Adult Lifestyles

Report
Human Adjustment
John W. Santrock
Chapter 9:
Adult Lifestyles
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9-2
Chapter Outline
The Diversity of Adult Lifestyles
The Family Life Cycle
Parenting
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9-3
Learning Objectives
1. Discuss diversity of adult lifestyles and how they
affect people’s lives
2. Describe the family life cycle
3. Discuss parenting and how it affects children’s
adjustment
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THE DIVERSITY OF ADULT LIFESTYLES
Single Adults Living Alone
Cohabiting Adults
Married Adults
Divorced Adults
Remarried Adults
Gay and Lesbian Relationships
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Single Adults Living Alone
 Percentage of single adults who live alone has
increased from 8% in 1970 to 25% in 2000
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Single Adults Living Alone
 Common problems of single adults include:
– forming intimate relationships with other adults
– confronting loneliness
– finding a niche in a society that is marriage oriented
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Single Adults Living Alone
 Advantages of being single include:
– time to make decisions about one’s life course
– time to develop personal resources to meet goals
– freedom to make autonomous decisions
– freedom to pursue one’s own schedule and interests
– opportunities to explore new places and things
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Cohabiting Adults
 Cohabitation - living together in a sexual relationship
without being married
 Percentage of U.S. couples who cohabit before
marriage has increased from 11% in 1970 to 60% in
2000
– Cohabitation leads to no differences in marriage or is not
good for a marriage
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Married Adults
 In 2002, 95% of U.S. adults had been married at least
once by age 55
 Currently 60% of U.S. adults are married
 In 2002, average age for first marriage was 27 years
for men and 25 for women
 About 50% of marriages end in divorce
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Finding a Partner
 The most described traits desired in a spouse vary
around the world
 In the U.S., emotional depth and ability to
communicate are viewed as important characteristics
of a spouse
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Marital Expectations and Myths
 Marriage therapists believe it is important to have
realistic expectations about marriage
 Myths about marriage include:
– Affairs are the main reason people get divorced
– Men are not biologically made for marriage
– Men are from Mars and women are from Venus
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Adjustment Strategies
for Making Marriages Work
9-12
1. Establish love maps
2. Nurture fondness and admiration
3. Turn toward each other instead of away
4. Let your partner influence you
5. Solve solvable conflicts
6. Overcome gridlock
7. Create shared meaning
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Dealing with Conflict
 Typical areas of marital conflict include:
– work
– stress
– in-laws
– money
– sex
– housework
– new baby
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Dealing with Conflict
 John Gottman (1994) - resolving conflicts works best
when couples:
– start out solving the problem with a soft approach
– are motivated to repair the relationship
– regulate their emotions
– compromise
– are tolerant of each other’s faults
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The Benefits of a Good Marriage
 Individuals who are happily married live longer,
healthier lives than either divorced individuals or those
who are unhappily married
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Divorced Adults
 In the U.S., the divorce rate increased from the 1960s
through the mid-1980s but has since been declining
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The Timing of Divorce
 If a divorce is going to occur, it often takes place early
in a marriage
– Most likely time for divorce to occur is fifth to tenth year of
marriage
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The Stresses of Divorce
 Both divorced women and divorced men complain of:
– loneliness
– diminished self-esteem
– anxiety
– difficulty in forming satisfactory new intimate relationships
 Divorce places both men and women at risk for
psychological and physical difficulties
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Coping with Divorce
 Hetherington and Kelly (2002) identified factors that
enable divorced adults to cope effectively:
– social maturity
– autonomy
– internal locus of control
– religiosity
– work
– social support
– a new intimate relationship
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Diversity of Post-divorce Pathways
 Six common pathways people’s lives can take after a
divorce:
– the enhancers
– the good enoughs
– the seekers
– the libertines
– the competent loners
– the defeated
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Adjustment Strategies for Divorced Adults
1. Look at divorce as an opportunity for personal
growth and to build more fulfilling relationships.
2. Think carefully about your choices
3. Focus more on the future than the past
4. Capitalize on your strengths and the resources
available to you
5. Don’t expect to be successful and happy in
everything you do
6. You are never trapped by one pathway
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Remarried Adults
 On average, divorced adults remarry within four years
of their divorce
 The new families must:
– define and strengthen their marriages
– renegotiate the biological parent-child relationships
– establish stepparent-stepchild and stepsibling relationships
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Adjustment Strategies
for Remarried Adults
9-23
1. Have realistic expectations
2. Develop new positive relationships within the family
3. Allot time to be alone with each other
4. Learn from the first marriage
5. Don’t expect instant love from stepchildren
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Gay and Lesbian Relationships
 Gay and lesbian relationships are similar to
heterosexual relationships in their satisfactions, loves,
joys, and conflicts
 Children growing up in gay or lesbian families are
similar in adjustment to children of heterosexual
families
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Review - Learning Goal 1
– What characterizes single adults?
– What are the lives of cohabiting adults like?
– What are some key aspects of the lives of married adults?
– How is divorce linked with the adjustment of adults and
children?
– What are the lives of remarried parents like?
– What characterizes the relationships of gay and lesbian
couples?
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THE FAMILY LIFE CYCLE
Leaving Home
The New Couple
Becoming a Family with Children
The Family with Adolescents
Midlife Families
Families in Later Life
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The Family Life Cycle
The family life cycle consists of 6 stages:
1. Leaving home (single young adults)
2. The new couple (joining families through marriage)
3. Becoming a family with children
4. The family with adolescents
5. Midlife families
6. Families in later life
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Leaving Home
 Leaving home and becoming a single adult is first
stage in family life cycle
 Launching - process in which youths move into
adulthood and exit their family of origin
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The New Couple
 Forming the new couple is the second stage in the
family life cycle
– It is the union of two individuals from separate families
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Becoming a Family with Children
 Becoming parents and a family with children is the
third stage in the family life cycle
 Parents become caregivers to the younger generation
 A baby places restrictions on parents
 Parents must juggle roles as parents,
spouses, and self-actualizing adults
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The Family with Adolescents
 The family with adolescents is the fourth stage of the
family cycle
 Adolescence is a period in which
individuals push for autonomy and
seek to develop their own identity
– Most parent-adolescent conflict
is modest
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Old and New Models of
Parent-adolescent Relationships
Old Model
 Autonomy, detachment from
parents; parent and peer worlds
are isolated
 Intense, stressful conflict
throughout adolescence; parentadolescent relationships are filled
with storm and stress on virtually
a daily basis
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New Model
 Attachment and autonomy;
parents are important support
systems and attachment figures;
parent and peer worlds have
some important connections
 Moderate parent-adolescent
conflict common; conflict greater
in early adolescence, especially
during the apex of puberty
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Adjustment Strategies
for Parenting Adolescents
9-33
1. Show them warmth and respect, and avoid tendency
to be too controlling or too permissive
2. Demonstrate sustained interest in their lives
3. Understand and adapt to their cognitive and
socioemotional development
4. Communicate expectations for high standards of
conduct and achievement
5. Display constructive ways of dealing with problems
6. Adolescents don’t become adults overnight
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Midlife Families
 The family at midlife is the fifth stage in the family life
cycle
 This is a time of launching children, linking
generations, and adapting to midlife changes
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The Empty Nest and Its Refilling
 Empty nest syndrome - decrease in marital
satisfaction and increase in feelings of emptiness
brought about by children’s departure
 Most parents eventually experience an increase in
marital satisfaction after their children have left home
 When adult children return home to live, both parents
and the adult children must make adjustments
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Intergenerational Relationships
 Both similarities and dissimilarities across generations
have been reported
– Similarity between parents and an adult child is most likely
in religion and politics
– Similarity is least likely in gender roles, lifestyle, and work
orientation
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Families in Later Life
 The family in later life is the sixth and final stage in
the family life cycle
 Retirement and grandparenting are features of this
stage
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Families in Later Life
 Marital happiness among older adults depends on
each partner’s ability to deal with:
– personal conflicts
– aging
– illness
– eventual death
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Review - Learning Goal 2
– What is the first stage of the family life cycle?
– What is the stage of finding a partner like?
– How can the third stage be characterized?
– What is the fourth stage of the family life cycle?
– How can the fifth stage be described?
– What is the sixth stage of the family life cycle?
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PARENTING
Timing of Parenthood
Parenting Styles
Working Parents
Children in Divorced Families
Ethnicity and Parenting
Child Abuse
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Timing of Parenthood
 Advantages of having children early (in their 20s):
– parents have more physical energy
– mother has fewer problems with pregnancy and childbirth
– parents less likely to build up expectations
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Timing of Parenthood
 Advantages of having children later (in their 30s):
– parents have more time to consider their goals in life
– parents more mature
– parents able to benefit from their experiences to engage in
more competent parenting
– parents better established in their
careers and have more income
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Parenting Styles
 Diana Baumrind (1971) identified 4 parenting styles:
– Authoritarian parenting
– Authoritative parenting
– Neglectful parenting
– Indulgent parenting
 Positive links exist between authoritative parenting and
the well-being of children
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Figure 9.8 Classification of
Parenting Styles
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Adjustment Strategies
for Effective Parenting
9-45
1. Use authoritative parenting
2. Understand that parenting takes time and effort
3. Be a good manager
4. Don’t use physical punishment in disciplining
children
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Working Parents
 Research finds no detrimental effects of maternal
employment on children’s development
 When a child’s mother works in first year of life, it can
have a negative effect on the child’s later development
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Children in Divorced Families
 Children from divorced families show poorer
adjustment than children in non-divorced families
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Adjustment Strategies for Communicating
with Children about Divorce
1. Explain the separation in a sensitive way
2. Explain that the separation is not the child’s fault
3. Explain that it may take time to feel better
4. Keep the door open for further discussion
5. Provide as much continuity as possible
6. Provide support for your children
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Ethnicity and Parenting
 Large families and extended families are more
common among minority groups:
– Latino families - 19% have 3 or more children
– African-American families - 14% have 3 or more children
– White families - 10% have 3 or more children
 African-American and Latino children interact more
with extended family than do White children
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Child Abuse
 Four types of child maltreatment are:
– Physical abuse - infliction of physical injury
– Child neglect - failure to provide for child’s basic needs
– Sexual abuse - sexual contact with child
– Emotional abuse - anything that could cause behavioral,
cognitive, or emotional problems
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The Cultural Context of Abuse
 About one-third of parents who were abused as
children abuse their own children
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Consequences of Abuse
 Consequences of child maltreatment include problems
in:
– emotion regulation
– attachment
– peer relations
– school
– psychological problems
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Review - Learning Goal 3
– Is there an ideal time to have children?
– What are the main parenting styles and which is most
effective?
– How are children affected by having working parents?
– What characterizes children in divorced families?
– How is ethnicity related to parenting children?
– What is the nature of child abuse?
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