FRHD*1010 Chapter 13 notes

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University of Guelph
Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 1010
Susan Chuang

FRHD*1010 Chapter 13 Notes Adulthood: Psychological Development Personality Development in Adulthood • A mix of genes, experiences and contexts results in personality which includes each person’s unique actions & attitudes Theories of Adult Personality Erikson & Maslow • Erikson originally claimed 8 stages of development, 3 post adolescence • Said adults in the 5t stage, identity vs. role confusion, or in the 3 adult stages – intimacy vs. isolation, generatively vs. stagnation & integrity vs. despair • Saw adulthood as the continuation of identity seeking • Maslow described hierarchy of needs that need to be completed • For humanists, these 5 drives characterize all people w/ most adults seeking love & respect The Midlife Crisis • Middle age can be 35-50 • Midlife crisis said to be a time of anxiety and radical change as 40 approaches • Has more to do w developmental history not chronological age • Appears more in men Personality Traits The big 5 • Temperament doesn’t disappear • Lots of research to support this and also that there are 5 clusters of personality traits that appear in every culture and era 1. Openness – imaginative, curious artistic, creative, open to new experiences 2. Conscientiousness – organized, deliberate, conforming, self-disciplined 3. Extroversion – outgoing, assertive, active 4. Agreeableness – kin, helpful, easygoing, generous 5. Neuroticism – anxious, moody, self-punishing, critical Ecological Niche: The particular lifestyle & social context that adults settle into because it’s compatible w/ their individual personality needs and interests  Adults select this by selecting vocations, hobbies, mates & neighbourhoods  Factors linked to the big 5 include education, marriage, divorce, fertility, IQ, verbal fluency & political views Culture, Age & Context • Many researchers find that people adapt to their culture, expressing personality traits differently in different countries • Traits that are valued (e.g. conscientiousness) endure while traits that are pathological (e.g. neuroticism) tend to be modified as people mature Intimacy th Intimacy vs. isolation: The 6 of Erikson\s 8 stages of development. Adults seek someone w/ whom to share their lives in an enduring & self-sacrificing commitment. Without such commitment, they risk profound aloneness & isolation Social Convoy: Everyone is part of a social convoy. Collectively, family members, friends, acquaintances & strangers who move through life w/ a person Friends & Acquaintances • Friends are crucial members of the social convoy • Mutual loyalty and aid are expected • Offer lots best most basic is companionship, info, laughter etc. Friendship & Human Development • By adulthood, most friendships are rated close, few are rated ambivalent, and almost none problematic • Friendship helps w/ mental health • Friends help w/ physical health as well • Universally, humans are healthier w/ supportive friends Acquaintances • Hundreds of other acquaintances provide info, support, social integration and new ideas • Consequential strangers are those people who aren’t in a person’s closest friend circle but still have an impact such as postman, store clerk, police etc. • Differ from friends in that usually they are mixed races, experiences, religions, ages etc. Family Bonds Adult Children & Their Parents • Physical separation doesn’t necessarily weaken family ties • Intergenerational relationships are becoming stronger as more adult children live apart from their parents • Relationship between parents and adult children tends to be weaker if they live together • Household composition is a poor measure of family closeness Siblings & other relatives • Marriage and childbearing both have potential to enhance closeness in sibling relationships • Adulthood frees siblings from forces cohabitation & rivalry allowing them to differ without fighting • Adult siblings often help each other by providing support Mixed Emotions • Parents try to help adult children who have serious financial, legal or marital problems • Parental satisfaction is strongly affected by the adult lives of their children w/ the most troubled children having more impact on parental well-being than happy, successful ones • Close and affectionate family relations were most likely when the government provided many services such as health care, senior residences etc. Fictive Kin: Someone who becomes accepted as part of a family to which he or she has no blood relation Committed Partners Marriage & Happiness • From the developmental perspective, marriage is a useful institution • Adults thrive if another person is committed to their well-being • Generally married people are a little healthier, happier and richer than non-married • Cohabitation historically has led to less healthy adults than marriage, especially for women  Researchers are realizing this is different for those who cohabitate with intentions of marrying later on and those who cohabitate for convenience/money purposes • LAT (living together apart) is where adults in relationships have separate houses • Robert Sternberg says love has 3 parts; intimacy, passion and commitment Part • Personal well-being is affected by the quality of the marriage as well as vice versa especially if married 8+ years • Domestic violence more likely in the 1 years of relationship than later • Honeymoon period tends to be happy, soon frustration increases and conflict arise, tend to be less happy st when the 1 child is born and again when kids reach puberty • Empty nest often improves relationships  spending time together without interruptions, demands and rebellions improves intimacy  Some troubled relationships rebound as freedom of income Gay & Lesbian Partners • Some same sex couples are changing a lot  Many nations such as Spain & Canada & 9 US States recognize gay marriage, some are ambivalent and some outlaw gay marriage • Now unmarried partners are allowed to specify male-male or female-female for census data Divorce & Separation • Relationships are influenced by social and political context • Divorce, separation and the end of cohabitating relationship all affected by time and circumstances • As of 1980 in US almost half as many divorces h
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