What Is Midlife Crisis And Who Is Affected By It More, Men Or Women

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What Is Midlife Crisis and Who Is Affected BY It More, Men or Women


The term midlife crisis, or midlife transition, is generally defined as a period in an adult's life, believed to occur at or around the age of 40, in which there is a reappraisal of life's accomplishments, a more poignant recognition of health issues and ultimate mortality, and the potential for a change in lifestyle or behaviors (Brim, Ryff, and Kessler, 12-19). “Midlife crisis” is instantly recognized in the United States and increasingly in other Western nations. (Wethington, 85-101) The recognition is most likely due to its prominent use in novels, movies, art, and advertising. People tend to use the term negatively, associating it with stereotypes about physical aging, career stagnation, and midlife marital boredom. The term is also most often associated with men's experiences, although recent research on popular beliefs about the term suggests that some women also believe that they have experienced midlife crises. In the United States, therapists, popular writers, and people outside the academic and therapeutic professions connect the midlife crisis to the strong cultural expectation that a successful and self-fulfilling work career is central to achieving success in life. The assumption is that if by age 40, career growth and development has stagnated, men (and increasingly women) will experience crises. Academic research since the 1980s disregards the idea of midlife crisis as a phase that most adults undergo. In one study, fewer than 10% of people in the United States had psychological problems because of their age or ageing. People experiencing this suffer various symptoms and show an extensive range of behaviors.

Many adults go through major life events that can bring about a phase of psychological trauma, like the death of a loved one, or a career setback. Nevertheless, those events may have happened earlier or later in life, making them a "crisis," but not necessarily a midlife one. Similarly, 15% of middle-aged adults underwent this type of midlife crisis. This is an upsetting trend and one that calls for immediate remedial steps.

Some studies suggest that some cultures may be more prone to this phenomenon than others, one study revealed that there is little evidence that people experience midlife crises in Japanese and Indian cultures, engendering the question of whether a midlife crisis is mainly a cultural reality. Although there is some evidence that age 40 held special cultural significance before the twentieth century, the term midlife crisis is a recent creation first introduced in 1965 by Elliott Jaques. In his article “Death and the Midlife Crisis,” Jaques argued that there is a critical stage of development among creative male artists in their late 30s, taking three forms: the cessation of creative activities, a marked change in the quantity or quality of the creative output, or death. The term crossed quite rapidly into popular usage, applied well beyond the original sample of observation.


Another major milestone was the work of Daniel Levinson and his colleagues. Their work Seasons of a Man's Life described a stage ...
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