Meaning in Mid-Life Transitions

By Edmund Sherman

Subjects: Psychology
Paperback : 9780887063855, 267 pages, January 1987
Hardcover : 9780887063848, 267 pages, January 1987

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Table of contents


1 Introduction

2 The Structural Approach: Theory and Methods

3 Themes of Mortality and Finiteness

4 Generativity, Stagnation, and Crises of Identity

5 Crises of Attachment and Separation

6 Crises of Loss and Reattachment

7 Conclusions and Implications




This book contributes to an understanding of the nature of mid-life transitions and crises by focusing on the unique personal meaning of the transitional experience for the individual. There is an implicit structure to the way in which such a transition is experienced by the individual, and this can be made explicit by the techniques and methods of the approach outlined and illustrated in the book. The value of making this structure explicit is that it enables us to understand and assess the nature and dimensions of the transition, whether or not it will reach crisis proportions, and to assess possible intervention strategies. Meaning in Mid-Life Transitions should be of interest to human service practitioners as well as teachers and students of human development and behavior. It evidences an integrative approach and structural framework, including a series of in-depth clinical and research studies.

Edmund Sherman is Professor of Social Welfare at the State University of New York at Albany and Faculty Research Associate in the Ringel Institute of Gerontology.


"The topic of adult development is one of the important areas of research in behavioral sciences. Sherman has succeeded in bringing the phenomenological perspective to this topic and has shown how structures of meaning form the central theme in mid-life transitions. He writes with ease and clarity, handling difficult concepts in a skillful and sophisticated way, resulting in a richly textured study." -- Ann Weick, University of Kansas