts

8 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Life Expectancy for U.S. Men and Women

9 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Relationship With Aging Parents Reciprocal Exchange of Assistance Role Reversals –Daughters & daughters-in-law are most likely to be primary caregivers for aging adults Caring for Elderly Parents –10% of aging adults live in nursing homes or other care facilities, the rest are cared for mainly in their homes

10 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Video Clip Describes the challenge of transitioning to becoming caretakers of our elderly parents:

11 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Becoming a Grandparent Many middle-aged adults become grandparents The role they play depends on culture, proximity, and personal preference Within some ethnic minority groups, it is common to have three generations in one household In Black and Native American families, more than 50% of grandparents are their grandchildren’s primary caregivers

12 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Video Clip Grandparents raising grandchildren when their children are unable to do so.:

13 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Video Clip Bill Cosby comedy clip describing the change that occurs as people become grandparents (also talks about the difference between fathers and mothers):

14 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Video Clip Describes the situation of one grandmother caring for her grandchildren:

15 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Important Roles Played by Grandparents

16 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Friendship: A Lifelong Perspective Especially for people who do not marry or have children, friendships provide opportunity for intimacy For all adults, friendships fulfill many important emotional needs Friends become more important and friendships become more complex as people move through middle adulthood

17 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. The Changing Family Family roles are broadening, as few U.S. families fit the “traditional” mold of working dad and stay-at-home mom. Marriage, divorce and remarriage –By age 40, 86% of U.S. men and 88% of U.S. women have married –About 50% of marriages end in divorce although rates differ according to age cohort –Second and third marriages more likely to end in divorce

18 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Divorce In 75% of divorces, at least one partner remarries Wives more often initiate the divorce Recently divorced men and women experience higher rates of alcoholism, physical illness, and depression Most people adjust to divorce within 2 to 3 years

19 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Myths and Facts About Marriage and Divorce

20 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Strategies for Making a Positive Post-Divorce Adjustment

21 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Blended families (stepfamilies) When parents remarry, family structures often become complex For stepparents, discipline, gaining stepchildren’s acceptance, and adjusting to their habits is difficult

22 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Video Clip Recommendations for dealing with the stress of divorce and blended families during the holidays:

23 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Video Clip Humorous montage of television shows and movies dealing with the challenges of stepparenting (Brady Bunch, Step Brothers, Stepmom)

24 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Blended families (stepfamilies) Stepmothers often have more difficulty than do stepfathers in making adjustment Relationships between girls and stepfathers and between boys and stepmothers tend to be most difficult For best results, the family needs to create a new social unit

25 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Stepfamilies: A Complex Picture SOURCE: Figure, p. 197, “Family tree/Smith family” from Stepfamily relationships: Development, dynamics and interventions, by L. H. Ganong and M. Coleman, copyright © Reprinted by permission of Springer Science & Business Media.

26 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Occupational Continuity and Change Job Change and Stress –Job loss, either through choice, or being fired or laid off, is more difficult for middle-aged adults than for young adults –Job burnout, characterized by emotional exhaustion due to working in high-stress professions, is prevalent among the helping professions –People now live and work longer, and social expectations about work are more flexible

27 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Factors in Coping With Job Loss Physical Health Physical and Financial Resources Specific Skills Social Support Cognitive Understanding of Events Anticipation and Preparation Personality Factors Life History

28 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Environmental Influences on Mental Health

29 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Personality Structure: The 5 Factor Model provides a useful vocabulary to describe how personality might change across the lifespan consists of five traits: –Openness to experience –Conscientiousness –Extroversion –Agreeableness –Emotional Stability

30 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. The “Big Five” Personality Factors

31 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Personality Structure: Stability or Change? For many, basic personality is established by age of 30 and is relatively stable Some people experience key life events that can change personality Agreeableness and conscientiousness increase through adulthood Emotional stability increases more for women than it does for men Personality can be shaped by life events

32 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Changes in the Five Factors of Personality Across the Lifespan SOURCE: From “Age differences in five personality domains across the life span,” by M. Allemand, D. Zimprich, and A.A. Hendriks, 2008, Developmental Psychology, 44(3), 758–770.

33 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Summary Personality and sociocultural development in middle adulthood focuses on interpersonal relationsihps and work Change is a constant of middle adulthood, including children leaving home and retirement Erikson saw the task of middle adulthood as one of generativity versus self-absorption Peck argued that adults face seven major issues of conflict and middle adulthood sets the stage for the rest of one’s life Men and women may reassess their lives at midlife and may shift their attention to other goals and choices

34 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Summary Interpersonal relationships are crucial during middle adulthood Children leave home, and parents may experience the empty nest syndrome Many middle-age adults become grandparents, but they also may have to take care of their own parents

35 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Summary About 50% of first marriages end in divorce, although rates differ according to age cohort Compared to those who are single, married people are happier Blended familes can create emotional and financial challenges Many of today’s adults will have several jobs; Career reassessment during middle adulthood is becoming more common

36 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Summary For most people, personality is established by age 30 and is relatively stable throughout adulthood Key life events may affect personality traits Agreeableness and conscientiousness increase through adulthood, as does emotional stability


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