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Emotional and Social Development in Early Adulthood Eriksons theory: Intimacy vs.

Isolation- what does it take to make a long-term commitment to another person? Intimacy requires that an independent person give up some of that independence and redefine his/her identity to include the interests of another. All of adult life is a dance of intimacy vs. independence. Then include differing needs for connection, fears of abandonment or being overwhelmed, and its a challenging work in progress. People who have achieved intimacy are cooperative, tolerant, and accepting of differences. They can accept times of aloneness without fear of loneliness. If there is too great a sense of isolation, there will be fears of forming close ties, due to fears of loss of identity or freedom. These people are more competitive than cooperative, easily threatened if another gets too close, and not accepting of anothers differences. IF there is successful resolution of this conflict, a person can go on to develop generativity- caring for the next generation and helping to improve society. Child-bearing usually occurs in the 20s and 30s, while contributions to society may occur later. As children come into the picture, values and focus will shift with those demands. Levinsons Seasons of Life theory developed out of in-depth interviews with 40 men (35-45 years old) from 4 occupations. Later he interviewed 40 women in the same age group from 3 occupational groups. He sought to find a common path of change in adulthood. Levinson believed there were stages with tasks inherent to each one. He believed each stage began with a transition, lasting about 5 years. Between transitions there are periods of 5 7 years that are stable, during which a person builds a life structure. Life structure is the underlying design of a persons life: relationships with significant others and occupations. This structure is designed to harmonize inner and outer demands to enhance quality of life. When a current structure is questioned, then a transition will ensue, leading to the next structure. Early adulthood is the time of greatest energy, contradiction and stress. It is also a time of intense satisfaction, as a person charts his/her own course in love, sexuality, family, occupation, setting life goals. All these areas entail serious decisionmaking, with other people, and often without adequate life experience to make solid decisions considering the ultimate outcome. (Maybe thats better- to make decisions assuming the very best, through rose-colored glasses. Its less inhibiting.) Dreams and mentors- during the early adult transition (age 17 22) most people construct a dream, an image of themselves in the adult world that will guide their decision making. The more specific the dream, the more motivating it is. Mens dreams often entail success in business and career. Mens dreams are more individualistic. If they include women, it is as supporters of their goals. Careeroriented women may have split dreams including both marriage and career. Womens dreams usually define self in terms of relationships with others. A relationship with a mentor will facilitate realizing their dreams. This is someone older and more experienced in the world a person wants to enter. They teach occupational skills and encourage the person, as well as help him/her in networking and finding opportunities. Occupationally this is easier for men than

women. So the 20s are a time when men acquire professional skills and credentials. Some women do this at this time, too, but many women wait until later to dig into a career path, as many women are taking care of young children. Age-30 transition serves as a time to reevaluate their life structure. If the person is still single, s/he will begin looking for a partner. Women who had immersed in marriage and child-bearing may begin to assert more individualistic goals. They may assert themselves more forcefully in the marriage, if they feel it is constricting their development. This period can be a real crisis if neither relationships nor occupation is successful. Settling down for Men means focusing on certain relationships and aspirations, and leaving others behind. They try to establish a niche in society consistent with their values: family, wealth, power, achievement. Continued instability for Women occurs as women often get side-tracked from a professional focus by child-bearing and family responsibilities. Most women dont attain the stability that men achieve in the early 30s until middle age.

Vaillants Adaptation to Life theory is based on a long-term study of 250 men born in the 1920s. They were selected while they were students at a competitive college and they underwent intense interviews. These interviews were repeated at ages 47, 60, & 70. He found that relationships with significant people were important in shaping the life course. Men spent a bit of time in the 20s developing a relationship, then they began career consolidation in the 30s, trying to get ahead in their profession. During the 40s they became more generative- guiding others. In their 50s and 60s they began showing concern for the cultural values they held. They began teaching others the traditions they felt were important to life. By their 70s they became more spiritual and reflective, considering the end of their lives and what life really meant. Limitations of these theories have to do with the cohort studied. Its possible that the patterns that defined the 20th century will not apply to the current generation, with all the cultural changes they have witnessed. Also Levinson and Vaillant didnt study lower SES people, whose lives are seriously challenged by poverty and debilitating life conditions. Blue-collar workers rarely implement an occupational dream. There is not a trajectory of advancement clearly available to them, so they perceive maturity as arriving sooner than for white-collar workers. The Social clock is the age-graded expectations that we hold for life events, such a fist job, getting married, having children, buying a house, retirement. Being seriously offtime can affect self-esteem, since even as adults we make social comparisons. Departure from the norm can affect personality development. Women who followed a feminine social clock (marriage and child bearing in the 20s) were more responsible, selfcontrolled, tolerant, and caring, but saw their self-esteem decline, and felt more vulnerable as they aged. Women who followed a masculine social clock (early career development) became more dominant, sociable, independent, and intellectually effective. Women who had not followed a social clock were suffering from self-doubt, feelings of incompetence, and loneliness. Today life expectations are broader for youth, and there is not as rigid a social clock as in the past, but generally following one lends confidence and skill-development in early adulthood.

Close relationships require finding a partner, building emotional bonds, and learning how to engage in true intimacy with another person. Romantic Love entails finding a partner to share ones life and dreams with. It enhances self-concept and well-being. o Selecting a mate usually means finding someone of similar background, age, ethnicity, SES and religion, in places where people like that congregate. It requires some physical proximity to develop a meaningful relationship. Most partners also share attitudes, education, IQ, and attractiveness. Other traits may be very different: gregarious vs. reserved, routine vs. sensation-seeking. But generally we seek and are attracted to people much like ourselves. Greater similarity leads to longer, more satisfying relationships. Men and women do place different values on different traits, though. Women weight intelligence, ambition, financial security, and moral character higher than men. Men weight physical attractiveness higher than women. Men prefer younger partners, women prefer older partners in general. Many of these differences have to do with evolutionary dynamics- what will it take to reproduce and take care of babies? Women value emotional commitment and financial security of men higher when they are at the child-bearing stage in life. Men look for traits of youth, fertility, sexuality, good health. Men also want to move quicker into sexual intimacy than women do. Women need some psychological intimacy before they become sexual with a man. Social learning theory suggests that due to the roles we learned at an early agemen being assertive and independent, women being nurturing- then we value in the opposite sex traits that fit a traditional division of labor. So, in more egalitarian cultures, men value womens financial resources as much as women do. They place more value on caring, love, & relationship satisfaction. Also the preferences in a partner reflect early parent-child bonding and what felt like love in that relationship. Timing is also crucial. o Components of love- Triangular theory of love (Sternberg) suggests love has 3 components: intimacy, passion, and commitment. Intimacy has to do with emotions of tenderness, warmth, concern for others, desire for partner to reciprocate. Passion is the sexual component, as well as romance- the physical arousal component. Commitment is the cognitive component- how will we maintain this love? Passionate love is the stuff of the beginning of a relationship- the courting, sexual attraction. It declines as the partner becomes more known, less idealized. Few long-term relationships maintain this level of attraction (Even Taylor and Burton burned out after 2 marriages and multiple affairs.) Companionate love is formed with intimacy and commitment- as partners develop warm, trusting affection and offer caregiving. Solid long-term relationships involve both types of love at different stages. It requires this glue to hold a couple together as the newness of a relationship wears off. In the first year of marriage, partners say they are less in love and less satisfied, since

they do fewer of the things that captured their love in the first place: talking, sweet things that show love. There was more time spent doing chores, and less time engaged in pleasurable leisure activities. If they survive the initial disappointment, they can develop a comfortable, committed love environment. Commitment determines if a relationship will survive. Communication of commitment requires warmth, forgiveness, sensitivity, acceptance, and respect. People may be committed, but if they dont express it in a meaningful way to the partner, it isnt important. Greater expression leads to higher-quality relationships. That includes positive, constructive conflict resolution. When a couple can raise issues gently, and avoid escalating into vindictiveness, along with criticism, contempt, defensiveness, or stonewalling they can overcome bumps in the road of love. This often depends on mens abilities to communicate their needs and difficulties in ways that dont destroy the esteem of the partner. o Culture and the experience of love- passion and love only became the basis for marriage in 20th century Western countries. Before that, marriage was seen as a financial partnership, with attendant responsibilities on the families. As the emphasis on individualism and autonomy increased, love was expanded to include marriage and lifetime commitment. Eastern cultures actually use words for love that mean to depend on anothers benevolence. Dependency is viewed positively in those countries, but in the West it has been progressively viewed as a weakness. The Chinese view the self in terms of role relationships, not so much as an independent self. It is a communal environment, meaning affection is spread amongst a variety of relationships, with no one relationship holding sway. So choosing a partner must include the desires of the network of family. Of the 3 aspects of love, intimacy and commitment are more important than passion in Asia. o Attachment patterns and romantic relationships- early attachment patterns predict the quality of later intimate relationships. That early attachment bond sets up an internal working model, or expectations about love figures. It also relates to quality of parenting and attachments formed in those relationships. Secure attachment- those with secure attachments to a caregiver viewed themselves as likable, open to others, comfortable with intimacy, with few fears of abandonment or intimacy. They describe their love relationships as trusting, happy, and the partner as a friend. They were willing to turn to the partner for comfort, and they described satisfying sexual behavior. Avoidant attachment- those with an avoidant attachment history (demanding, disrespectful, critical parents) had internal models heavy on independence, mistrusting of partners, and anxious about people getting too close. They believe others dislike them and true love is hard to find or doesnt last. Their relationships are

characterized by jealousy, emotional distance, little enjoyment of physical contact. They may become workaholics or engage in affairs to prove their theory that love cant be counted on. Resistant attachment- this includes parents who were unpredictable or unfair. These people set up intense relationships characterized by fears of abandonment and smothering of the partner. They experienced extreme highs and lows in a relationship. They have poor boundaries with others, disclosing inappropriately to others too early in the relationship. This leaves them vulnerable to unscrupulous people who would exploit their neediness. They have a poor view of their own lovability. Characteristics of the partner also affect romantic relationships. Those partners who feel internal security about themselves fostered security in their partner. So a healthy relationship can help a person from a troubled background overcome some of the deficits of their background. o Keeping love alive in a romantic partnership Make time for the relationship Tell your partner you love him/her. Be available in times of need. Communicate without judgment about problems Show an interest in important parts of the partners life Confide in the partner Forgive and develop empathy for the other. Friendships are usually similar in background, age, interests, & needs. Friends offer affirmation and acceptance, support during difficulty. Sharing deep feelings and needs may be more open in a friendship than a marriage, especially for women. o Same-sex friendships are more intimate for women than men. Women enjoy just talking, while men choose to do some activity together, especially sports. Unfortunately men feel competitive with other men, so they describe barriers to deep friendships with other men, in the form of resistance to revealing any vulnerabilities or needs unmet. Longer term male friendships do increase in self-disclosure. Single adults particularly rely on friends for companions and confidants. When people marry, however, they shift that role to love partner. o Other-sex friendships occur less often and dont last as long as same-sex friendships. Women tend to form them in college and later in the workplace, especially highly educated women. Men and women disclose more to women, but women can learn important things about male motivations & taking a more objective stance from a male friend. Most friends try to keep the relationship platonic, knowing that sex would compromise the friendship aspect of the relationship.

o Siblings as friends- especially sisters become companions in adulthood. Rivalries from the past subside as sibs develop a different type of supportive relationship. Close sib relationships predict mental health. Loneliness is the unhappiness that results from a difference between the relationships we have and the ones we want. It can relate to an absence of a love relationship or friendships. It peaks during late teens and early twenties, as people are making major life changes and adjusting to new environments. Older adults have experience with inconstant relationships and have lower expectations of others than young adults. Certain life conditions lend themselves to loneliness: separation, divorce, widowhood. Men feel lonelier than women when not in a love relationship. Moving from a collectivist culture to an individualistic culture can produce loneliness in immigrants. Certain characteristics relate to loneliness: shyness, social anxiety, self-defeating behaviors, such as poor self-evaluation, insensitivity to others, fear of self-disclosure. Loneliness can motivate people to learn new skills, try new activities, get a dog.

The Family Life Cycle is a sequence of phases in the development of most families. Early adulthood, people live on their own, then marry and bear children. In middle age children leave home, parenting responsibilities diminish and people spend more time and money on themselves if they dont have to care for an elderly parent, finally retiring, getting older, and loss of a spouse. Leaving home happens more often at earlier ages now than in the past. People leave for school, military, and for jobs, so they leave at different ages. Youth in chaotic and disturbing homes leave home earlier to escape the tension. Most leave home to experience their independence, even though that may mean living with a number of roommates to be able to afford it. If there are financial setbacks, however, most people feel they can return home if they have to. People who are better off, with higher-paying jobs have the freedom to live on their own before marriage. Those in poverty or in communal ethnic groups often remain home longer. Leaving home too early, unprepared, can result in long-term disadvantages, lack of education, less satisfying jobs, need for social support. Joining of families in marriage- people are waiting longer to marry today: ages 25 (M) and 27 (W). More people remain single today, or do not remarry after a divorce, or cohabit than in the past. Even so, 90% of people will marry at least once. 59% of adults are married at any time. Marriage represents connection between 2 family systems, with all the traditions and expectations inherent. Add to that trying to establish new, egalitarian, supportive roles between the spouses, and there is much adaptation and negotiation going on. o Marital roles encompass meals, time together and apart, leisure time decisions, sexual needs, financial decisions. Some of these things are not as emotionally charged as others, but the partners rarely know which topics are potential explosions until they face them. Without good communication and negotiation skills, the openness of the marriage will be compromised. Mixed marriages (mixed by race (6%), religion, ethnic traditions) represent even more negotiations. Age at marriage best predicts its stability. Those who marry early (teens, early 20s) are more likely to

divorce. These people have not established their own autonomy and individual self-worth as people who have lived independently. They may be escaping a bad home, too. Traditional marriages involve a clear division of labor between husband and wife. Mans responsibilities include economic provision; womans responsibilities have to do with making a home and providing for children. Many people have such a marriage when children are young, but when children become more independent, women take on outside jobs. Even so, it is hard to reestablish egalitarian roles after years of such job allocation. Egalitarian marriages have spouses relating as equals, with power and authority being shared. Both partners try to balance devotion to work with family responsibilities. Better-educated women expect this sort of marriage. Even so, division of labor in the home may not be equal. In US and Canada, women spend nearly twice as much time on housework as men do. o Marital satisfaction Men relate being happier in marriage than women. Being married enhances mens health, due to feelings of attachment, belonging, social support. Women need a certain relationship quality to feel satisfied in a relationship. So women suffer more when the relationship is having problems. Women also suffer under multiple role demands, feel overwhelmed by the needs of all the people in their circle. Women are more willing to work on the relationship through discussion, but men are more willing to withdraw from conflict, leading to frustration in the women. Factors related to satisfaction Similar family, SES, education, religion, age Marriage after age 23 Courtship of at least 6 months First pregnancy after at least a year of marriage Warm and positive relationship with extended family Stable marital patterns in extended family Secure employment, financial status Characteristics in partners of positive mood, supportiveness, good conflict-resolution skills o Marital expectations and myths marriages that report high levels of satisfaction are grounded in mutual respect, pleasure, comfort in the others company, shared problem-solving. They are also flexible in the face of life changes. Even since the womens movement in the 1960s, role expectation in marriage has not changed a lot- women play down their abilities, sacrifice parts of themselves for the good of the marriage, and men tend to limit their contribution to the marriage to the provider role. Myths that are not supported by evidence: Satisfaction increases through the first year of marriage. Quality of sex is predictor of satisfaction

If my spouse loves me, s/he should be able to anticipate my needs and meet them. No matter how I behave, the spouse should just love me. (Love means never having to say Im sorry Love Story) If partners believe these myths they will become progressively more disappointed and feel less satisfaction in the marriage. Those with a religious background, seeing marriage as sacred, offer more forgiveness, and see marriage in a more realistic light. Unfortunately, even though counseling could help troubled relationships early on, most people dont avail themselves of that avenue of help until the divisions in the couple are so wide there is no path of reconciliation. Partner abuse occurs in all cultures and SES. The type most often reported involves the husband as perpetrator and wife as victim of physical assault. But both parties are capable of abuse, and the interactions that trigger violence may be initiated by either partner. In a large Canadian study, 8% of women and 7% of men reported being abused physically in the past 5 years. Women are more likely to be seriously injured by assault, however. Men are more likely to be targets of hitting, slapping, kicking, or having objects thrown at them. Most womens assaults are described as self-defense after a history of abuse. But assaults are equally likely to be begun by either party. o Factors related to abuse include the cycle of abuse- escalation of verbal attacks, physical attack, remorse and forgiveness. These cycles act to cement the patterns, since both parties get reinforcement at different times. Many abusers are insecure in the relationship, becoming overly dependent, jealous, possessive, controlling. Minor issues can trigger bursts of anger in the perpetrator, which he has little motivation to control, if it has gotten him what he wanted in the past. People are notoriously able to control anger if it would cost them something dear- a job, for example. Most abusers grew up in homes where abuse was common and effective. Parents behaved abusively to children or animals, and these children had behavior disorders in childhood and teen years. Abuse of animals easily predicts abuse of a partner. Stressful life events can be used as an excuse for violence. Certain ethnic groups have higher rates of domestic violence: African Americans, Native Americans, Aboriginal peoples in Canada. These groups ascribe to cultural norms that endorse male dominance and female submissiveness. It also relates to alcohol abuse. So why dont people leave a violent relationship? Often the wife is dependent financially on the husband who abuses her. She may even think if shes tolerating the abuse, shes protecting the children from abuse. She often (rightly) fears escalation of violence if she attempts to leave. (She will be at 70X the risk of being murdered by a partner if she does try to leave.) S/he may feel embarrassed that others would know how bad it was and that s/he didnt tell anyone. Often family have already been trying to get the victim to leave, but s/he has been defending the partner, so that avenue of help has expired.

o Intervention and treatment include crisis hot-lines that offer counseling and information about shelters. Like overcoming an addiction, people often have to make multiple attempts to stay out of the relationship before they are completely out of the dangerous relationship. There is also therapy available to batterers, but most men dont go until they are arrested and mandated legally. This therapy confronts the rigid gender stereotypes, teaches communication, anger control, and offers social support to motivate changes in behavior. If alcohol is also a problem, it needs to be treated before there is much hope for long term changes. At least half who attend perp treatment do not stay with it, opting for a new relationship with a more compliant partner. If the partner does not choose to leave the relationship, it requires family therapy to try to reduce violence. Parenthood has become an active choice for couples, as birth control is available and effective today. There is less stigmatization for couples who remain childless. 70% of couples have children. It occurs later in life, and fewer children are born today than in the past (1.8 per family today in the US) o The decision to have children is based on financial circumstances, religious values, health concerns. Women with more traditional identities usually choose to have children. Those with high status, demanding jobs choose less often to have children. o Advantages of having children include warmth and affection, the fun that children offer, learning experiences, desire to pass on values, family name, feelings of accomplishment in raising successful children. o Disadvantages of having children include loss of freedom, burdens financially and in being tied down. (It is said to cost $260,000 to rear a child from birth through college. Go home and thank your folks!) The conflict between work responsibilities and family also is cited as a problem. o Transition to parenthood occurs in all areas: lost sleep, new tasks and responsibilities, less time for the couple, increased expenses. The roles become more traditional, even for egalitarian couples, so this can impose frustration on the couple. Loving, supportive marriages can usually manage the strain and will describe themselves as happy. Troubled marriages seem to become more distressed after a baby. Husbands negativity or out-of-control conflict predicts a drop in mothers satisfaction. The greater the difference in caregiving responsibilities, the greater the decline in marital satisfaction after childbirth. Interventions such as group experiences with other couples can get fathers more involved and enhance the fathers appreciation of what caregiving entails, increasing affirmation of mother, and satisfaction. o Additional births are choices, too, and entail similar stresses and joys. As women have entered the workforce, however, the decision to have fewer children has become more common. Divorce may intervene, too, before the couple has their family complete. Smaller families link to greater

marital satisfaction and healthier children, with higher IQ and greater school achievement. o Families with young children dont get a lot of social support in most Western communities, since parenting isnt seen as a high priority politically. SES, personality characteristics of parents and children, parenting styles all influence the development of the child and the family. Parents who forge a coparenting alliance have children who are healthier and develop well. Finding good day care is a challenge, too. The younger the children, the more day care costs, and it may not even be conveniently available for working parents. More women today are choosing to stay home with their babies when they are young. o Families with adolescents have a different challenge, as they are forced to revise their relationship with teens, offering greater freedom and more responsibility, as parents back off from some supervision. Teens bond more with peers and expand their goals in ways that parents dont always understand. Bickering in families increases for awhile before a new normal routine is established. o Parent education is more available than in the past, with courses offered at hospitals, and numerous books published. These sources give new parents a greater sense of confidence in their abilities, as well as social support to reassure them when they face difficulties. A Global perspective on family planning- in impoverished areas of the world, birth rates are high, signifying peoples desire to pass on something to the next generation. High birth rates plus poverty combine to increase child mortality rates, poorer opportunities for education and jobs, restrictive life choices, especially for women, and child labor. Without good family planning, there is often little sense of hope for life to improve. Social blights increase, such as overcrowding, malnutrition, homelessness, poor health. These things cycle into more serious social problems from generation to generation. Interventions include education and literacy programs for people, as well as family planning services. Literacy is essential for people to access the help available to them, though.

The Diversity of adult lifestyles has expanded since the 1960s. The traditional family is no longer the only option open to most people. Singlehood, not living with a partner, has increased, particularly among young adults. In the group of 30 34 year olds, 30% of males and 20% of females. are single. 8 10% of adults will remain single all their lives. Women are more likely to remain single longer than men. As the population ages, men are less available- they die at higher rates at every age, and they may no longer have the traits that women seek in a partner- better educated, financially successful. Men can select from more women and younger women, so they tend to partner up more readily than women. Singles over 30 are made up of more blue collar men and women in prestigious careers. African Americans are also highly represented, as well as unemployed men. Some people choose single lifestyle, but others default to singlehood as their career usurps much of their time, or they establish unmarried relationships that dont turn into marriage. Advantages are freedom

and flexibility, but there are drawbacks- loneliness, dating unpredictability, limited social or sex life, feelings of exclusion from the couple world. Single women may feel especially stressed as they pass the mid-30 mark, feeling the biological clock running out. Cohabitation is a lifestyle of unmarried couples who have an intimate, sexual relationship and share a residence. It has increased in all groups of people since the 1960s, especially among well-educated young people. 50% of couples choose this as an entry into marriage. Half of cohabitations involve at least one partner who is divorced. It may be regarded as preparation for marriage, or as an alternative to marriage. It is more common in Europe, where 70 90% of young people cohabit. 50% of cohabiting couples break up in 2 years in the US (6 16% in Europe). Couples who cohabit before marriage are more prone to divorce than couples who did not cohabit. This may be because these people hold less traditional values, are more liberal, less religious, more androgynous, or have parents who divorced, so they feel insecure about commitment anyway. Cohabiters are less likely to pool finances or jointly own a house. They also exhibit poorer conflict-resolution styles, so marital satisfaction is lessened if they do marriage. Sometimes people decide to marry when their financial status is more secure, even if they have already had children. Without legal protection for the union, however, there can be complications if a partner dies, especially if that partner had children. Then blood relatives can come in and usurp resources without regard for the live-in partner. Childlessness occurs when a partner has fertility problems, or the couple marries later in life. But many couples choose childlessness so they can be free to focus on the marriage or have freedom to travel, etc. If this is truly a choice, these couples describe contented marriage relationships. If this was a problem physically, they may describe themselves as less content. Divorce and remarriage- divorce rates have declined since the 1980s, as people get married later and are clearer about what they want in a partner. Half of American and 1/3 of Canadian marriages dissolve into divorce. It is more common in midlife people (especially those with teenagers) as well as after 7 years of marriage. of divorced people remarry. Failure is even greater with the second marriage- 7% above that of the first marriage rate. o Factors related to divorce have a lot to do with conflict-resolution styles. Unless both parties are open to hearing the other and trying to work out compromises that respect each persons needs, a marriage will implode. Some dry marriages arent characterized by conflict, but a polite separation and disappointment and hopelessness. Women report more problems in a marriage than men do, but that has to do with womens awareness of their emotional needs. Men tend to overlook their wives signs of distress, or gloss over it, dismissing any significant problem. The strongest links to divorce are: infidelity, spending money foolishly, substance abuse, moodiness, irritability and raging jealousy. Certain background characteristics set a couple up for failure: early marriage, no religious involvement, previous divorce, parents who are divorced. Also as women develop higher educational status and become independent

financially, divorce is a reasonable option to miserable coexistence. Women are twice as likely to initiate divorce as men. o Consequences of divorce are serious for all involved, even extended family. It represent a loss of dreams, lifestyle and replaces that with greater financial hardship, parenting responsibilities, and self-doubt. Both men and women display emotional problems, depression, anxiety. Women may feel the loss of identity if they held a traditional identity dependent on success in the home front. Fathers who have little contact with children often feel adrift emotionally. They are very motivated to find a replacement partner. Emotional problems are somewhat allayed by reconnecting with a new partner. It is especially important for men, who have fewer options for emotional support. Women who successfully overcome the destabilization of divorce often feel more self-confident and independent because of their ability to survive. Dependent women, on the other hand, often show drops in self-esteem, become seriously depressed and form instable relationships with poor judgment. o Remarriage occurs usually within 4 years after divorce, men sooner than women. All the complexities of a first marriage are compounded in a remarriage, adding extra people and relationships and past hurts to make people less tolerant and more suspicious. Blended families take 3 5 years to establish a sense of security and comfort. Variant styles of parenthood o Stepparents are in a hard position, since they rarely have the authority with the child that is necessary to manage the child. There is rarely an attachment bond that supports a disciplinary role, and if they have no children of their own, they may be rigid in their assessment of the other parents effectiveness with the child. Problems in discipline issues can impact the satisfaction of the couple. It is even more complex and potentially destabilizing when both parents have children and they share a residence (The Brady Bunch, it aint) Stepmothers particularly feel discomfort, since the home role is often the womans prerogative, but if they dont have a warm relationship with stepchildren, there can be jealousy and feelings of exclusion from the husband and his children. Stepfathers have more freedom to just befriend the stepchildren. o Never-married single parents parent 10% of American children (5% of Canadian). 90% are mothers. It is becoming more common for women with high-status jobs who havent married by late 30s to engage in various means to have their own children without a partner. The largest group of never-married parents is African-American women. 60% of births to black mothers in their 20s are to single women. This is somewhat due to the fact African-American men suffer more job loss, persisting unemployment. So these women engage help from extended family to care for their babies and find work. Children of never-married mothers without involvement of a father achieve less in school and act out more than children in intact

families. These families need more social support and employment opportunities to offer a stable home for children. o Gay and lesbian parents occur usually due to previous heterosexual marriages, or adoption or reproductive technologies. These parents are as committed and effective as parents as heterosexual parents. Gay men hold to less stereotyped gender roles, so they offer sensitive parenting and greater involvement with their children. Children in gay families are just as well-adjusted as other children. Career development aids in establishing a satisfying identity- as adults with satisfying work develop skills, sense their accomplishments, make friends and feel more financially independent and secure. Establishing a career o Men enter their careers earlier, as soon as they finish school, and they stay in the marketplace continuously. Women have more discontinuous career paths, being interrupted by family responsibilities. Not all people get into their chosen career. Half of students say they want a professional occupation, but only 20% actually get those jobs. People are often disappointed by the jobs they get- those in their 20s change jobs every 2 years. Promotion often seems to depend on job commitment and competitiveness in the worker. Very successful men emphasize their jobs over family responsibilities and leisure activities. Also a sense of selfefficacy makes a difference in promotion. Those people with fears of failure will tend to set lower goals for themselves. Mentoring also makes a difference in long term success. These are found at the midlevel in the corporate culture, since the big bosses rarely have time or interest to mentor. Women and ethnic minorities are still disadvantaged in pay scale and opportunities for advancement. Women, especially minorities pool in occupations that offer little in promotion or pay enhancement. Women earn $.82 on the $1.00 that men earn, but that is ascribed to the difference in career aspirations and areas. Women in female oriented workplaces move in and out of their workplace as they have children and other family responsibilities. Women remain out of the labor force more months over the lifespan than men do. Women in nontraditional careers usually display more masculine qualities such as competitiveness and achievement orientation, and expectations of success. Even so, they rarely move to the top echelons of power in male-dominated fields. There are fewer women at the top to mentor younger women, so males continue to dominate their chosen fields. Racial discrimination also operates in spite of laws against it, as white names get higher callbacks on their resumes than minority names. Ethnic minority women face a double-bind, although those who do succeed have high selfconfidence in their abilities, intense persistence, with supportive relationships and mentors who enabled them to succeed. Younger women who do succeed in a career report higher levels of life satisfaction. Combining work and family

o Dual-career marriage are challenging, particularly for women who carry so many role responsibilities- role overload. This links to stress, poorer marital relationships, poorer parenting, and child behavior problems. It is particularly a problem for people in poorer paying jobs, with fewer options about child care, time off, etc. Career decisions are more flexible for professional people, but moves are difficult, since both careers must be considered. Women are particularly afflicted with overload. o Strategies that help dual-earner couples combine work and family Have a plan for sharing household tasks Share caregiving as soon as the baby arrives Discuss conflicts over responsibilities Establish a balance between work and family Nurture your relationship as well as other people and responsibilities