Generativity is a concept first introduced by Erik Erikson as a part of his psychosocial theory which outlines eight stages of development in the human life. Generativity versus stagnation is the main developmental concern of middle adulthood; however, generativity is also recognized as an important theme in the lives of older adults. Building on the work of Erikson, McAdams and de St. Aubin (1992) developed a model explaining the generative process. The aims of this article are: (a) to explore the relationship between generativity and older adults as it appears in research literature; and (b) to examine McAdam's model and use it to explain the role of generativity in older adults who share life stories with gerontology students through an oral history project.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Resumen Objetivos: Muchas personas mayores desempeñan actividades generativas como el cuidado de los nietos o familiares dependientes, el voluntariado y la participación cívica y política, pero se conoce poco sobre el número de ellas, su perfil sociodemográfico, y los beneficios que dichas actividades pueden reportarles. El objetivo de este artículo es ahondar en estas cuestiones. Método: Los datos analizados proceden de la Encuesta sobre Personas Mayores, realizada por el IMSERSO en el año 2010, que contó con una muestra representativa de la población mayor española (n = 2.535) obtenida mediante un muestreo aleatorio simple. Resultados: El 49% de la muestra estaba implicada en alguna actividad generativa en el momento del estudio, siendo la más frecuente de ellas el cuidado de nietos. El perfil de las personas involucradas en las cuatro actividades difirió en ciertas variables sociodemográficas. Sólo el voluntariado y la participación cívica se relacionaron positivamente con algunos indicadores de bienestar. Discusión: La mitad de las personas mayores parecen implicarse en actividades beneficiosas para la sociedad, aunque la probabilidad de hacerlo podría depender de su perfil sociodemográfico. No obstante, según los resultados obtenidos, cuidar de nietos o personas dependientes podría no incrementar su bienestar, por lo que su carácter generativo se pone en entredicho.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose of the study:
Based on ethnographic interviews, we discuss three ideas we believe will expand knowledge of older informants' thoughts about and representations of generativity. We adapt the notion of "dividuality" as developed in cultural anthropology to reframe ideas on generativity. The term dividuality refers to a condition of interpersonal or intergenerational connectedness, as distinct from individuality. We also extend previous definitions of generativity by identifying both objects of generative action and temporal and relational frameworks for generative action.
We define 4 foci of generativity (people, groups, things, and activities) and 4 spheres of generativity (historical, familial, individual, and relational) based in American culture and with which older informants could easily identify. The approach outlined here also discusses a form of generativity oriented to the past in which relationships with persons in senior generations form a kind of generative action since they are involved in caring for the origins of the self and hence of future generative acts. These 3 elements of a new framework will allow researchers to pose critical questions about generativity among older adults. Such questions include (a) How is the self, as culturally constituted, involved in generative action? and (b) What are the types of generativity within the context of American culture and how are they spoken about? Each of the above points is directly addressed in the data we present below.
We defined these domains through extended ethnographic interviews with 200 older women.
Results and implications:
The article addresses some new ways of thinking about generativity as a construct, which may be useful in understanding the cultural personhood of older Americans.
The Gerontologist 04/2014; 55(4):548-559. DOI:10.1093/geront/gnu009 · 3.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present-day involvement of men in many facets of childrearing stands
in contrast to previous eras when men accepted that the major task of
fathering was to provide a secure income to support the family. This
imperative often required long hours away from the family. However,
when men whose contact with children has been limited due to work and
cultural constraints retire, their newly acquired lifestyle may bring fresh
opportunities for involvement with grandchildren. An important question
therefore concerns the impact of caring for young children on men’s
perceptions of their role as grandfathers. This interview study explores
the experiences of 19 Australian grandfathers. The analysis found themes
that relate to relationships and change, as well as themes concerning core
beliefs and existential questions. The findings demonstrate the potential
for insight into family relationships and personal growth in older age when
studying the topic of grandparenting and caring from the male perspective.
The International Journal of Aging and Human Development 06/2014; 78(4):353-380. DOI:10.2190/AG.78.4.c · 0.62 Impact Factor
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