Last Updated 08 Dec 2017

Chapter 13 – Psych

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Erickson's stages
- Erikson originally envisioned eight stages of development, which occur in sequence from birth through old age.

- Three of his stages cover the years after adolescence.

- Later in his life, Erikson stressed that stages and ages do not occur in lockstep.

Maslow's stages
Abraham Maslow (1954) described five stages, which occur in sequence.

Movement occurs when people have satisfied their needs at one level and are ready for the next step.

In his later years, Maslow reassessed his final level, self-actualization.

He suggested another level after that, called self-transcendence.

The social clock
Developmental timetable based not on biological maturation but on social norms

Set the stages of life and the behaviors considered appropriate to each of them

Some ages set by the social clock are enacted into law, in the form of minimal ages for driving, drinking, voting, getting married, signing a mortgage, and being entitled to retirement benefits

Midlife crisis
No current theorist sets chronological boundaries for specific stages of adult development.

Middle age, if it exists, can begin at age 35 or 50.

Time of anxiety and radical change as age 40 approaches

Men, in particular, were said to leave their wives, buy red sports cars, and quit their jobs because of midlife panic.

Personality throughout adulthood
Genes, parental practices, culture, and adult circumstances all contribute to personality.

Of these four, genes are probably the most influential, according to longitudinal studies.

Since genes do not change from conception through death, every study finds substantial continuity in personality.

The Big Five
- Openness: Imaginative, curious, artistic, creative, open to new experiences

- Conscientiousness: Organized, deliberate, conforming, self-disciplined

- Extroversion: Outgoing, assertive, active

- Agreeableness: Kind, helpful, easygoing, generous

- Neuroticism: Anxious, moody, self-punishing, critical

Choosing a lifestyle
In adulthood, people choose their particular social context, or ecological niche.

Adults select vocations, mates, and neighborhoods, and they settle into chosen routines and surroundings.

Ages 30 to 50 are marked by more stability of personality than are other periods of life.

Gender diffs.

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. residents marry before age 25, but by age 40, 85% have married.

Married people are a little happier, healthier, and richer than never-married ones—but not by much.

Empty nest
Contrary to outdated impressions, this time often improves a relationship.

Most long-married people stay together because they love and trust each other, not simply because they are stuck.

Adults are affected by divorce in ways they never anticipated.

Very distressed marriages = happier after divorce; distant marriages =less happy than they thought they would be.

Divorce reduces income, severs friendships, and weakens family ties.

Consequences of divorce
Last for decades

Impacts income, family welfare, and self esteem

Involves almost one out of two marriages in the U.S.

Erikson: Generativity
After the stage of intimacy versus isolation comes generativity versus stagnation, when adults seek to be productive in a caring way.

Adults satisfy their need to be generative in many ways, including creativity, caregiving, and employment.

Chief form of generativity is establishing and guiding the next generation.

Every parent is tested and transformed by the dynamic experience of raising children.

All kinds of caregivers
Roughly one-third of all North American adults become stepparents, adoptive parents, or foster parents.

Many adopted or foster children remain attached to their birth parents, part of the normal human affection for familiar caregivers.

If children are not attached to anyone (as can happen when they spend years in an institution), they are mistrustful of all adults and fearful of becoming too dependent.

Average age of new stepchildren is 9 years, which means that usually they are strongly connected to their biological parents.

This helps the child but hinders the stepparents.

Young stepchildren often get hurt, sick, lost, or disruptive, and teenage stepchildren may get pregnant, drunk, or arrested.

Generativity, with patient, authoritative parenting, is needed.

Adoptive parents have several advantages: they are legally connected to their children for life, the biological parents are usually absent, and they desperately wanted the child.

Strong bonds can develop, especially when the children are adopted as infants.

During adolescence, these bonds may stretch and loosen as some adoptive children become intensely rebellious.

Caring for parents
Fewer adults are available to care for elderly family members and there are more older adults.

Siblings' relationships can be strained if a parent becomes frail and needs care.

One sibling usually becomes the chief caregiver.

Sandwich generation
Generation of middle-aged people who are supposedly "squeezed" by the needs of the younger and older members of their families.

Some adults do feel pressured by these obligations, but most are not burdened by them.

Other major avenue for generativity
Adults have many psychosocial needs that employment can fulfill.

Unemployment is associated with higher rates of child abuse, alcoholism, depression, and many other social problems.

Even though average income has doubled, overall happiness within the U.S. has not risen in the past 50 years.

Relative deprivation
People compare themselves to others in their group and are satisfied if they are no worse off than the group norm.
Work meets generativity needs by allowing people to complete many tasks
Develop and use their personal skills

Express their creative energy

Aid and advise coworkers, as a mentor or friend

Support the education and health of their families

Contribute to the community by providing goods or services

Extrinsic rewards of work
Tangible benefits, usually in the form of compensation (e.g., salary, health insurance, pension), that one receives for doing a job.
Intrinsic rewards of work
Intangible gratifications (e.g., job satisfaction, self-esteem, pride) that come from within oneself as a result of doing a job.
Diversity in the workplace
Diversity in employees' backgrounds presents a challenge for employers as well as for workers

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