Generativity in midlife.


Synthesizes theoretical and empirical work on generativity within a life-course perspective, with special emphasis on how this work informs the study of midlife. This chapter begins with a history of the concept of generativity. Next, it considers the ways in which generativity is a developmental construct, contrasting life-cycle and life-course perspectives on the relation between generativity and midlife. Finally, the chapter considers empirical research on the generative lives in the middle adult in the middle-adult years, examining relations between generativity on the one hand and psychological, social, and cultural phenomena on the other. This chapter ends with proposals for new directions in future research and theorizing. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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    • "It contrasts with stagnation, or disengagement from others. One theme common to theories of generativity, as well as to narratives of generative individuals, is the importance of taking an interest in future generations, both to expand the self (an egoistic motive) and also to benefit others (a benevolent motive; see Kotre, 1984; McAdams, 2001). The processes that lead to this convergence of self-and othermotives for some individuals, but not for others, are poorly understood. "
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    ABSTRACT: Five studies develop and validate the Self- and Other-Interest Inventory, an individual-difference measure of the motivation to act in one's own interest and the motivation to act in another's interest that measures these motivations at the level of self-beliefs. Study 1 demonstrates that self- and other-interest can be measured reliably and validly, as independent constructs, with a self-report measure. Study 2 develops a version of the Self- and Other-Interest Inventory for use with a general population and demonstrates systematic changes in the relation between self- and other-interest scores with age. Study 3 shows that self- and other-interest scores vary independently, as a function of the accessibility of related values. Study 4 provides evidence that self-interest scores predict behaviors that benefit the self and that other-interest scores predict behaviors that benefit another person. Finally, Study 5 demonstrates that in situations that involve a trade-off between the pursuit of self-interest and the pursuit of other-interest, such as the prisoner's dilemma, self- and other-interest scores contribute independently to behavioral prediction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
    Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 06/2013; 105(3). DOI:10.1037/a0033483 · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    • "Another difficulty is the choice of age-cohort grouping, e.g. it could be suggested that chronological age at which adults are considered midlife may have increased in recent years. Additionally, " historical cohorts may also show different understandings of what generativity is and should be " (McAdams, 2001, p. 416). "
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    ABSTRACT: Erikson already emphasized the importance of staying generative in old age. The concept of generativity as an important element in human development, significantly impacting on one's ability to age successfully, was discussed later by other authors as well. However, so far generativity has not received much attention in gerontology. This review summarizes and discusses the most important theoretical approaches, measurement methods, and empirical findings with regard to their relevance for gerontological research. This includes age-specific generative aspects, a critical discussion of current scales measuring generativity in older adults, and exploring empirical findings with regard to the association between generativity and successful aging. Finally, open questions concerning generativity and aging will be addressed.
    Journal of Aging Studies 08/2012; 26(3):262–272. DOI:10.1016/j.jaging.2012.01.002 · 1.12 Impact Factor
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    • "The second is positive societal engagement as assessed in an open-ended interview. Past research has linked generativity to both individual well-being and positive societal engagements among adults (e.g., Hart et al., 2001; McAdams, 2001) while suggesting that the traits of Extraversion and Neuroticism should predict individual well-being (McCrae & Costa, 2008) and the traits of Conscientiousness and Agreeableness should predict positive societal involvements (Lodi-Smith & Roberts, 2007). Previous studies have not, however, systematically pitted the Big Five and generativity against each other in the prediction of psychosocial adaptation in midlife adults. "
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    ABSTRACT: The study examines the extent to which 2 sets of personality variables-(1) dispositional traits (and their facets) within the Big Five taxonomy and (2) the adult developmental construct of generativity-are associated with psychosocial adaptation in midlife adults (N=128), conceived as the combination of individual well-being and positive societal involvements. Generativity is conceived as an adult's concern for and commitment to promoting the well-being of future generations. Multiple regression analyses showed that dispositional traits were more strongly associated with individual well-being than was generativity, but generativity was much more strongly associated with positive societal engagement than were the traits. Correlations between dispositional traits and generativity revealed that highly generative adults were elevated on most of the facets of Extraversion and Openness. For the other 3 traits, generativity was positively related to facets of competence, achievement striving, dutifulness, altruism, and trust and negatively related to vulnerability, anxiety, depressiveness, and modesty.
    Journal of Personality 08/2010; 78(4):1185-208. DOI:10.1111/j.1467-6494.2010.00647.x · 2.44 Impact Factor
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