FRHD Ch. 7 Summary .pdf

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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 1020
Robyn Pitman

Chapter 7 The Middle Years and the NotSoEmpty NestThe Parent Generation at MidlifeMidlife for parents is considered the years between the ages of 40 or 45 to 64The midlife is a period of reevaluation of their life course so far With the smaller nuclear families of today parents do not devote as long to active child rearing they have either more time before or afterward for individual or couple pursuits The current midlife generation consists of the baby boomersIn 2006 they were between 41 and 60 years of ageThey are the largest group in the population nearly onethird of CanadiansAt nearly 37 million they now make up 169of the working population Never have so many people been close to retirement The median age of the population is 39 years that is half of canadians are older and half are younger than 39 years The median age is expected to rise to 44 as the baby boomers age The number of Canadians aged 44 to 65 will nearly double between 1991 and 2021This group will account for over onequarter of all Canadians by 2011This large cohort will have a profound effect on Canadian society at this phase of their lifeThe midlife group is diverse since their ages space 25 years many will be in different stages of their lives for example some may be new parents while others may be new grandparentsTherefore any generalizations about this group will only t parts of the populationThese years of the family life cycle are transitional For many with children there is a shift from active child rearing at the beginning of the stage to the postchild family at the end of the stageThis process involves a major readjustment of the family systemNew boundaries must be drawn as to who isa family member Relationship need to be worked out between the family of origin and the new families of procreation New roles need to be established to reect these changes Family adaption in the middle years contains a series of stressorsstressor is a life event that can produce change in the family system Examples are A parenthood and death Individuals at midlife are at the height of coping They have high levels of practical knowledge and are more skilled in reduction stress The coping patterns families have already established usually continueMidlife A Time for EvaluationDuring midlife individuals typically consider whether their lives have been fulllingThis evaluation involves examining themselves as individuals and their work and family livesMidlife occurs at about the same time their children are going through the transition to independence and their parents are entering the transition to retirement
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