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The Middle Age Stage of Development and The Theories to Understand The Stage of Human Development

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Human development integrate a number of elements, which help in defining the different levels of individual growth. There are different process that are critical in the human development process. Developmental psychology creates an effective understanding under which it is easier to understand some of underlying elements that influence human development. An individual passes through different stages of development where each stage of development plays a key role in influencing the overall wellbeing of an individual. Lifespan development forms a key part of human development, which highlight key processes that individuals tend to go through in having a greater understanding on the key underlying concepts, which are crucial in acknowledging the major changes that usually take place. This paper will provide a significant understanding on middle age stage of development with a key focus on theoriesprovide a greater understanding on this stage of human development. The research will specifically focus on midlife crisis among women.


Lifespan development focuses on age related changes that are crucial in defining an individual wellbeing. An individual undergoes various development processes, which plays a key role in improving an individual personality. Each step in an individual development process plays a specific role in improving the overall environment under which it is possible to relate key issues, which influence an individual development process. There are six major stages in lifespan development, which shape human development. These steps include infancy, childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle age and old age. Major theories have been put in place to provide a greater understanding on how different stages in lifespan development influences an individual wellbeing. A deeper understanding on these theories is crucial in understanding the different characteristics that occur within these lifespan development stages. Middle age is a very sensitive stage especially considering the fact that is directly influenced by other previous stages. If the earlier stages were not effectively accomplished, it is very difficult to have a successful midlife stage. Therefore as a result, tension sets in creating a very complex life for an individual.


The midlife crisis is a period between 45 to 65 years. Many changes occur within this period both physical and mental.Midlife crisis is usually a period of reevaluation that prompts questioning of long held beliefs and values that an individual has. The midlife crisis has many challenges, which are mainly confounded on the new perception that an individual has in certain actions. In a study, conducted by the center for disease control between 2009 and 2012 it was found that women between the age of 40 and 59 had the highest rate of depression at 12.6%. The study also reported that there was a decline in the rate of depression after the age of 60 to 5.4%. The midlife crisis occurs in response to different factors such as a new realization that their youth is limited, mortality and the thought that this is happening without fully accomplishing their targets. In this case, it is clear that there are other significant factors that trigger midlife crisis. The challenges that are faced in middle age is a huge player in these new developments. Middle age adult women have numerous challenges such as changes in careers, unemployment, empty nest, or children that are still in school, commuter marriages, divorce, stress, just to name a few. During the normal growth, every other person will experience a period of transition, which turn a fulfilment of half of a person’s life (Newman& Newman, 2014).


Human development theories have sought to develop a clear understanding on the key underlying elements that influence individual growth. The best theory that provides a greater understanding on the midlife development and key characteristics, which influence an individual wellbeing, is the theory developed by Erik Erickson.

Erik Erikson developed a very important theory that provided important information regarding human psychosocial development processes. The stages that are developed by Erikson are characterized by struggle or crisis that occur in their developmental stages and thus adapting is key to further development. The middle adulthood, which is characterized by generativity and stagnation, is an important period in an individual’s development and most of an individual’s life focuses on this stage. Erikson asserts that in this stage, work is more important and individuals are much more interested with their productivity as well as their own personal growth. Thus the biggest challenge at this stage is fear of being inactive or meaning less. Consequently, this stage is greatly characterized with middle age challenges. Thus, the struggle to find purpose at this state is referred to as Generativity versus self-absorption. If an individual becomes stagnant at this stage, there is no growth or development and thus a fail to resolve mid-life crisis (Darling-Fisher & Leidy, 2015).

Inability to effectively prepare for the midlife is the beginning of massive crisis within the midlife. Most of the negative impact at this stage is due to inability to accomplish certain tasks in earlier stages of development and thus an individual develops undue pressure to achieve everything within a short period. As a result, they are left confused and unable to make any significant decision. The best way to avoid mid-life crisis is to ensure that the previous stages of development are effectively considered and successfully integrated into the development process

Sloan (2011) developed a study focusing on heavy drinking in early adulthood among blacks and lower educational attainment at midlife. The study therefore focused on psychosocial pathways underlying the racial differences in the influence of heavy alcohol use on occupational and education attainment at midlife. The article highlight the key role that midlife crisis plays in an individual development process. Havinga successful midlife is associated with positive and comfortable old life for any individual considering the fact that it highlights important measures, which define an individual wellbeing. The study employed a mixed model in identifying the different psychosocialclasses, which formed the basis of the research. The study was able to determine that heavy drinking in early adulthood was linked with a lower probability of being employed in early childhood. The findings therefore shows that the wellbeing of an individual at midlife is highly dependent on previous stages of development (Sloan, 2011).

The findings that have been developed in this case are very relevant considering the fact that human developmentinfluenced significantly with other stages of lifespan development. Many issues result due to midlife crisis on an individual. Since it is a reevaluation period and a test for resolve on what an individual believes in, decision making at this stage of developed can be easily compromised. Within this period, some of the issues that related include increased divorce suits. This is mainly because of reevaluation and coming to a conclusion that an individual made a wrong decision.


Midlife stage of human development is important and is based on important evaluation of other stages in human development as well as the link with other subsequent stages of development. Having a difficult early development stages creates a very difficult development leading to midlife crisis. Midlife crisis is common challenges and is an inevitable stage in development since it only depends on how an individual is prepared to face it.

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The Middle Age Stage of Development and the Theories to Understand the Stage of Human Development. (2018, October 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 15, 2022, from
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