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Early & Middle Adulthood. Life Structure. Is the combination of statuses, roles, activities, goals, values, beliefs, and life circumstances that characterize an individual. Daniel Levinson’s Developmental States of Adulthood Model.

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Early & Middle Adulthood

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life structure
Life Structure

Is the combination of statuses, roles, activities, goals, values, beliefs, and life circumstances that characterize an individual.

daniel levinson s developmental states of adulthood model
Daniel Levinson’s Developmental States of Adulthood Model

Levinson and his colleagues worked for years interviewing adults on stages of life to find characteristics that were the same. He and his team concluded that there were three main stages of adulthood… early, middle, and late adulthood.

early adult transition
Early Adult Transition
  • Ages 17-22
  • The bridge between adolescence and adulthood.
  • Leaving home is most important task of this age- both mentally and physically (according to Levinson)
the adult world
The Adult World
  • Age 23-27
  • Explore relationships and career opportunities
  • Beginning of the expectations of becoming a responsible member of society and form a stable life structure.
age 30 transition
Age 30 Transition
  • Ages 28-32
  • Can be difficult period- look back on choices.
  • Divorce is common in this age.
  • Shifts in direction are common.
  • Early adult transition, entering adult world, and age 30 transition combine to create the novice phase of life according to Levinson.
settling down period
Settling Down Period
  • Ages 33-39
  • Last stage of early adulthood.
  • “Making it” stage according to Levinson.
  • Establishing yourself in society.
  • Form true commitments to work; family; leisure; friendship; and community
the midlife transition
The Midlife Transition
  • Ages 40-44
  • First stage of Middle Adulthood
  • A bridge between early and middle adulthood
  • Self-examination
  • Reforming of life goals and aspirations.
  • Escape from unattainable dreams can lead to moderate to severe crisis.
adult female development
Adult Female Development
  • Levinson performed the same social survey for adult women and concluded that they go through the same stages of life as men.
  • The difference comes in the ways they experience each stage and their social roles and identities are very different.
  • Sociologists Irene Frieze and Esther Sales agree with Levinson’s development model, but suggested that female adulthood could be categorized in three phases…
phase i leaving the family
Phase I: Leaving the Family
  • Leaving home both physically and psychologically.
  • Different emphasis than men… less on career and more on marriage and family.
  • Combining marriage and career as goals, but marriage being the most important.
phase ii entering the adult world
Phase II: Entering the Adult World
  • Marriage and motherhood are focuses.
  • Dual career and motherhood is common, but many struggle with that strain.
  • Only 59% of working women return to work in first year of child’s life.
  • Job advancement is slower for Moms that take time off for their children.
phase iii entering adult world again
Phase III: Entering Adult World Again
  • Many women go back into workforce and seek out career goals once their children reach school age.
  • Women often set high career goals at this time when men often times reduce theirs.
the world of work

The World OF Work

Labor Force; Occupations; Job Satisfaction

labor force
Labor Force
  • Consists of all individuals age 16 or older who are employed in paid positions or who are actively seeking paid employment.
  • Profession: a high-status occupation that requires specialized skills obtained through formal education.
  • Unemployment: when a person does not have a job, but is actively seeking employment.
  • Unemployment Rate: the percentage of the labor force that is unemployed.
  • Executive, administrative, managerial: business executives, office managers, sales managers, personnel managers, store managers.
  • Professional Specialty: doctors, lawyers, dentists, pharmacists, librarians, nurses, engineers, artists, teachers, accountants.
  • Technical: laboratory technicians, dental hygienists, medical assistants, X-ray techs.
  • Sales: manufacturing representatives, retail sales, insurance, real estate.
  • Administrative Support: bookkeepers, office clerks, secretaries, receptionists, cashiers, postal workers, bank workers.
  • Service: maids, cooks, police, fire, waiters, child care workers
  • Precision, production, craft, repair: mechanics, repair persons, plumbers, electricians, carpenters,
  • Operators, fabricators, laborers: packagers, assemblers, welders, heavy equipment operators, freight handlers, warehouse workers, laborers.
  • Farming, forestry, fishing: farm owners and workers, lumberjacks, fishermen, hunter, trappers.
  • Transportation and material moving: truck and bus drivers, train operators.
job satisfaction
Job Satisfaction
  • Term used to describe a person’s view of their job.
  • A happy worker has good job satisfactions and an unhappy worker has poor job satisfaction.
the later years

The Later YEars

Twilight of Adulthood

  • Gerontology: the scientific study of ageing.
  • Social Gerontology: the study of nonphysical aspects of the ageing process.
  • Young-Old: 65-74
  • Middle-Old: 75-84
  • Old-Old: 85 and up
adjustment to retirement
Adjustment to Retirement
  • Most gerontologist believe that the happy you are during your working years the happier you will be in retirement.
  • Factors such as income, health, social networks, and identity affect adjustment to retirement.
physical functioning
Physical Functioning
  • With age comes the death of more body cells.
  • This weakens muscles, causes wrinkles, lowers immune systems, and lowers strength and endurance.
  • Slower organ function
mental functioning
Mental Functioning
  • Most elderly remain mentally alert much longer than physically capable.
  • Exceptions: stroke, Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia
dependency and death
Dependency and Death
  • Dependency: shift from independence to dependence for physical or financial assistance.
  • Dependency changes and individual status in society and often leads to depression.
  • Many elderly fear dependence more than death.
elderly opportunities
Elderly Opportunities
  • New Freedoms, hobbies, travel
  • Many enroll in college courses
  • AARP (American Association Retired Persons)
  • RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program)
  • SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives)
  • Old does not mean done!
  • Important for society to learn and treat our elderly with respect and enthusiasm!