first half of adulthood has been described as a period of growth and expansion during
which individuals seek to find and maximize their status in society, whereas security
and threat-avoidance become more important in the second half (Kuhlen, 1968;
Staudinger & Bluck, 2001).
Kuhlen, R. G. (1968). Developmental changes in motivation during the adult years. In B. L.
Neugarten (Ed.), Middle age and aging (pp. 115-1 36). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Staudinger, U. M., &Bluck, S. (2001). A view on midlife developn~enftr om life-span theory. In M.
E. Lachman (Ed.), Handbook of midlife development (pp. 3-39). New l'ork, NY Wiley
sense of identity becomes stronger
from young adulthood to middle age (Stewart, Ostrove, & Helson, 2001),
Stewart, A. J., Ostrove, J. M., &Helson, R. (2001). Middle-aging in women: Patternsofpersonality
change from the 30s to the 50s.Jottrnal of Adult Development, 8, 23-37.
Generativity tends to peak in middle age,
but the conditions associated with its peaking are not altogether clear (McAdams,
2001) and some have argued that it is the felt capacity for generativity, as opposed
to desire for or actual generative actions, that peaks in middle adulthood (Stewart &
McAdams, D. (2001). Generativity in n~idlifeI. n M. E. Lachman (Ed.), Handbookof midlifedevelopment (pp. 395-443). New York: Wiley.
Stewart, A. J., & Vandcwater, E. A. (1998). The course of generativity. In D. l? McAdams & E. de
St. Aubin (Eds.) , ticnerativity and adult development: Horu and why tue care for the next generation
(pp. 75-100). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association
Ryff & Heincke, 1983; Zucker, Ostrove, &
Stewart, 2002) show that young adults expect to increase in identity certainty and
generativity during middle age
Ryff, C. D., & Heincke, S. G. (1983). Subjective organization of personality in adulthood and aging.
Jou7-nal of Personality and Social Psycl~ology4, 4, 807-8 16.
Zucker, A. N., Ostrove, J. M., &Stewart, A. J. (2002). College-educated women's personality development in adulthood: Perceptions and agedifferences. l'sychology and Aging, 17,236-244.
Search for personal growth lessens after midlife