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CHAPTER 16 SOCIOEMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN MIDDLE ADULTHOOD

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Developmental Timetables and Regulation Developmental Timetables – Middle-aged adults become aware of time left to live. – Become focused on achieving goals Processes of Developmental Regulation – Elective selection – Loss-based selection – Optimization – Compensation

Text of CHAPTER 16 SOCIOEMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN MIDDLE ADULTHOOD

CHAPTER 16 SOCIOEMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN MIDDLE ADULTHOOD

Developmental Tasks

Emphasize securing what they have established

Generativity and stagnationAdults at this stage have most skills and resources to contribute toward well-being of others.Resolution of this stage contributes toward better psychological health.

Developmental Timetables and Regulation

Developmental TimetablesMiddle-aged adults become aware of time left to live.Become focused on achieving goalsProcesses of Developmental RegulationElective selectionLoss-based selectionOptimizationCompensation

Figure 16.1: Life Goals that Involve Striving for Gains versus Avoiding Losses Across Age Groups

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Marital Satisfaction in Midlife

Changes in marital satisfactionCross sectional studies indicate U-shaped pattern over time.Longitudinal studies indicate slow, steady decline.Decline indicated in couples with and without childrenEnhancing marital satisfactionExpress affection toward each other Sense of we-ness Share adventures and stimulating activities togetherLike very good friendsHigh level of commitment

Divorce in Midlife

Rising rates of divorce in midlifeWomens economic statusHarmful to psychological and physical healthGender differencesRemarriage in midlifeMajority of divorced remarry within 5 yearsMarriage market for women and men differDivorced middle-aged adults may disengage from goal of remarrying.

Figure 16.3: Disengaging from the Goal of Finding a Partner in Late Midlife versus Early Adulthood as a Predictor of Psychological Well-Being Over a 15-Month Period

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Friendship in Midlife

Friendship satisfies need for intimacy and companionship.Decline in contact frequency in early and mid adulthoodAs age choose to spend time with people enjoy the most

Figure 16.4: Ratings by Age of Interaction Frequency, Satisfaction, and Emotional Closeness with Close Friends

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Family in Midlife

Relationships with Adolescent ChildrenPossible reasons for strained relationshipsTeenagers desire for autonomyParents increased awareness of own agingParents evaluation of own life choicesRecognition that time horizon is limited for middle-aged adults and expansive for teensConflicts occur less often but with greater intensity

Family in Midlife

Relationships with adult childrenAdjustment to children leaving home is generally not stressful for parents.Boomerang children have become more common.Quality of relationships with adult childrenQuality of relationship related to psychological well-being of parents.Parents well-being is associated with how children turn out.

Figure 16.5: Adult Childrens Problems and Parents Psychological Well-Being

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Family in Midlife

Relationships with GrandchildrenAffected by gender and age of grandparentRelationship between grandparent and grandchild complicated by divorce and remarriageSkipped generation family grandparents raising grandchildrenOff time events

Family in Midlife

Relationships with Aging ParentsContact and closeness with parents tend to increase from young adulthood to midlife.Adult daughters provide bulk of care for aging parents.The sandwich generation squeezed between needs of younger and older generationDeath of a parentPrompts self-reflection and re-examination of their own life goalsConfront own mortality

Video: Child and Adult Daycare

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Video: Caring for Aging Parents

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Work in Midlife

Satisfaction with work in midlifeSocial contactPersonal needsFinancial needsGenerativity

Figure 16.6: Percent of Men and Women Employed in the Labor Force by Age

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Work in Midlife

Challenges of work in midlifeIssues facing women and ethnic minoritiesPatterns of career development among womenRegular career patternInterrupted career patternSecond career patternModified second career patternAge discrimination in the workplaceChallenges from changing nature of work

Video: Adult Women Juggling Roles

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Figure 16.7: Ratio of Female Earnings to Male Earnings and Median Earnings of Full-Time Workers by Sex from 1960 to 2008

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Figure 16.8: Charges Filed for Age Discrimination in the Workforce

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Work in Midlife

Unemployment in midlifeWays that quality of life and hopes for the future sufferFinancial statusLoss of self worthInability to use ones talents and make a contributionLoss of social contacts with peersImpact on family relationshipsConcerns about the future

Personality Development in Midlife

Big five personality traitsOpenness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticismPersonality becomes more consistent over time.There is room for personality change as we age.Individual differences in trajectories due to life events.

Self-regulatory capacitiesGreater emotional control in midlifeAnticipatory coping

Self-Concept and Emotional Health in Midlife

Midlife crisisEvidence suggests midlife crises are rare.Middle-aged adults generally tend to be content with their lives.

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