Generativity versus stagnation, Erikson's seventh developmental stage, occurs during middle adulthood. By generativity Erikson means primarily “a concern for helping the younger generation to develop and lead useful lives. The feeling of having done nothing to help the next generation is stagnation” (Santrock, 2013, p. 23). Both individuals indicated that they were content with the amount of help and mentoring that they had performed for the younger generation. Both are currently involved in mentoring college-aged individuals.
It was in the area of physical changes that they noticed considerable differences from their early adulthood. When initially asked generally how they feel compared to their 20’s, they both responded that they still felt like they were eighteen. It was only when asked about more specific health questions that they confided that there had been considerable changes. The male responded that he started wearing reading glasses at about forty-seven. The female decided to have eye surgery so that she would not have to wear glasses. Even with the surgery, ten years later, she now relies on reading glasses.
In their early forties, both had physicals and revealed high blood pressure, the female also had high cholesterol and the male was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Through diet and exercise both are now ...
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...he final questions were used for comparison purposes with Vaillant’s longitudinal studies on personality of individuals in their 50’s and their life in their mid 70’s. “When individuals at 50 years of age were not heavy smokers, did not abuse alcohol, had a stable marriage, exercised, maintained a normal weight, and had good coping skills, they were more likely to be alive and happy at 75 to 80 years of age” (Santrock, 2013, p. 519). Neither respondent smoked, each drank less than 2 alcoholic beverages per week, they were in a stable marriage, only the male was marginally overweight, and they both had good coping skills. Based on their response and Vaillant’s study it is expected that they would fall into the “happy-well” category when they were 75 to 80 years of age.
Santrock, J. W. (2013). Life-span development (14th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
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