22 - Adulthood: Psychosocial Development

22 - Adulthood:
Psychosocial Development
Major theories
• Erikson’s Stages
▫ Generativity vs. stagnation
• Maslow’s stages
5. Self-actualization
4. Success and esteem
3. Love and belonging
2. Safety
1. Physiology
Midlife crisis
• 40’s
• Anxiety, self-reexamination, transformation
• Related more to developmental history than age
Intimacy needs are lifelong
• Met by: family, friends, coworkers, & romantic
partners (the social convoy)
Family bonds:
Parent-Adult child relationships
• Become closer as both generations mature
(Improves with age)
• May deteriorate if they live together
• Familism
▫ Belief that family members should support each
Adult siblings
• Become more supportive than earlier
▫ Help to cope with children, marriage, and elderly
Family bonds
Marriage and happiness
• Married people (In satisfying marriages)
▫ Happier, Healthier, Richer
• Learning to understand and forgive each other
promotes happiness
• Cohabitation before marriage
▫ Decreases happiness after marriage
• Domestic violence is most likely to occur early in
a relationship
Children and happiness
• Happiness is highest before children
• Decreases with birth of first child
▫ & additional children
• Decreases again when children reach puberty
▫ Teenage years
• Happiness improves after child raising years
(Empty nest)
▫ Children become more independent
Empty nest
• (After children leave)
• Improves relationships
▫ Parents are alone again
 More time for their relationship
▫ More money available
• Longtime partners
▫ Stay together because of love & trust
Divorce and separation
• Almost 1 out of 2 marriages ends in divorce in the
▫ About 1/3 of all first marriages end in divorce
▫ Remarried people have a greater chance of divorce
than first married
• Adults are affected by divorce in ways they never
• Very distressed marriages = happier after divorce
• Emotionally distant marriages (most in U.S.) = less
happy than they thought they would be
Consequences of divorce
• Can last for decades
• Divorce reduces income, severs friendships, and
weakens family ties
• Income, family welfare, and self-esteem = lower
among formerly married than still married or
never married
• Erikson’s Generativity vs. Stagnation
▫ Satisfied by
 Creativity
 Caregiving
 Guiding the next generation
 Employment
Caregiving for children
• Your biological children
▫ Parent must change to adopt to developmental
stages of child.
Caring for aging parents
• Sandwich generation
▫ Sandwitched between their children and their
▫ Few adult children are full-time caregivers
 Therefore, not technically sandwitched
• Often only one child bears the burden
▫ Creates resentment
▫ Caregiving for parents is often based on the child’s
Employment = generativity
• Unemployed = higher rates of child abuse,
alcoholism, depression & other problems.
• Happiness is not necessarily related to income
▫ Income has doubled (in last 50 years) but
happiness has not
• Work meets generativity needs to:
▫ Use personal skills
▫ Be creative
▫ Advise coworkers as a friend or mentor
Working for more than money
• Extrinsic rewards (Outside - External)
▫ Salary
▫ Health insurance
▫ Pension
• Intrinsic rewards (Inside – internal)
Intangible rewards
Job satisfaction
Pride in contributing
Feeling needed