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Lecture 5

PSY3123 Lecture 5: Lecture 5

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Guergana Roumenova Mileva;

PSY3123: Psychology of the Family Lecture 5 Middle years of the Family What is midlife? • Parents and children living together in one home • Parents are around 45-64 years of age • Currently: Baby Boomers o 2011: 45-64 years of age o at nearly 4.39 million, outnumber those in 15-24 age group (4.37 million) • median age of Canadian population 39.9 years o Expected to raise to about 44 because of baby boomers (this trend is represented in the Stats Can graph) o Table 7.1 shows that baby boomers’ cohort is starting to increase in proportion of the population Parents at midlife • Longest stage of life (equal to child-rearing stage) • Bimodal and diverse o Some in group are first time-parents o Some are grandparents o Some begin at peak of career o Some are nearing retirements • Transitional years Midlife Changes • Stressors o A life event that can produce change in the family system o Most common stressors? ▪ Kids moving out ▪ Illness ▪ Death of a parent ▪ Financial or economic struggles ▪ Success of your children (finishing school, having a career) • Evaluating Life o Consider whether their lives (especially work and family lives) have been fulfilling Midlife divided • Two periods o Evaluation and transition = early 40s to late 50s o Liberation, experimentation, innovation = late 50s to early 70s • Midlife Crisis o Extreme strain as a person re-evaluates his or her life in middle age o Quite rare o Rather, most adults enter a quest for meaning in life 1 PSY3123: Psychology of the Family Midlife and leaving a legacy • Generativity o A focus on one’s legacy o Having children and passing on something of value to younger generations • Split into 4 areas 1. Assessing yourself 2. Assessing your career 3. Analyzing close relationships 4. Marriage and Sexuality Assessing one’s worth • Men o Career and public life legacy • Women o Children’s legacy o Empty nest syndrome ▪ Depression and a sense of uselessness when the last child leaves home • Mortality o Death of parents and people their own age o Shift to becoming grandparents o Physical aging ▪ Our anti-aging culture Assessing Career paths • Midlife o Men tend to re-evaluate their career o Women tend to have trouble finding work again Relationships with children and grandchildren • Relationships with children evolve o From child-rearing to friendship • Greater life expectancy makes relationships more complex • After children leave, couples shift to shared roles Marital Relationship changes in midlife • More martial satisfaction in midlife after children move out • For some: o Interest in sex increases o Interests drops off through boredom • Stereotype that older people are asexual beings • Sex is more acceptable now for older and unmarried people Finding a partner after 50 • Internet dating sites o Men want committed relationships 2 PSY3123: Psychology of the Family o Women look for companionship without prospect of heavy caregiving Children’s approach to adolescence and adulthood • Children go through pu
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