Middle Adulthood (Ages 40–60)

  • Calvin A. Colarusso
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)


Recently, Roger Gould (1990) said “concepts of time, aging, and death represent the ‘entities’ of the life-cycle developmental process. Therapeutic attention can no longer focus entirely on the conflicts of memory; it must include current reality and the struggle to adapt to ever-changing time” (p. 346). Certainly, these issues are at the core of understanding and treating individuals between the ages of 40 and 60, that is, those who are in midlife. Despite the ominous sound of time, aging, and death, the middle years are probably the best time in life for many. Middle adulthood is the golden age of adulthood (similar to late latency in childhood, although much longer) because it is an interval of relative stability characterized (for most) by physical health, emotional maturity, a clearly defined sense of self, competence and power in the work situation, and gratifying relationships with spouse, children, parents, friends, and colleagues.


Young Adulthood Sexual Functioning Developmental Task Personal Death Middle Adulthood 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Calvin A. Colarusso
    • 1
  1. 1.School of MedicineUniversity of California at San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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