Family Chapter 7 Summary.docx

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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 1020
Sarah Murray

COUPLE AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS CHAPTER 7 SUMMARY THE MIDDLE YEARS AND THE NOTSOEMPTY NESTMidlife for parents is considered the years between the ages of 40 or 45 and 64 Its a period of reevaluation Children in the family can range from toddlers to emerging adults By the end children are usually independent or are planning to leave their parents homeThe Parent Generation at Midlife Back in the 1800s people had more children varying in different ages which meant that their middle years were longer Smaller nuclear families today devote less time to childrearing and have shorter middle years The current midlife generation consists of baby boomers Since the midlife ages span 2025 years some group members may include first time parents as well as great grandparents There is usually a splitting of the family into two or more since children form their own families New roles need to be established to reflect these changes Family adaptation in the middle years contains a series of stressors A stressor is a life event that can produce change in the family system ex death parenthood The most negative stressors involve their own health the death of a loved one and financial problemsMidlife A Time for Evaluation During midlife individuals usually evaluate whether their lives have been fulfilling or not They typically examine themselves as individuals their work and their family lives Erik Erikson believes the key issue in middle age is generativity or having children and passing on something of value to younger generations This long age span has been divided into two periods The first is midlife evaluation and transition typically occurring in the early 40s to late 50s The second is a time of liberation experimentation and innovation that usually occurs during the late 50s to early 70s A midlife crisis is a time of extreme strain during the period of evaluation is quite rare Instead most adults search for meaning in life Midlife reevaluation leads more often to a sense of personal discovery than to a crisisAssessing Oneself Generativity can take various forms mentoring a younger person the creation of artistic works working to better the community through organizations As mens and womens social roles become more similar women will experience routes to generativity similar to mens The empty nest syndrome refers to depression and a sense of uselessness when the last child leaves homeThis syndrome is usually seen in homemakers The search for personal meaning is important in midlife It has become more vital due to many women in the workforce and high levels of divorceThe development ofa sense of confidence and competence is important as well Deaths of parents remind midlife adults that they will not live forever
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