As Erik Erikson described in his eight-stage theory of human development, adults in this developmental stage are caught in a dilemma between generativity and stagnation. Adults in generativity focus on nurturing, creating things that will outlast themselves, and becoming involved with future generations. This affects quality of life now and in the future because generativity makes adults feel useful and it makes them want to contribute more to society.
Alternatively, stagnation is a negative period in life that involves a lack of resolving issues that ultimately lead to self-absorption and zero growth as a mature adult in the future. Some life issues that encourage stagnation are finances, health changes, rocky marriages, family feuds, lack of personal time, unexpected tragedies, children growing old, and chronic stress. These events affect quality of life because they may lead to despair later in life, which is a feeling of unobtainable fulfillment and incompleteness that ultimately leads to unacceptance of life itself and fear of death.
Lastly, one of the challenges of middle adulthood that perpetuates the negative view on middle adulthood is the notion of self-decline and inadaptability with...
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