ERIC Number: ED190777
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Coping and Adaptation in Midlife Dual Career Families.
Findings are presented from a study of the midlife dual career family (in which both members of the couple are professionally employed and are highly committed to their work, and where there may or may not be children present). Focus is on the attitudes, perspectives, and personality characteristics of the dual career wife, and distinction is made between the woman who has been in a continuous career pattern since her 20s and the midlife woman who is newly entered into a professional career. Data referred to throughout the discussion is drawn from a series of in-depth case studies of dual career families which included twenty-three people (eighteen of them women) who ranged in age from twenty-two to fifty-two and in education from high school equivalency to Ph.D. Three issues (common themes, tasks, and dilemmas) are examined which relate to intrapsychic development: (1) emergence of contrasexual opposites (independence vs. interdependence), (2) transition to the second half of life, and (3) awareness of death. The other three issues dealt with examine individual development as related to the larger social structure: (4) the additive nature of the dual career woman's concept of career, (5) relationship to aging parents, and (6) midlife women's view of other women. Finally five strategies of coping and adaptation identified from the case material are described: structural changes occur in the traditional marriage pattern, one or both partners take up a stagnant position in terms of growth, one or both partners assume a regressive position, marriage system dissolves, and enhanced opportunities are found for growth and individualism for both partners. (JT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Dual Career Families
Note: Paper presented at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention (87th, New York, NY, September 1979).