THEMES IN THE DEVELOPMENTAL PROCESSES IN THE LIVES OF EIGHT MEN BETWEEN THE AGES OF 47 AND 55

NAAMA KUSHNIR, Fordham University

Abstract

It was the purpose of the present study to explore major themes in the developmental processes of men between the ages of 47 and 55. One of the fundamental questions was whether men after the age of 45 possess the characteristics that are typical of a stable period. Another objective was to examine specific polarities that were earlier identified as crucial during the middle years.^ Subjects consisted of eight men between the ages of 47 and 55. A series of 2 to 6 interviews, each lasting from 1 hour to 3 hours, was conducted with each subject. All interviews were tape-recorded and then transcribed. For each subject, a biography was constructed. The eight biographies constituted a base-line from which conclusions were drawn.^ The analyses revealed that subjects between the ages of 47 and 50 displayed indications of anxiety about their life structure. It was apparent that increased awareness of mortality and destruction during the middle years lead to an increased sense of creativity and productiveness. Subjects displayed a shift in the relationship between "Young" and "Old" parts of their experience. With age, there is a decline in the subjects' interest in power and control and an increase in their concerns with love and nurturing. Subjects differed in the ways in which they integrated their needs for attachments with their need for autonomy. Four developmental tasks were identified for the Age Fifty Transition.^ The implications of the study are related to education as well as to cultural trends. An understanding of the specific developmental processes can facilitate instruction and increase an instructor's responsiveness to the needs of students from different groups. Both teachers and students share the same developmental lines. As individuals, they must deal with similar themes during their own development. The developmental model can enhance understanding of students from all age groups. Furthermore, society as a whole needs to acknowledge that development is not confined to youth, but is an ongoing process that continues throughout the adult years ^ It was recommended that research in the area continue and be extended to include other cultures, women as well as men. ^

Subject Area

Developmental psychology

Recommended Citation

KUSHNIR, NAAMA, "THEMES IN THE DEVELOPMENTAL PROCESSES IN THE LIVES OF EIGHT MEN BETWEEN THE AGES OF 47 AND 55" (1982). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8223607.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8223607

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