Families at Mid-Life Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Families at Mid-Life Deck (28):

MidLife Crisis-Myth or Real?

Having a crisis is not normative, but having a period of transition and self reflection is. Involves getting over getting older. -Identity crisis if there was foreclosure in adolescence.


Symptoms of Mid life crisis?

Symptoms include: anxiety, depression, dis-ease, dissatisfaction, disillusionment, insomnia, depletion,


Generally people report (at mid life)

Feelings of well-being and greater satisfaction, sense of self control over many parts of life.


Men vs. Women

gender cross over-women become more assertive and man more giving and expressive.


Physical Aging: "The little death"

Shifts in physical and mental agility: memory, reflexes, energy level, speed.
Body changes: metabolism, muscle mass, skin elasticity, hair loss/growth/graying, sensory loss, bladder control, loss of bone density,



Stronger for women



-cultural stereotype of raving maniac
-perimenopausal symptoms start 10 years earlier and may be more severe.
-risk of heart disease, hot flashes, loss of lubrication, insomnia, thinning hair, loss of libido, fuzzy thinking, osteoporosis.
-more than half of women report no symptoms and even post menopausal zest.


Viropause or Andropause

-Testosterone level drops in midlife
-causes physical changes: erections can take longer to achieve, be less firm, take more stimulation. Orgasms can be harder to achieve and less forceful. Prostrates can be enlarged, testicles shrink, sac drops.
-physiological consequences due to socialization: to be competitive and always ready for sex can lead to erectile dysfunction.


Emotional development at midlife

-age of mastery
-increase in wisdom, judiciousness, compassion, depth of perspective, complexity, mad intuition
-feeling responsible


The Mid-life identity crisis

-internal push to become whole
-own and acknowledge shadow parts of self
-further individuation and authenticity through development of real self
-frightening process because it can involve letting go of who we once new ourselves to be.


For women

Growth in master, identity, and voice
-adoption of feminist identity and higher educational levels are associated with midlife well-being
-women who experienced traditional role regrets but do not make changes at midlife show higher rates of depression.


For men

More apt to struggle on their own
-Can come to a new appreciation of intimacy and connection.
-confront cultural constraints of masculinity
-increasing comfort with emotion
-reconnect with family, friends and community
-take mentoring roles


Disillusionment/Life Reanalysis

-financial stability for the future is a looming reality.
-external markers of competence become less available and less satisfying.
-mourning lost opportunities and life choices
-reappraisal of current life priorities
-search fir meaning.


New life structures

-making this time a quest NOT a crisis
-focus in understanding feelings and knowing what you want before you act.
-focus on coming into ones own and living an authentic life.


SES and Cultural Issues

-feeling of having made a contribution does not depend on SES
-economic concerns can take precedence over internal concerns
-physical health can overshadow other issues.


Process Assignments

-Patience-this can take time
-mindfulness: loss your mind and come to your senses
-avoid numbing activities
-take some solitude when you can
-practice listening
-men:talk to other men
-think, write, be creative
-stay active, exercise and care for your body
-break ruts and do something different
-confront your fears
-cherish your relationships and contribute to your community.


Parent Relationships at mid-life

-Shift in roles as child becomes the caretaker
-forgiveness and resolution of old conflicts
-further opportunities for differentiation
-get to know your parents as people and gather info


Sibling and extended family relationships at mid-life.

-Opportunities to resolve old issues
-roles can change
-reconnection can feel more important.



-lack of positive models for older adult love.
-as couples launch children they may face an increase of intimacy/connection OR problems with disconnection.
-traditional women may deal with pushed down anger and resentment or push for a more egalitarian marriage.
-differentiation remains key


Uncoupled persons

-May deal with feeling of stigma about what is wrong with me
-solidifying social support networks: how do you meet your needs for intimacy?
-dating: May be a better partner but may be more picky about mate selection.
-Internet dating expands opportunity



Last chance children are now possible with advances in fertility meds
-dealing with regrets: accepting and owning mistakes and self-forgiveness
-differentiation of children and loss of structure of parenthood.


Launching and Young adulthood

-increasing numbers of young adults do not feel responsible for self in 20s.
Many return home due to economic issues.
-loss of innocence: the narrative you create for how things worked out.


Cohort specificity

-the historical moments that shape a generation.


Problems at young adulthood.

-anxiety about choices without the structure of school
-increased sense of persons, responsibility without as many rewards.
-problems are not taken seriously by others.
-symptoms: depression, anxiety, self doubt, procrastination, escaping into avoiding/numbing activities


Identity development

-foreclosed (accepting identity without questioning it)
-moratorium (in process)
-diffuse (completely not dealing with it)


Developmental Tasks (of Young Adult)

-What do I do? Job? Career?
--role of serendipity/sychronicity
--knowing one's own priorities
--trial and error
--life skills-household and life management
--emotion/independent decision making
--finding significant other and potential life partner.
--developing a social network
--Differentiation from parents. shift to adult/adult relationship while maintaining connection.


SES/Cultural Issues

real and perceived opportunities can be limited by SES and minority status.
-hard to get a job without without education/computer skills
-little practice in harsh ghetto environment for learning soft skills of customer service skills.
-issue of maintaining respect in entry level jobs while invisible young black/hispanic men.
-long term dreams can be discouraged and seen as unrealistic.
-breaking the poverty cycle can be seen as disloyal.
-Launching will vary according to cultural influences.
-Is and how early is the individual expected to contribute financially to the FOO.
-Are young people expected to remain at home until marriage.


Role of Therapist (for Families at MidLife)

-Validation of Problems
-Supporting the need to fail as part of life's process and growth as a person (Don't let fear run your life).
-Helping them to develop realistic goals and follow through.
-Point out self defeating constraints.
-Coaching through or meeting with FOO.