I just finished writing an essay on developmental psychology during midlife (generally defined as 40-65 years old) for my post-grad – and the topic is pretty apt as I’m heavily involved in working with women at this time in their lives. I’m also in this practice myself! A lot of the stuff I already knew through my experience working in this area but it’s sooo interesting…

The Stories We Tell Ourselves…

You probably know, that cultural narratives at midlife tell women either that they’ll either be experiencing hot flashes, osteoporosis, heart disease, or socially devaluing things like “empty nest” syndrome or being passed over for a younger woman or being depressed. These culturally-based negative stereotypes can be a self-fulfilling prophecy if they are not countered with alternative scenarios.

A Recent Study.

A study of white women’s midlife experiences in New York found that the successful negotiation of our midlife transformation was associated with a variety of things such as An annual family income of $30,000, a confidante or a group of close women friends, good health and high self-esteem.

Also factors like lack of self-denigration, high self-efficacy, a benign superego, established goals for the future, a positive life narrative, and the feeling that they had a right to ‘a life.’

Another factor was positive midlife role models and positive feelings about their appearance. So in spite of being an often challenging stage of life, 72.5% of the women studied described themselves as happy or very happy!

What Do You Feel?

This study clearly based on a very western/affluent mindset, but all things considered, would you say this is applicable to your experiences?

Find Out More

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