Development During Middle Age

Development during Middle Age

Interview Questions:

1)      What is your current profession?

2)      Are you satisfied with the career path you took?

3)      Are you married? If yes, do you consider yourself happily married and are you satisfied with the relationship with your partner

4)      Do you spend a lot of time with your partner?

5)      Do you have any children?

6)      What is the nature of the relationship with your children?

7)      Do you often try to influence their decisions by being their mentor?

8)      Do you believe in the retaining of a person’s culture despite the modern influence?

9)      Do you consider yourself a religious person? If yes, are you highly or partially religious?

10)  Do you have concerns about your health? Are you constantly worrying about your general well-being?

11)  What kind of friendships do you value, long-term or short-term?

12)   Do you often experience periods of prolonged tension, anxiety and frustration?

13)  Do you have anger management problems?

14)  Are you proud of what you have accomplished in life?

15)  In general, how do you view your life?

Responses for Interviewee no. 1:

The interviewee is a female aged 42 years. She is a teacher at a local high school and loves her job. She is not married but is in a relationship and loves spending time with her partner. However, she thinks that a person should put a boundary between their life and that of their partner. She does not have any children and therefore questions six and seven are not applicable. However, she says that she values the relationship she has with her nieces and nephews and occasionally takes time to talk to them and advice them on life issues. The interviewee sees no problem with modernization and thinks that some of the cultural practices that people hold onto are not useful in the modern world. She believes in God and attends mass occasionally. However, she is skeptical about how far a person should allow religion to influence his or her life. She says that health is not a concern for her since she goes for health checkups every six months. The interviewee says that she deeply values her friends and has had the same group of friends since high school. She says that friendships have made her into what she is. She has no anger management problems but says that anxiety and tension are part of her daily life. In general, she thinks she is a successful woman and would change nothing in her life.

Responses for Interviewee no. 2:

            The interviewee is a male aged 46 years and owns a dentistry clinic. He is the senior dentist and employs several people at the clinic. He is satisfied with his career and says it is a dream come true. He is married and describes his marriage as happy and satisfying. He has three children all of whom are girls and loves to spend time with his children. He says that he has always tried to influence all of their decisions and keeps them as close as possible. He also believes that culture defines a person and every person should strive to maintain his or her cultural identity. The interviewee says that he is a highly religious man and has instilled religious values into his children. In addition, he is not concerned about his health and has taken up exercising as a way of keeping fit. He values his friends but since he moved to this place ten years ago, he has had difficulties making friends thus spends most of the time at work or with his family. He says that he sometimes feels frustrated especially when his business is not doing very well. He says that he is partially successful but if it was an option, he would change several things about his life.


            There are different theories that define the stages of development that a person undergoes in their lifetime. In accordance to Erikson’s theory, I would place the first interviewee in the generativity vs. stagnation period also referred to as middle adulthood (Louw, 1998). First, her age is in Erikson’s bracket, which is 35-65 years. In addition, her choice of career creates an impression that she is a mentor. In addition, her relationship with nieces and nephews also determine her mentorship capabilities. However, it seems that she is somewhat still held in the intimacy vs. isolation stage, as she has not yet established a long-term commitment like marriage (Wrightsman, 1994). On the other hand, while using the Levinson’s theory, I would place her in the mid-life transition stage. This would explain her having some characteristics of the previous stage. Additionally, when using Peck’s theory, it would be difficult to classify the interviewee as fully into the middle age considering that she is unmarried and does not place importance on religion and culture (Santrock, 1986).

The second interviewee can also be placed in the middle adulthood but in a different perspective as compared to that of the first interviewee. The interviewee is married and values the relationship he has with his wife. According to Erikson’s classifications, people in middle adulthood often value relationships especially in the family setting (Neugarten, 1975). In addition, the interviewee has taken his role as a parent more seriously and wants to be involved in the life of his children. In further advancement of Erikson’s theory, the interviewee is culture conscious and highly values religion (Louw, 1998). The close ties with his daughters are meant to help him advice and influence their decisions. On the other hand, the interviewee can be classified in the entering middle adulthood stage according to Levinson’s theory. This means that he has shed off all the characteristics of the previous stage and is fully entering the middle age. According to Vaillant’s defense mechanisms, he can be classified as mature since he has found his identity and follows life using this identity (Santrock, 1986). In addition, he can also be classified as in the stage of socializing vs. sexualizing. According to Robert Peck, people in middle adulthood tend to hold more social than sexual relationships (Louw, 1998). In conclusion, the second interviewee has fully entered the middle adulthood stage of development.


















Louw, D. A. (1998). Human development. Cape Town: Kagiso Tertiary.

Neugarten, B. L. (1975). Middle age and aging: A reader in social psychology. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

Santrock, J. W. (1986). Life-span development. Dubuque, IA: W. C. Brown.

Wrightsman, L. S. (1994). Adult personality development: 1. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.





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