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ERIC Number: ED186834
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979-Nov
If the Study of Midlife Had Begun with Women.
Baruch, Grace K.; Barnett, Rosalind C.
Major themes from an ongoing study of women in midlife were identified using data from interviews with 60 women 35 to 55 who vary in family status; never-married, married/childless, married with children and work status (working in high, medium, or low-prestige occupations or at home). Interviews focused on issues, rewards, and concerns. There were variations rather than commonalities in the developmental tasks women faced in midlife. The most frequent theme was the desire to devote increased attention to the self in contrast to the devotion to others characteristic of earlier years. Most women vaguely assumed that a love attachment to a man, rather than to a career or mentor, would shape their adult life. Exceptions to this pattern were those women whose mothers had been the major economic provider. Many women regretted their failure to develop an identity as worker in the adult world. The image of midlife and retrospective reports of earlier stages of adult development are contrasted with Levinson's work on men. (Author)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Wellesley Coll., MA. Center for Research on Women.