Off-campus Pacific University users: To download campus access theses and dissertations, please log into our proxy server with your PUNet ID and password.

Non-Pacific University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis or dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Theses or dissertations that have a specific embargo period indicated below will not be available to anyone until the date indicated.

Date of Award

7-25-1997

Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology

Committee Chair

Markya Biaggio, PhD

Abstract

Current popular theory on adult psychological development neglects the period of midlife in general and the lives of midlife women in particular. Adult developmental theory focuses on traditional roles and challenges for women. This focus does not reflect the complexity and diversity of women's lives today, especially women in midlife. As people live longer lives and depart from traditional roles, it is important to identify gaps in out knowledge about midlife. without a better understanding of midlife women, neither theorists nor clinicians can address the unique challenges that face these women. this paper presents a critical review of selected literature on popular developmental theories, concentrating on theoretical conceptions of adult development in women during their middle years. Two models of adult psychological development, age/stage and timing of events, are presented. Within each of these models two theorists have been selected for greater security. Within the age/stage theory, Levinson and Sheehy are critiqued, and within the timing of events model, critique focuses on Neugarten and Schlossberg. Throughout this paper, assumptions and biases that limit our understanding of women in their middle years are discussed. Finally, implications for clinical practice with midlife women are briefly considered, along with suggestions for future theoretical focus.

Share

COinS