Mid-life Crisis

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APSS 225 Human Behaviour and Social Environment

Presentation Topic 5

Mid-life Crisis

Submitted on:10th April, 2012

Wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, graying / loss hair, can’t run fast or heavier than just a few years ago; osteoporosis, menopause, sexual dysfunction, anxiety, mood swing, discontent with life or the life style that may provided happiness for many years; boredom with things or want to do something completed different; question the meaning of life, and the validity of decisions clearly and easily made years before, confusion about who you are or where the life is going, if any of this sounds familiar, then welcome to the territory – Middle life.

Mid-life is something that happens at some point during our lives; usually at about age 40, give or take 20 years that both psychological as well as physiological changes take place. These ineluctable budge in reality are the unavoidable consequences of aging. Both male & female fertility declines with advancing age. Some people handle it well and others do not – Those do not handle it well may experience a MIDLIFE difference CRISIS.

Midlife Crisis is a natural process of aging or just a normal part of maturing. It seems to affect men & women differently. Apart from the physical changes, midlife crisis is essentially a problem of psycho-social adjustment as it can sometimes make men or women feel stressful, confused, doubtful, panic and resentful. In the succeeding paragraphs- more of the below details about the midlife crisis will be covered: 1)Definition

2)Daniel Shek’s Research
3)Common problems encountered in mid-life (Biological , Psychological , Social & family difficulties) 4)Difference between men & women
5)Contribution to future problem in late adulthood
6)Support & aid from society.

Theories on Midlife
Psychologist Elliot Jacques (1965) suggested that midlife, is a time when adults retrospectively analyze their lives, project future autonomy, functionality, and life expectancy, and realize their mortality as an intimate reality. This initial conceptualization highlighted two important implied points. 1st - a midlife crisis is part of a continuing developmental process of maturation and adaptation that characterizes aging. This suggests that the factors that precede, precipitate, and follow a midlife crisis may reoccur. 2nd - perceived proximity to decreasing functionality or mortality may be a more salient initiator of retrospective analysis than age alone.

Carl Jung (1971) identified five stages associated with an innate, normal, and expected midlife transition: 1.accommodation,
2.separation,
3.liminality,
4.reintegration, and
5.individuation.

In accommodation, a pre-transition stage, individuals present adaptive characteristics (personae) that are based on environmental demands and expectations, and acquire definitions of self based on what is most adaptive. Using enormous mental energy, individuals engage in a continual attempt to balance their persona with fundamental preferences and desires. This stage is typically characteristic of younger years, when the expectations of others are a more significant influence on preferences and behavior. For example , individuals may begin to aware that they are paying strenuous effort in meeting the social expectations and responsibilities while their true needs are unfulfilled. They may start having doubt about their values in life.

Separation is a period of reevaluation which filled with questions. For many, what is needed to be functional in a specific environmental context is in significant conflict with fundamental preferences. Individuals begin to challenge and slowly disassemble the persona and order their lives based on fundamental preferences. Individuals exam their underlying preferences and how closely they align with what has been presented to the world for the sake of adaptation. The greater the distance between these innate...
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