Generativity versus Stagnation in Middle Adulthood

During Middle Adulthood, Erikson proposed that people enter a stage he terms Generativity v. Stagnation. At this point in psychosocial development, the person is asking themselves “Am I doing anything worthwhile? Is anyone going to know that I was here? What am I contributing to others?”.

In TV, books, and film this “mid life crisis” is portrayed as a desperate attempt to regain youth or as a way to fulfill a childhood desire. Neugarten (1968) notes that in midlife, people no longer think of their lives in terms of how long they have lived. Rather, life is thought of in terms of how many years are left. If an adult is not satisfied at midlife, there is a new sense of urgency to start to make changes now.

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Do you believe that this identity crisis a natural part of the aging process or is it something largely manufactured by the media? Consider how different cultures and historical periods might approach the mid life crisis.

In a minimum of 300 words argue whether or not the “Mid Life Crisis” is a valid part of the developmental process for humans or if it is largely a cultural phenomenon. For more information on Generativity versus Stagnation in Middle Adulthood check out :

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