Chapter 7 Notes - The Middle Years and the Not-So-Empty Nest.docx

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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 1020
Tuuli Kukkonen

Chapter 7 Notes: The Middle Years and the Not-So-Empty Nest The Parent Generation at Midlife - those between 55 and 64 years old now make up 16.9% of the population; never have so many people been close to retirement - median age of the population is 39 years – expected to rise to 44 as baby boomers age - stressor: a life event that can produce change in the family system o ex: parenthood and death Midlife: A Time for Evaluation - during midlife, individuals typically consider whether their lives have been fulfilling - generativity: having children and passing on something of value to younger generations o key issue in middle age o leaving a legacy o can take many forms: mentoring a relative or another young person - midlife has been divided into two periods 1) midlife evaluation and transition, typically occurring in the early 40s to the late 50s 2) time of liberation, experimentation, and innovation that usually occurs during the late 50s to early 70s - midlife crisis: a time of extreme strain during the period of evaluation – quite rare - rather than midlife crisis, most adults enter a quest for meaning in life - midlife re-evaluation leads more often to a sense of personal discovery than to a crisis - empty nest syndrome: depression and a sense of uselessness when the last child leaves home - both men and women are more likely to worry about health than physical appearance - boomers say that relationship among family and friends is one of the most satisfying parts of life - puberty in a first-born child is linked to distress in the parents’ relationship – mothers of girls and fathers of boys report more conflict o fathers tend to adjust by the time second child rolls reaches puberty but mothers still experience problems - many couples report they are more satisfied with their marriages in midlife -
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