Chapter Outline

I. Overview
      A. Typical Symptoms and Associated Features of Life-Cycle Transitions
      B. Classification of Life-Cycle Transitions
            1. Brief Historical Perspective
            2. Contemporary Classification of Life-Cycle Transitions

II. The Transition to Adulthood
       A. Typical Symptoms and Associated Features of the Adult Transition
             1. Identity Crisis
             2. Changes in Roles and Relationships
             3. Emotional Turmoil
       B. Classification of Identity Conflicts
       C. Epidemiology of Identity Conflicts
       D. Etiological Considerations and Research on the Adult Transition
       E. Treatment During the Transition to Adult Life

III. Family Transitions
       A. Typical Symptoms and Associated Features of Family Transitions
              1. Family Conflict
              2. Emotional Distress
              3. Cognitive Conflicts
       B. Classification of Troubled Family Relationships
       C. Epidemiology of Family Transitions
       D. Etiological Considerations and Research on Family Transitions
              1. Psychological Factors
                     a. Communication Problems
                     b. Family Roles
              2. Social Factors
              3. Biological Factors
       E. Treatment During Family Transitions
              1. Prevention Programs
              2. Couples Therapy and Family Therapy
                     a. Behavioral Marital Therapy
                     b. Treating Individual Problems with Couples Therapy or Family

IV. Aging and the Transition to Later Life
      A. Ageism
      B. Typical Symptoms and Associated Features of Aging
             1. Physical Functioning and Health
                    a. Menopause
                    b. Sensation and Physical Movement
             2. Life Satisfaction, Work, and Relationships
                    a. Integrity versus Despair
                    b. Relationships
             3. Grief and Bereavement
             4. Mental Health
      C. Classification of Aging
      D. Epidemiology of Aging
      E. Etiological Considerations and Research on the Aging Transition
      F. Treatment of Psychological Problems in Later Life

Learning Objectives

After reviewing the material presented in this chapter, you should be able to:

    1.     Define life-cycle transition.

      2.   Understand that life-cycle transitions may play a role in the
           development of psychopathology.

    3.     Describe Erikson's psychosocial moratorium and identity crisis.

    4.     Define Marcia's four identity statuses.

    5.    Describe some common gender differences that occur in the transition
      to adulthood.

    6.     Identify ways in which power struggles, intimacy struggles, affiliation,
           interdependence, and scapegoating impact upon the family structure.

    7.     Describe Gottman's four communication problems, giving examples for
           each type of problem.

    8.     Describe some premarital and marital therapy treatment programs.

      9.   Compare Bowlby's and Kubler-Ross's model of grieving in


      10.   Identify typical psychological and physiological processes in young-old,
            old-old, and oldest-old adults.

      11.Describe some gender differences in adults in later life in terms of
Key Terms - Matching #1

The following terms related to adjustment disorders and difficult life events are
important to know. To test your knowledge, match the following terms with their
definitions. Answers are listed at the end of the chapter.

       a.     Adjustment disorders                 k.    Identity crisis
       b.     Life-span development                l.    Intimacy versus self-absorption
       c.     Life-cycle transitions               m.    Generativity versus stagnation
       d.     Transition to adult life             n.    Integrity and despair
       e.     Family transitions                   o.    Family life cycle
       f.     Transition to later life             p.    Early adult transition
       g.     Interpersonal diagnoses              q.    Midlife transition
       h.     Crisis of the healthy personality     r.   Late adult transition
       i.     Identity                             s.    Social clocks
       j.     Identity versus role confusion

 1.  ____ the challenge in establishing intimate relationships, balanced
          between closeness and independence
 2.  ____ clinically significant symptoms in response to stress that are not
         severe enough to warrant classification as another mental disorder
 3.  ____ career and family accomplishments with purpose or direction versus
           lacking purpose or direction
 4.  ____ struggles in the process of moving from one social or psychological
        stage of adult development into a new one
 5.  ____ a series of normal conflicts related to change as the comfortable and
           predictable conflicts with the fearsome but exciting unknown
 6.  ____ becoming less driven by internal and external demands and
         developing more compassion for ourselves and others
 7.  ____ classification of psychological problems that reside within the context
          of human relationships rather than within an individual
 8.  ____ age-related goals for ourselves
 9.  ____ a period of basic uncertainty about self
 10. ____ the challenge of adolescence and young adulthood, this stage

           involves integrating various role identities into a global sense of self
 11.   ____ continuities and changes in behavior from infancy through the last
              years of life
 12.   ____ looking back on one's life with either a sense of acceptance and
            pride or anger and despair
 13    ____ global sense of self
 14.   ____ the changing roles and relationships of later life
 15.   ___ the developmental course of family relationships throughout life
 16.   ____ in the middle years of life; includes birth of first child and divorce
 17.   ____ in the late teens and early twenties; struggling with identity, career,
               and relationship issues
 18.   ____ moving away from family and assuming adult roles
 19.   ____ major changes in life roles like retirement, grief over death of loved
              ones, and aging and facing mortality

Key Terms - Matching #2

The following terms related to adjustment disorders and difficult life events are
important to know. To test your knowledge, match the following terms with their
definitions. Answers are listed at the end of the chapter.

          1.   Moratorium                       13. Gene-environment correlation
          2.   Identity diffusion               14. Rational suicide
          3.   Identity foreclosure       15. Scapegoat
          4.   Identity moratorium              16. Heritability
          5.   Identity achievement             17. Heritability ratio
          6.   Alienated identity achievement   18. Criticism
          7.   Empty nest                       19. Contempt
          8.   Power struggles                  20. Defensiveness
          9.   Intimacy struggles               21. Stonewalling
         10.   Boundaries                       22. Androgynous couples
         11.   Reciprocity                      23. Behavioral marital therapy
         12.   Demand and withdrawal pattern     24. Assisted suicide

 a.    ____ an elderly adult choosing to end their life
 b.    ____ couples in which both husbands and wives have high levels of
            masculinity and femininity
 c.    ____ the adjustment that occurs when adult children leave the family

 d. ____ a new identity status common in the 1960s, where one's definition of
           self is alienated from many values held by the larger society
 e. ____ attacking someone's personality rather than his or her actions
 f. ____ emphasizes the couple's moment-to-moment interaction, focusing on
           exchange of positive and negative behaviors, style of
           communication, and strategies for problem-solving
 g. ____ where the wife becomes increasingly demanding and the husband
           withdraws further and further as time passes
 h. ____ a statistic used for summarizing the genetic contributions to
           behavioral characteristics; equal to the variance due to genetic
    factors divided by the total variance in a behavioral characteristic
 i. ____ the category of being in the middle of an identity crisis and actively
           searching for adult roles
 j. ____ a form of self-justification, such as denying responsibility or blaming
           the other person
 k. ____ social exchange of cooperation and conflict
 l. ____ a pattern of isolation and withdrawal
 m. ____ attempts to change dominance relations
 n. ____ a time of uncertainty about self and goals
 o. ____ a family member who is held to blame for all of a family's troubles
 p. ____ attempts to alter the degree of closeness in a relationship
 q. ____ the category of having questioned childhood identity but not actively
           searching for new adult roles
 r. ____ a nonrandom association between inborn characteristics and
           environmental experience
 s. ____ the category of having questioned one's identity and having
           successfully decided on long-term goals
 t.  ____ an insult motivated by anger and intended to hurt the other person
 u. ____ the rules of a relationship
 v. ____ the relative contribution of genes to behavioral characteristics
 w. ____ the category of having never questioned oneself or one's goals but
           instead proceeding along the predetermined course of one's               childhood com
x. ____ a medical professional helping a disabled person end their life

Key Terms - Matching #3

The following terms related to adjustment disorders and difficult life events are
important to know. To test your knowledge, match the following terms with their
definitions. Answers are listed at the end of the chapter.

   a. Ageism                              j. Obsessive reminiscence

   b.   Menopause                       k. Narrative reminiscence
   c.   Estrogen                        l. Grief
   d.   Hormone replacement therapy     m. Bereavement
   e.   Reminiscence                    n. Gerontology
   f.   Integrative reminiscence        o. Young-old adults
   g.   Instrumental reminiscence p. Old-old adults
   h.   Transitive reminiscence         q. Oldest-old adults
   i.   Escapist reminiscence           r. Behavioral gerontology

 1.     ____   the cessation of menstruation
 2.     ____   descriptive rather than interpretive
 3.     ____   misconceptions and prejudices about aging
 4.     ____   the recounting of personal memories of the distant past
 5.     ____   the multidisciplinary study of aging
 6.     ____   a female sex hormone that fluctuates during menopause
 7.     ____   the emotional and social process of coping with a separation or loss
 8.     ____   adults ages 85 and older
 9.     ____   an attempt to achieve a sense of self-worth, coherence, and                reconc
 10.    ____   preoccupation with failure; full of guilt, bitterness, and despair
 11.    ____   adults roughly between the ages of 65 and 75; those in good health
               and active in their communities
 12. ____      a subdiscipline of health psychology and behavioral medicine which
               focuses on the study and treatment of behavioral components of
               health and illness among older adults
 13.    ____   a specific form of grieving in response to the death of a loved one
 14.    ____   the administration of artifical estrogen
 15.    ____   full of glorification of the past and deprecation of the present
 16.    ____   includes both direct moral instruction and storytelling with clear moral
               implications; serves the function of passing on cultural heritage and
               personal legacy
 17. ____      adults roughly between the ages of 75 and 85; those who suffer from
               major physical, psychological, or social problems and require some
               routine assistance in living
 18. ____      the review of goal-directed activities and attainments reflecting a
               sense of control and success in overcoming life's obstacles

Names You Should Know - Matching

The following people have played an important role in research and theory of
adjustment disorders and difficult life transitions. To test your knowledge, match

the following names with the descriptions of their contributions to the study of
abnormal psychology. Answers are listed at the end of the chapter.

   a. Erik Erikson            c. Karen Horney          e. John Gottman
   b. Daniel Levinson               d. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

   1. ____   theorized that people have competing needs to move toward, to
             move away from, and to move against others
   2. ____   widened the emphasis of adult development to social as well as
             psychological tasks
   3. ____   developed a stage theory of grieving in bereavement
   4. ____   developed a stage theory of psychosocial development from birth to
   5. ____   focused on communication patterns in marital interaction

Review of Concepts - Fill in the Blank and True/False

This section will help focus your studying by testing whether you understand the
concepts presented in the text. After you have read and reviewed the material, test
your comprehension and memory by filling in the following blanks or circling the right
answer. Answers are listed at the end of the chapter.

1. The DSM-IV has a comprehensive, detailed section on adjustment disorders and
      other conditions besides mental disorders that may be the focus of
      psycho-therapy:     true          false
2. Erikson focused more on the __________________________ side of
      "psychosocial" development, while Levinson focused more on the
      _________________________ aspects.
3. Research has shown that       adolescents or adults experience more
      intense emotions.
4. The development of identity has been         focused on or neglected
      by researchers.
5. The "forgotten half" refers to youth who do not _______________________.
6. Research suggests that the most successful young adults have parents who strike a

       balance between continuing to provide support and____________
      and allowing their children increasing______________________________.
7. For women in traditional roles, identity often develops out of______________.
8. Marital satisfaction       increases or decreases following the birth
      of the first child.
9. Family members with happy relationships ____________________ negative
      comments and ________________________ positive ones.
10. Research shows that men but not women experience high emotional arousal as
11. About _____________ of all existing marriages will end in divorce.
12. Whites or blacks          are more likely to remarry following divorce.
13. Androgynous couples had marriages that were higher or lower
      in satisfaction than nonandrogynous couples.
14. Research indicates that the Premarital Relationship Enhancement Program
      is or is not        effective in increasing marital satisfaction over time.

15. Behavioral marital therapy has been shown to be more effective than other          therapy appro
16. Couples therapy can be effective in alleviating a person's depression:
             true             false
17. Men or women            have a shorter life expectancy.
18. Older people are less satisfied with their lives: true             false
19. Personality has been found to be consistent from middle age to old age:
             true             false
20. Physical activity and physical health are some of the best predictors of
      psycho-logical well-being among older adults:             true           false
21. Hormone replacement therapy increases the risk for cancer:
             true         false
22. Visual acuity actually increases with age:           true          false

23. Older adults report fewer positive relationships and a declined sense of mastery
      over their environment than young and middle age adults:
              true      false
24. Researchers have found support for the stages of bereavement proposed by
      Kubler-Ross: true           false
25. Less intense bereavement predicts better long-term adjustment:
              true   false
26. The prevalence of mental disorders increases with age:          true       false
27. The risk of completed suicide is higher among the elderly:        true     false
28. Men apparently benefit more from ________________________ while women
benefit more from ________________________________________.

Multiple Choice Questions

The following multiple choice questions will test your comprehension of the material
presented in the chapter. Answers are listed at the end of the chapter.

1) The decline in the divorce rate is mostly due to:

      a.   more people completing marital therapy
      b.   the changing age of the U.S. population
      c.   divorce being less acceptable
      d.   people most prone to divorce not marrying in the first place

2) Which of the following groups has the highest suicide rate?

      a. teenagers                        c. middle-aged adults
      b. young adults                           d. adults over the age of 65

3) Which of the following includes various struggles in the process of moving from
     one social or psychological "stage" of adult development into a new stage?

      a. life cycle transitions                  c. developmental tasks of adult life

      b. transition to adult life               d. family transitions

4) Approximately __________ of couples seen in behavioral marital therapy do not
      improve significantly.

      a. 30 percent                             c. 50 percent
      b. 40 percent                             d. 60 percent

5) According to Erikson, which of the following stages is the major challenge of
      adolescence and young adulthood?

      a. integrity versus despair               c. intimacy versus self-absorption
      b. generativity versus stagnation         d. identity versus role confusion

6) On the average, marital happiness declines following___________________.

      a. the death of a family member           c. the emptying of the family nest
      b. the birth of the first child           d. the fifth year of marriage

7) Which of the following refers to youth who do not attend college and who often
     assume marginal roles in U.S. society?

      a. "Transient Youth"                      c. "Alienated Youth"
      b. "Generation X"                         d. "Forgotten Half"

8) When reviewing the various models of adult development, which of the following
must be taken into consideration?

      a. that history, culture, and personal values influence views about which kinds
             of "tasks" are normal during adult development
      b. that transitions or "crises" may not be as predictable as the models imply
      c. some people may not pass through a particular stage of development
      d. all of the above

9) Research indicates that depression is more closely linked to __________ for
      women, while it is more closely liked to __________ for men.

      a. marital conflict; divorce

      b. divorce; marital conflict
      c. poor support system; financial difficulties
      d. financial difficulties; poor support system

10) The ratio of men to women __________ at older ages.

      a.   increases
      b.   decreases
      c.   is approximately equal
      d.   stays relatively the same across the age span

11) Erik Erikson highlighted __________ as a common theme that occurs throughout
      life cycle transitions.

      a. uncertainty                              c. remorse
      b. conflict                                 d. acceptance

12) Estimates indicate that about __________ of all of today's marriages will end in

      a. 30 percent                               c. 50 percent
      b. 40 percent                               d. 60 percent

13) Epidemiological evidence indicates that the prevalence of mental disorders is
      __________ among adults 65 years of age and older as compared to younger

      a.   lower
      b.   higher
      c.   about the same
      d.   it is unknown due to the difficulty in studying this population

14) Which of the following identifies people who are in the middle of an identity
     crisis and who are actively searching for adult roles?

      a.   alienated identity achievement
      b.   identity moratorium
      c.   identify diffusion
      d.   identity foreclosure

15) All of the following are emphasized by behavioral marital therapy EXCEPT:

      a.   the couple's moment-to-moment interactions
      b.   strategies for solving problems
      c.   extensive clinical interview of relationship patterns in the couple's families
      d.   the couple's style of communication

16) Family life cycle theorists classify adult development according to which of the

      a.   the tasks and transitions of family life
      b.   the adult's memories of their childhood and adolescence
      c.   the tasks and transitions of psychological challenges of adulthood
      d.   all of the above

17) Psychological research suggests that the most successful young adults have
      which kind of parents?

      a. parents who are strict and authoritarian
      b. parents who are supportive and could be characterized as their children's
            "best friend"
      c. parents who strongly encourage individuation and provide opportunities for
            their children to take on numerous responsibilities at an early age
      d. parents who strike a balance between continuing to provide support and
            supervision of their children while allowing them increasing

18) Which of the following individuals theorized that people have competing needs
     to move toward, to move away from, and to move against others?

      a. Erik Erikson                            c. Karen Horney
      b. Daniel Levinson                  d. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

19) __________ struggles are attempts to change dominance relations, whereas
      __________ struggles are attempts to alter the degree of closeness in a

      a. Intimacy; power                         c. Conflict; relational
      b. Power; intimacy                         d. Relational; conflict

20) A study of adults over the age of 70 found that both men and women listed which
      of the following as the most common contribution to a negative quality of life
      in their later years?

      a. poor health                           c. financial difficulties
      b. death of a spouse                     d. interpersonal problems

21) All of the following are true of the "V codes" in the DSM-IV EXCEPT:

      a. they do not include an extensive summary of life difficulties
      b. they are similar to other diagnoses in the DSM in that they are diagnosed as
             mental disorders
      c. they include issues such as bereavement, identity problems, and phase of
             life problems.
      d. all of the above are true of "V codes"

22) Lisa and Mike have been married for four years. Recently, they have been
      arguing more than usual. Whenever they get into an argument, Lisa engages in
      a pattern of isolation and withdrawal, ignoring Mike's complaints and virtually
      ceasing all communication with him. According to the four basic
      communication problems identified by John Gottman, Lisa is engaged in which
      of the following?:

      a. stonewalling                          c. defensiveness
      b. contempt                              d. criticism

23) According to your text, all of the following are true of hormone replacement
      therapy EXCEPT:

      a. it alleviates some of the psychological strains associated with adverse
             physical symptoms of menopause
      b. reduces the subsequent risk for heart and bone disease
      c. increases the risk for cancer
      d. decreases symptoms of depression, which are often associated with

24) Alternative lifestyles not withstanding, evidence indicates that __________ of
      the adults in the United States get married during their adult lives.

      a. 40 percent                                 c. 75 percent
      b. 60 percent                                 d. 90 percent

25) One criticism of Erikson's theories is:

      a. the stages are inappropriate for certain developmental levels
      b. the theories are too broad and general and are not applicable to a large
            proportion of the population
      c. they are not very accurate in outlining developmental stages
      d. the theories focus on men to the exclusion of women

26) According to Canadian psychologists Paul Wong and Lisa Watt, which of the
      following is associated with less successful adjustment in later life?

      a. obsessive reminiscence          c. instrumental reminiscence
      b. transitive reminiscence                d. integrative reminiscence

27) Family therapists and family researchers often blame difficulties in negotiating
      family transitions on which of the following?

      a. low motivation                             c. difficulty identifying problem areas
      b. problems with communication                d. all of the above

28) Which of the following is NOT a stage of adult development in Erikson's model?

      a. intimacy versus self-absorption            c. assurance versus apprehension
      b. integrity versus despair                   d. generativity versus stagnation

29) Research on identity achievement indicates that __________ may have rejecting
      and distant families, while __________ may have overprotective families.

      a.   identity diffusers; identity foreclosers
      b.   identity foreclosers; identity diffusers
      c.   identity achievers; alienated identity achievers
      d.   alienated identity achievers; identity achievers

30) All of the following are stages included in the Family Developmental Tasks
      through the Family Life Cycle EXCEPT:

     a. childbearing                                c. aging family members
     b. launching center                            d. death and dying
Understanding Research - Fill in the Blank

The Heritability of Divorce: The text presents a detailed description of a study by
McGue and Lykken in the Research Close-Up. Finding the answers to these questions
will help you get a good understanding of this study and why it is important. It is not
necessary to memorize the answers; the process of finding them in the textbook will
help you learn the material you need to know.

1. Behavior geneticists have increasingly emphasized that people make their own
_____________________________. Some people are risk _______________ who
constantly seek thrills, while others are risk-___________________ who seek stable,
predictable environments. Family transitions may be partially determined by a
person's ________________________, which may be influenced by ____________
factors. In this sense, ____________________ may be genetic. The sample in this
study included more than ___________ MZ and DZ twin pairs. MZ twins with divorced
co-twins were more than ______ times as likely to be divorced as MZ twins with
never-divorced __________________. For DZ twins, the risk was less than _______
times higher if the co-twin was divorced than if the co-twin was never divorced. The
heritability of divorce was calculated at ______________.

2. Clearly, there is no divorce ___________. Since divorce does not occur at
random, children from divorced and married families differ in more ways than
_____________________________________. Over the past hundred years, divorce
rates have gone from ___________ to ___________. Environmental ____________
can eliminate or increase divorce. Therefore, the issue is genes ________
environment. As well as personality traits, physical ___________________________
or age at _________________ may be factors. People may find divorce more
______________________________________ if their identical versus fraternal twin
has been divorced.

The Concept of Heritability: The text discusses this type of research in the Research
Methods section. Finding the answers to these questions will help you get a good

understanding of these issues.
3. The _______________________ is the most common method used in behavior
genetics. Environmental factors are implicated in the etiology of a disorder when the
concordance rate for MZ twins is _____________________________. Why do some
experts view the heritability ratio as representing a false dichotomy?______________

4. Heritability estimates do not reflect the range of environments that are
theoretically _______________________. If everyone had an identical environment,
then all differences between people would be caused by
__________________________. __________________________ may matter more
than we are able to detect in contemporary research.

Brief Essay

As a final exercise, write out answers to the following brief essay questions. Then
compare your answers with the material presented in the text.

After you have answered these questions, review the "critical thinking" questions that
are presented at the end of the text chapter. Answering these questions will help you
integrate important issues and themes that have been featured throughout the

1. Discuss the stages of Erik Erikson's model of adult development. What do you
consider to be the strengths of this model? What are some of its weaknesses?

2. Outline the psychological, social, and biological factors that may contribute to
difficulties in family transitions. Which factors do you think are most important when
identifying the etiology of family transition difficulties?

3. Review the six categories of reminiscence identified by Paul Wong and Lisa Watt.
Which categories appear to be related to successful aging? Which appear to be
associated with less successful adjustment in later life? Which category do you think
will best describe your reminiscence later in life? Why?

4. Discuss the various categories of identity conflicts as presented in your text.
Presently, which category do you fit best in? Why?


Key Terms - Matching #1                             Names You Should Know

 1.   l               11.   b                                    1. c
 2.   a               12.   n                                    2. b
 3.   m               13.   i                            3. d
 4.   c               14.   r                                    4. a
 5.   h               15.   o                                    5. e
 6.   q               16.   e
 7.   g               17.   d
 8.   s               18.   p
 9.   k               19.   f
10.   j

Key Terms - Matching #2              Key Terms - Matching #3

a.        14   m.     8                             1.   b       10.    j
b.        22   n.     1                             2.   k       11.    o
c.        7    o.     15                            3.   a       12.    r
d.        6    p.     9                             4.   e       13.    m
e.        18   q.     2                             5.   n       14.    d
f.        23   r.     13                            6.   c       15.    i
g.        12   s.     5                             7.   l       16.    h
h.        17   t.     19                            8.   q       17.    p
i.        4    u.     10                            9.   f       18.    g
j.        20   v.     16
k.        11   w.     3
l.        21   x.     24

Multiple Choice

1. d           6. b             11. b 16. a 21. b        26. a
2. d           7. d             12. b       17. d        22. a          27. b
3. a           8. d             13. a       18. c        23. d          28. c

4. c         9. a        14. b        19. b         24. d       29. a
5. d        10. b        15. c        20. a         25. d       30. d

Review of Concepts

1.     false                                  15.   false
2.     psychological; social                  16.   true
3.     adolescents                            17.   men
4.     neglected                              18.   false
5.     attend college                         19.   true
6.     supervision; independence              20.   true
7.     relationships                          21.   true
8.     decreases                              22.   false
9.     ignore; reciprocate                    23.   false
10.    negative                               24.   false
11.    40%                                    25.   true
12.    whites                                 26.   false
13.    higher                                 27.   true
14.    is                                     28.   marriage; happy relationships

Understanding Research

1. environments; takers; adverse; personality; genetic; divorce; 1,500; six;
      probands; two; .525

2. gene; their parents' marital status; zero; 50 percent; thresholds; and;
      attractiveness; marriage; socially acceptable

3. twin study; less than 100 percent; because all behavior is the product of genes
      and environment

4. possible; genetics; Environments


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