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Stage 7: Middle Adulthood--ages 40 to 65
Transcript of Stage 7: Middle Adulthood--ages 40 to 65
Crisis: Generativity vs. Stagnation
Generativity (Positive Outcome)
By Erikson's definition, 'Generativity' is an adults ability to look past caring for only oneself in life and learn to put the well being of the next generation ahead of theirs.
He suggests also that though it doesn't seem like it, adults need children just as much as children need adults.
This stage refers to the human trait of wanting to create a living legacy in the 'family name'
Some examples of this positive outcome include:
parenting (most prominent)
study of social welfare and sciences
Unlike in the previous stage, it includes loving another without needed to know that the love with be returned and wanting to help knowing that you wont receive anything in return
These all contribute to the welfare of future generations
Stagnation (Negative Outcome)
Main Virtue: Caring
Generativity vs Stagnation Background
Stagnation is self-absorption, or not caring for others
During stage 7 when one fails to accomplish necessary activities or be productive they feel stagnant
The maladaptive tendency that Erikson named overextension shows how stagnation might work
For example, some people try to fill their schedule allowing barely any time for themselves or rest
This person, who is now overextended, does not contribute to his or her activities as well they could have if they had been rested
Thus also resulting in no time for all of the chosen activities
Generativity refers to a person being able to care for another person while stagnation is only being able to care for themselves.
According to Erikson, "A person does best at this time to put aside thoughts of death and balance its certainty with the only happiness that is lasting: to increase, by whatever is yours to give, the goodwill and higher order in your sector of the world"
Inactivity and meaninglessness are common fears during this stage.
"Midlife Crisis" refers to one possible reaction to feeling like you aren't successfully completing this stage.