Middle Adulthood- Linda Smith (pseudonym) Physical Changes Linda said she experienced the most physical changes throughout middle adulthood. She noticed her skin lost elasticity, increase amount of wrinkles in the face, and age spots began to appear on the face. Hair became brittle and if it wasn’t for coloring her hair she would be completely grey. Her skin has lost her youth and in her words “everything sags”. She also has noticed she bruises more easily than when she was younger. Linda was diagnosed with arthritis and noticed more aches and pains with middle adulthood.
At age 46, she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroid disease which prevents her from having gluten, corn, and dairy. The food she used to be able to eat when she was younger she is unable to. Due to the lifestyle change she has been one of the few women that hasn’t gained weight but has lost weight. She also said during this time she is currently going through menopause but luckily she hasn’t gained any weight most likely due to her sensitive diet or as she calls it “rabbit food. ” Psychological Changes Psychosocial During middle adulthood she found great comfort in taking care of her father who died of cirrhosis of the liver.
It helped her transition with losing her father because during her time taking care of him they grew increasingly close. As her children are both in their 20’s now she feels she has grown closer to them because she can offer them advice and help transition them into adulthood. Linda pointed out while many of her friends seem to be struggling with their roles in middle adulthood she is quite confident in her roles right now. According to Erikson’s theory, she is experiencing generativity by going above personal interests to provide care to others (Hutchinson, 2015).
Moral Morally the client felt she has reached a really pivotal point in her life. Linda is able to put others before herself. She finds that instead of getting angry when she isn’t treated right either at her job or other places she puts herself in that person’s shoes and thinks maybe they are having a bad day. She is always compassionate to others and feels that it puts positivity out into the world is really important especially with the world we are living in today. Linda believes her spiritual beliefs aids her in her moral decisions. According to Kohlberg, she would be in stage 5 contractual legalistic orientation (Robbins et al. 2012)
Levinson Since her children have left and gone to college she felt during this time she has really had the time to learn more about herself. Linda believes she has learned a great deal about herself and has established really who she is. When raising children, focusing on work, and being a wife she was trying to adapt to all these roles while not having time for herself. According to Levinson, she is trying to find a new balance in her life and reclaiming parts of herself that were lost when she was younger (Hutchinson, 2015). Sheehy The client expressed a high satisfaction where she is right now in her life.
She currently has a job where she is using her degree. When she was caring for her younger children she quit her job to stay home and be with her children. She stated she doesn’t regret it all but now she can pursue things that are of interest to her. Her role expectations are quite different now than they were from when she was younger. According to Sheehy, the fourth possible pathway she believed existed is the one the client is currently experiencing. The pathway where a mother postponed her own dreams to raise a family (Hutchinson, 2015). Sociocultural Influences Gender
Linda reported being a woman she was expected to put her dreams aside to be a good mother and wife. While she didn’t resent it, she feels women in late adulthood are really just starting out especially if they took the time to raise their children. When she compared herself to her husband she felt like she was handling aging better than him. While she has become assertive and comfortable in her new role, he appears to still be searching for what he wants. According to Hutchinson (2015), this occurs in genders due to the change in sex hormones in middle adulthood. Work Status
Currently her work as a counselor for juveniles she feels appreciated and feels happy with her job. She enjoys going to work and helping guide younger individuals into the world especially when many of them are lacking social support. She enjoys the routine both inside and outside of work. Getting back to work also has given her a sense of accomplishment. Ethnicity/ Sexual Orientation The person I interviewed is a Caucasian woman. She is a heterosexual and has been married to her husband for almost 27 years. Family Relationships Now that she is in middle adulthood she has grown increasingly close to her aging mother.
Unfortunately, with her brother and sister they have drifted apart through the years. She says the maybe talk once a month if they return her phone calls. While both of her children are in college she speaks to them on a weekly basis and feels now that they are both adults she has a better relationship with them. Her relationship with her husband has definitely been strengthened as they have both aged. Religion/Spirituality While religion has always been important in her life over the past ten years it has become more important. For everyone she has lost and everything she has gained in life it has helped to rely on a bigger power.
She finds comfort and peace when attending church on Sunday but doesn’t feel it’s necessary to always go because only she knows her faith. A pastor can’t do that for her. Praying also helps give her peace for any worries or concerns she has. According to Fowler’s theory, she would be in the Individuative-reflective faith where she can rely on herself for moral reasoning (Hutchinson, 2015). Ecological/Systems Model When she talked about her family system. Her and her husband raised both children with rules and guidelines to establish values along with morals in both children.
They raised them to be kind, giving, understanding, empathetic, and loving. She believes this resulted in both children pursuing degrees in the social services field. One of the many things her she enjoyed with her family was every night there was a dinner she prepared. They talked about each of their days or any problems that happened. It was one of the ways she felt they all really bonded and by doing this they were able to develop strategies or offer suggestions to a family member that was dealing with a problem. The rules and boundaries were always clear and concise in the family.
They had open communication and dealt with things as a family. She felt by doing this collectively it helped everyone. From what she has shared about her family system it compares to Anderson’s (1998) article which talked about how the family establishes themes, rules, boundaries, routines, and social interactions that aid in the development of personal identity. She also talked about how raising a family is very complex especially in meeting the needs of everyone and helping your own children find their own personal identity som at is also talked about in the Anderson article.
Role Identity Theory She said for the longest time her role identity was being a mother but over time while she still is a mother her identity has changed. At her work she established a friendship with another woman over the past eight years. They go shopping, antiquing, out to lunch, and to fun activities in their town. She enjoys the friendship because the mutually give each other feedback and positive support. Also, she has grown close to a few women who attend her church. With her job she recently received more funding because of her increase in clients which gave her a raise too.
The positive feedback from her boss has helped her with her works roles. Her family, marriage, new friendship, work, and an increase in income have given her life satisfaction. According to Sieber and others (1999), as one ages their role identity changes as new friendships are made. Being married and have a higher income also resulted in a positive life satisfaction both of which the person interviewed had (Siebert et al. , 1999). The article talked about how women are more satisfied with their friendships, have more support systems, and provide/receive support both of which she expressed (Siebert at al. , 1999).