Generativity versus Stagnation (Erikson’s Middle Age)
- Sarah PooleAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Emory University
- , John SnareyAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Emory University
Generativity is psychologist Erik H. Erikson’s term for the primary developmental task of the seventh stage of the life cycle – caring for and contributing to the life of the next generation. The developmental challenge of adults in their middle years is to be procreative, productive, and creative and to overcome a pervading mood of self-absorption or personal stagnation. Generativity includes any activity that contributes to the development of others and to the life of the generations. The successful realization of generativity gives rise to the ego strength that Erikson described as the virtue of care.
Erik H. Erikson viewed generativity as the principal task of middle adulthood and used the term to highlight the adult’s role “in establishing and guiding the next generation” (, p. 267). Erikson summed up the stages in the following way: “In youth you find out what you care to do and who you care to be – even in changing roles. In young adul ...
- Generativity versus Stagnation (Erikson’s Middle Age)
- Reference Work Title
- Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development
- pp 695-696
- Print ISBN
- Online ISBN
- Springer US
- Copyright Holder
- Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
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- Editor Affiliations
- 480. Neurology, Learning and Behavior Center
- 481. Department of Psychology MS 2C6, George Mason University
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Psychology, Emory University, Psychology Building Faculty Box, Atlanta, GA, USA
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