Average adulthood (from 40 to 60 years old)
Maturity is the longest period of life for most people. Its upper limit is usually associated with reaching retirement age.
In 40-60 years, a person is in a situation that is psychologically different from the previous ones. Now it is his generation that determines the life and development of society as a whole, fulfilling the most important social roles. The understanding of the period of maturity as the achievement of heyday (from the ancient Greek "Akme") is reflected in the title of that part of age-related psychology that studies maturity - acmeology.
By this time a person acquires a rich life and professional experience; children become adults and relations with them change, start to be of a different character; parents grow old, who need help.
At the beginning of the period of maturity, there is a so-called mid-life crisis (about 40-45 years). A person comes to the understanding that he has less left than he has already lived, revises his achievements and critically evaluates himself. Many people have a feeling that "life has gone meaningless, and time has already been lost". As a result, depressive conditions may develop.
Many believe that the best years of life are a period of up to forty years, and the period after forty is a giant "black hole" in which the rest of life is to be spent, that at that age moral growth and development of a person cease, that to man for forty will have to say goodbye to youthful dreams and plans for a professional career, family life, personal happiness. American psychologist R. Kessler, arguing that such an opinion is mistaken, wrote that everything says that the average age is the best time of life when a person is not bothered by the illnesses and ailments of an elderly person and he no longer suffers with the alarms of young people associated with successes in love and career.
The researchers support Kessler's point of view and consider the mid-life crisis to be the exception rather than the rule. In many people, the transition to the middle age is calm, they consider it a period associated with the redefinition of goals. This reorientation involves comparing ourselves with other people who have set similar goals in the same professional activity. American scientist K. Riff spoke about this, that the better the mental health of a person, the less often he compares himself with people who make him feel incomplete.
This age for many becomes crisis, and because there is an increase in the contradictions between the integrity of the world view and the one-linearity of development, as a result of which a person can lose the meaning of life. If there is a crisis, the only way out of the situation is acquiring a new meaning: in universal values, developing interest in the future, for new generations.
If a person is get hung up on itself, then over time, it will begin to be overcome by illness and a new crisis will develop. It is noticed that people are exposed to the mid-life crisis,
prone to avoid introspection, not noticing the changes in life and body, using the mechanism of negation. American scientists noted that the middle-aged crisis among wealthy people is observed more often than among the poor and representatives of the working class.
E. Erickson considered the main problem of maturity the choice between productivity and inertia. The concept of productivity for him includes not only creative and professional productivity, but also a contribution to education and affirmation in the life of the next generation. Productivity is concerned with caring for people, about the results and ideas to which a person is interested. Lack of productivity, inertia lead to self-absorption, personal needs, professional stagnation. The most important feature of maturity is the awareness of responsibility for the content of their lives, for preserving and improving the life of the whole society.
In the human body, physiological changes, which are natural for a given age, begin to occur, to which he has to adapt. General health, vision, reaction slows down, sexual potency in men weakens, women survive the menopause, some carry it very hard both physically and psychologically.
There is a decrease in the characteristics of psychophysical functions, but this does not affect the functioning of the cognitive sphere of man. Workability remains at the same level and allows you to keep working and creative activity. At this age, the development of abilities related to professional and daily activities continues.
In middle age, the intensity of development or involution of a person's intellectual functions depends on the overall giftedness, level of education, but first of all on his own human efforts in terms of his intellectual development, systemativeness and intensity of intellectual activity. An important achievement of this age is the acquisition of the state of wisdom: a person knows how to evaluate events and information in a larger context than before, can cope with uncertainty.
The emotional sphere at this time develops unevenly. The average age is a period of blossoming of family life, career and creative abilities. Work takes the main
position and becomes the most important source of human feelings. The emotional state begins to affect the success of work.
At this age, people are more prone to stress than in the years of youth, often suffer from depression, feel a sense of loneliness. In addition, a person begins to think about what is mortal and his time goes away.
The structure of motivation changes, as a person has a desire to act without delay and immediately receive a result, i.e. he seeks to immediately satisfy his needs. The main needs at the same time are the realization of one's creative potential, the need to transfer one's experience to another generation, adjusting activities, caring for maintaining close relationships with relatives and friends, preparing for a quiet and prosperous life in old age. As a result, there is a comprehension and reassessment of life in general, the adjustment of the existing system of values in three spheres: personal, family and professional.
I-concept Enriched with new I-images taking into account constantly changing situational relations and variations in self-esteem. The essence of the I-concept - Self-actualization within the limits of moral rules and personal self-assessments. Self-esteem is characterized by a tendency to strengthen the cognitive (cognitive) component. A conscious, balanced, realistic attitude towards oneself leads to the fact that knowledge of oneself is beginning to be regulated and lead to emotions that are addressed to one's own "I". Self-evaluations acquire a generalized character. I-image the developing personality is transformed into the "I-image" associated with the development of people-dependent people (children, students, subordinates).
The leading activity is work, successful professional activity, which ensures self-actualization of the individual. Problems of assistance to children, relations in the family, with the spouse, stabilize come to the fore.
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