By Frank J. Infurna, PhD, ASU Pathways to Character Study
There is a widely held belief and stereotype that people stop developing once they reach midlife. Some have argued that not much is happening during this stage in life. The common discourse is that most individuals have been in a long-term job and are in the midst of raising their children and preparing them for adulthood. These beliefs persist because of the lack of research studies specifically targeting individuals in midlife who are between the ages of 50 and 65. The goal of our research study is to prove these statements wrong and show that there is a lot that can and does happen in midlife!
Midlife is an exciting time for several reasons.
First, individuals in midlife are involved in a complex interplay of multiple roles. This balancing act can be difficult. Individuals juggle family, career, and their social life while simultaneously dealing with changes in their health and the needs of their aging parents. For example, individuals in midlife are sandwiched between raising their children and “launching” them into adulthood, in addition to the changing relationship with their aging parents and in-laws due to greater involvement and potential caregiving-related duties.
Second, the current generation of Baby Boomers is going to be living longer than previous generations. The changing needs of Baby Boomers make it that much more important to study their health and well being as they navigate this crucial time in their life.
Third, if individuals have children, midlife is typically when people become grandparents, a role that can have a tremendous influence on one’s life.
Finally, along with the prospect of becoming a grandparent, the idea of retirement begins to surface, and the decision to retire can be difficult.
All of these changes and events can involve great joy, but also could potentially be a source of stress; this stress can take a major toll on one’s ability to function effectively in life.
As you can see, midlife is a fascinating period, and we want to learn more! Individuals in midlife have accumulated many experiences, both good and bad, but more is yet to come. The goal of our research study is to unearth all of the potential life events that may occur during midlife. Essentially, we want to learn more about how it is that people in midlife change over time and how they react and overcome the difficulties encountered.
If you are between the ages of 50 and 65 and would like to help us better understand development during this exciting period in life, please contact us to learn more about our research study and start the enrollment process. The research study involves the completion of online monthly questionnaires for a period of two years. By participating, you can earn up to $250 by spending 30 to 45 minutes completing a monthly questionnaire.
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