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decorative star graphic  Adulthood:
Psychosocial Development
- Changes -

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Is middle age a time of crisis & upheaval?

Ψ  Many personal changes occur during middle age, including:

    1. the awareness that one is beginning to grow old.
    2. the need to make adjustments in parental roles as children enter adolescence & subsequently adulthood.
    3. reaching a plateau in one’s career.
    4. the tendency to questions choices that have been made about intimacy & generativity.

Sandwich Generation: the generation “in between” having both grown children & elderly parents. Some middle-aged people feel pressured by the needs & demands of their adult children on the one hand & of their elderly (& perhaps ailing or widowed) parents on the other. This group was once thought to be of considerable significance.

Midlife Crisis: a period of unusual anxiety, radical reexamination, and sudden transformation that is widely associated with middle age, but which actually has more to do with developmental history than with chronological age.

Life-Span View:

    Almost ˝ of all middle adulthood adults have grown children living with them, largely because of higher unemployment and more single parenthood.

    Increasingly, middle adulthood adults are also called upon to provide care for an elderly relative.

    Social scientists note that although stressful care giving relationships can disrupt established family patterns, most men & women welcome their continuing responsibilities.

Growth & Development
Robert C. Gates
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