SAGE Journal Articles
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Journal Article 8.1: Poon, C. Y. M, & Knight, B. G. (2013). Parental emotional support during emerging adulthood and Baby Boomers’ well-being in midlife. International Journal of Behavioral Development. 37(6): 498–504.
Abstract: This study examined whether parental emotional support around emerging adulthood influenced well-being in midlife. We applied latent growth curve (LGC) models on 337 Baby Boomers who were in their late teens to early 20s when they entered the Longitudinal Study of Generations (LSOG) in 1971. There was a small but significant decline in self-rated health and positive emotions through 2005, but not depressive symptoms. Greater support from fathers in 1971 was associated with better self-rated health, less depression, and a slower decline in self-rated health across midlife. Greater support from mothers was associated with more positive emotions. These associations did not significantly differ among sons and daughters. Findings are discussed in the context of cumulative advantage/disadvantage and life-stage specific challenges to highlight the importance of parental emotional support during life transitions.
Learning Objective: 8.5 Critique three approaches to considering personality changes in middle adulthood: trait approach, human agency approach, and life narrative approach; 8.7 Describe major themes of relationships in middle adulthood; 8.9 Give examples of risk factors and protective factors for middle adulthood.
Abstract: This study examined the timing and risk factors for subsequent union disruption among individuals who were in a marital or cohabiting union at age 45, focusing particularly on the role of prior union history and children. Using retrospective data on union histories from the 2007 Canadian General Social Survey (n = 17,194), the results of life-table analysis revealed that individuals in cohabiting relationships faced a greater risk of union disruption in middle or later life than those who were married. Cox proportional hazard models showed that both union biography (duration, remarriage/repartnership) and family biography (children born inside/outside union, child age) influenced union dissolution through separation or divorce, but their impact differed depending on union type and gender. These findings suggest that when it comes to marriage and cohabitation, the middle and later years of life are neither a clear continuation nor a complete departure from earlier patterns.
Learning Objective: 8.3 Critique three theories of middle adulthood: Erikson’s theory of generativity, Jung’s and Levinson’s theories of finding balance, and life span theory of gain-loss balance; 8.5 Critique three approaches to considering personality changes in middle adulthood: trait approach, human agency approach, and life narrative approach; 8.7 Describe major themes of relationships in middle adulthood; 8.9 Give examples of risk factors and protective factors for middle adulthood.
Journal Article 8.3: Hauser, R. M., & Roan, C. L. (2017). Work Complexity And Cognitive Functioning At Midlife: Cross-Validating The Kohn–Schooler Hypothesis In An American Cohort. Chinese Journal of Sociology. 3(3): 329–353.
Abstract: In an influential body of work extending across more than three decades and drawing on data from the United States, Poland, Japan and the Ukraine, Melvin Kohn, Carmi Schooler and their associates have found that cognitive capacities are affected by experiences on the job; specifically, that working at a complex job improves cognitive functioning. These findings anticipate and parallel research on the relationships among social integration, leisure-time activities and cognitive functioning among the elderly. This paper tests the Kohn–Schooler hypothesis using different measures, models and data. Specifically, we estimate models of the reciprocal influence of work complexity and cognitive functioning at ages 53 to 54 and 64 to 65 among women and men who graduated from Wisconsin high schools in 1957. Even when adolescent academic ability test scores and high school rank have been controlled, we find moderate effects of the complexity of work on abstract reasoning ability at ages 53 to 54 (in 1993). These effects are similar among women and men and are robust to reasonable assumptions about the unreliability of measurement of adolescent academic ability. However, there were no such effects, either in 1993 or in 2004, among individuals who were still working at ages 64 to 65. Thus, the full set of findings provides only limited support for the Kohn–Schooler hypothesis.
Learning Objective: 8.4 Give examples of biological changes, changes in health status, and intellectual changes during middle adulthood, 8.8 Analyze major challenges related to work in middle adulthood, 8.9 Give examples of risk factors and protective factors for middle adulthood.