The second interviewee can also be placed in the middle adulthood but in a different perspective as compared to that of the first interviewee. The interviewee is married and values the relationship he has with his wife. According to Erikson’s classifications, people in middle adulthood often value relationships especially in the family setting (Neugarten, 1975). In addition, the interviewee has taken his role as a parent more seriously and wants to be involved in the life of his children. In further advancement of Erikson’s theory, the interviewee is culture conscious and highly values religion (Louw, 1998). The close ties with his daughters are meant to help him advice and influence their decisions. On the other hand, the interviewee can be classified in the entering middle adulthood stage according to Levinson’s theory. This means that he has shed off all the characteristics of the previous stage and is fully entering the middle age. According to Vaillant’s defense mechanisms, he can be classified as mature since he has found his identity and follows life using this identity (Santrock, 1986). In addition, he can also be classified as in the stage of socializing vs. sexualizing. According to Robert Peck, people in middle adulthood tend to hold more social than sexual relationships (Louw, 1998). In conclusion, the second interviewee has fully entered the middle adulthood stage of development.
There are different theories that define the stages of development that a person undergoes in their lifetime. In accordance to Erikson’s theory, I would place the first interviewee in the generativity vs. stagnation period also referred to as middle adulthood (Louw, 1998). First, her age is in Erikson’s bracket, which is 35-65 years. In addition, her choice of career creates an impression that she is a mentor. In addition, her relationship with nieces and nephews also determine her mentorship capabilities. However, it seems that she is somewhat still held in the intimacy vs. isolation stage, as she has not yet established a long-term commitment like marriage (Wrightsman, 1994). On the other hand, while using the Levinson’s theory, I would place her in the mid-life transition stage. This would explain her having some characteristics of the previous stage. Additionally, when using Peck’s theory, it would be difficult to classify the interviewee as fully into the middle age considering that she is unmarried and does not place importance on religion and culture (Santrock, 1986).
During the early adulthood to middle adulthood changeover from, cognitive development tends to get slower. Human memory is considered to be sharper when a person is young but every memory can be related to age. Human creativity reduces at middle adulthood as they begin to preserve stability with how they do things. As much as the brain get slower with time, its efficiency is said to also improve. Middle aged adults experience problems with retrieval of memories. As a human being gets older he or she may have a sharp memory but retrieving the memory can limit the memories that can be recalled. Adults’ posses superior level of thought, which usually helps in better time management and judgment. At this point, intelligence relatively decreases or increases. Intelligence is more apparent to take a bias or take an inclination when a test is done and more often, it is more probable to decrease if abstract. Human beings continue to develop until death. As much as development cannot always be positive, some information that is acquired makes life simpler.
The Intimacy verses Isolation conflict is stressed around the early adulthood. At the beginning of this stage, identity confusion comes to an end, and it still remains as the basis of the stage. Young adults are still excited in establishing their identities with their peers. Intimacy sometimes causes isolation. Young adults become very sensitive to rejections for example being turned down by respective partners. Intimacy has a counterpart, which is the readiness to isolate and if need be, to destroy those people whose seems dangerous to our own, and whose territory seems to intrude on the level of one’s intimate relations. During middle adulthood, people have established identities and have long-term commitments to their partners. Early adulthood is the stage where intimate and reciprocal relationships for instance close friendships or marriages are established and sacrifices that such relationships require are implemented.
During the changeover from early to middle adulthood, change in individual development directly influences the changing perspective on life. At this stage, people begin to live healthier and become extra conscious on the remaining time left. Middle aged adults are unable to physically perform normal day to day to duties that they have always had an easy time doing them. In Early Adulthood people focus in making a brighter future but as begin middle adulthood they shift their attention to appreciating what they already have. As young adults move out to start their own families most of middle age grown ups find themselves facing the empty nest syndrome which occurs when young adults move out and the parents remain with void feelings. Most parents who fall under the middle age adulthood stage end up divorcing as a result of depression. Parents from time to time begin to modify their idea about life as they go through this inevitable transformation from early to middle adulthood. Grandchildren and developing of children’s families make middle aged parents appreciate how they brought up their kids.
Childhood required special clothes, from infant wrappings to miniature versions of adult dress. In wealthier families there were cradles, walking frames, and specially made toys. The metal toys already mentioned were only a small part of the stock of toys in use. Dolls, known as “poppets,” must have been widespread, but they have not survived since they were made of cloth or wood. Children are mentioned making their own toys: boats from pieces of bread, spears from sticks, and small houses from stones. Many games were played, from games of skill with cherry stones or tops to activities such as archery, football, and dancing. The oral culture of children is not recorded until the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, when scraps of verse and songs are noted in books, especially school notebooks. These point to the existence of nursery rhymes similar to (but not identical with) those of later times, as well as to children knowing and sharing in the songs and phrases of adults.
The education of children in England can be traced from the seventh century. Initially it centred on the training of boys as monks, girls as nuns, and other boys as “secular clergy”—those clergy who lived in the everyday world and eventually ministered in parish churches. This education was based on the learning of Latin and was usually provided in monasteries and nunneries. Education spread to some of the laity as early as the seventh century, and by the end of the ninth century it often took the form of learning to read and write in English rather than Latin. Schools of a modern kind, free-standing and open to the public, first appear in records in the 1070s and became very numerous thereafter, although monasteries and nunneries continued to do some educational work. Boys were usually sent to school, while girls were taught at home. We cannot say how many children were educated, but the number was substantial and probably grew considerably after about 1200. Education began by learning the Latin alphabet, and many boys and girls proceeded no further, using the skill chiefly to read in their own language, either English or, between the twelfth and the fifteenth centuries, French. Only a minority of boys went on to learn Latin grammar and to become proficient in the language. Women (even nuns) rarely learnt Latin grammar after 1200, and their abilities in the language were chiefly restricted to being able to pronounce texts from Latin prayer-books in a devout manner, without a full understanding of the meaning.
Discuss contextual influences on psychological well-being as older adults respond to increased dependency, declining, health and negative life changes
Discuss job satisfaction and career development in middle adulthood, paying special attention to gender differences and experiences of ethnic minorities.
Early Adulthood is a period in one’s life that ranges from 18 years to 40 years of age. According to Nash & Bernstein (2006), most people develop their identity and discover their personalities during early adulthood stage. During this stage, young adults focus on building their carriers and establishing their own families. Towards the end of early adulthood and as middle adulthood begins, people tend to change from their usual self indulgent way of life to a more selfless lifestyle. Their perspective of life begins to surround the idea of “What’s more important for the family. A clear understanding of important things in life and the less important is defined again and again. In most cases, people begin to re-evaluate their lives in a different kind of way and a bigger majority dislikes what they have turned out to be, thus they begin to apply some changes in their way of living.
During the changeover from early adulthood to Middle adulthood, many physical changes happen to people. The changes that come about from this transition takes place rather gradually in comparison to the changes that occur at adolescence. Adults increase in weight as their heights decrease by approximately half an inch. Eyesight is mostly affected during this phase and as it turns out, a majority of middle aged adults are forced to wear lenses if by now they don’t have them already. To be precise, at thirty, human brain gets progressively smaller. This does not imply that the brain begins to work less, but because blood circulation to specific parts gets slower and eventually those parts become dormant. Women who are 45-51 years of age experience alterations in the menstrual cycle, and, thus this is the point where menopause kicks in. Unlike women, men remain fertile for the better part their lives and do not experience menopause. Middle aged adults are more likely transmit diseases and as age progresses it becomes weaker in fighting off diseases. During the phase of transition from early to middle adulthood, physical development declines a progressively and continues all through of life.
Little survives about adult attitudes to children during the Anglo-Saxon period from 500 to 1066, although burials show that children were often buried with grave-goods, like adults, and that children with deformities were cared for and enabled to grow up. Information about adult attitudes grows in the twelfth century, an age of law-making in both the Church and in lay society. Making laws involved arrangements for children, because they could not be expected to bear the same responsibilities and penalties as adults. Medieval law-makers tended to place the boundary between childhood and adulthood at puberty, coventionally 12 for girls and 14 for boys. The Church led the way in making distinctions between childhood and adulthood. It came to regard children under the age of puberty as too immature to commit sins or to understand adult concepts and duties. On these grounds they were forbidden to marry, excused from confessing to a priest, and excluded from sharing in the sacrament of the eucharist. Secular justice developed a similar concept of an age of legal responsibility beginning at about puberty, although there are rare references to children receiving adult punishments.
Intimacy and individual development occur simultaneously and cannot be separated. Child birth introduces a human being into a lifetime process of dependent adaptation between a child, his or her intimate relationships, and the entire social environment. Intimate interactions and relationships influence adaptations to the varying needs and stress that advance with each phase of development all through one’s lifetime. According to Willis & Martin (2005), intimate interactions and relationships from early life serve as the foundation upon which intimate relationships during early and middle adulthood are formed. Environmental contingencies to which persons have to adapt to are embedded in these relationships. In an endeavor to adapt to other people’s relationships styles, it is required that one must be able to adjust his or her own behaviors accordingly. Based on the reality that human growth is a product of complex interaction of forces that exist within the individual human being and the surrounding environment, it can be argued that interpersonal interactions and relationships outlines individual personality and life skills. Early and middle age grown ups are relatively psychologically mature and this is facilitated by the integration of intimacy and relationships into a life framework that takes in all aspects of their lives.