During middle adulthood, identity continues to develop, and this illustrates that Erikson’s final four stages of development do not follow a chronological progression. Traditionally, this stage has been regarded as a period of change and reflection, hence, given the name, “a mid-life crisis.” From my perspective, individuals in these developmental stages experience emotional growth in concurrence with the different social stages, including parenthood and work (Rathus, 2016). Most are parents and are at the peak of their careers, thereby, considering the concepts and notions associated with the “social clock”, most individuals in middle adulthood experience the paradox of aging (Rathus, 2016). Therefore, it is not all who undergo a mid-life crisis.
Conventionally, aging has been linked to the decline in cognitive abilities. However, based on verbal memory, tacit knowledge, and inductive reasoning, among other types of practical skills increase with age (Rathus, 2016). It is at this stage that individuals become experts in a specific area of study or occupation. On the other hand, with regards to physical development, individuals in middle adulthood begin to show signs of aging. For example, menopause in women and baldness in men. Nevertheless, other general signs include middle-age spread accompanied by weight gain, greying of hair, and depreciation of the immune system (Rathus, 2016).
Healthcare practitioners need to understand the relationship between a patient’s medical and psychological needs. They must have a deep understanding of the various stages of development to enable them to administer quality patient-centered care. No singular approach can be used for patients of different stages because although the treatment might be effective, the patient might be frustrated with the care. For instance, when attending to patients with mental health problems, the concept of social and emotional development can be used to structure the treatment in a manner that is relevant to individuals between 40 to 65 years. This will facilitate the establishment of a strong therapeutic relation; hence, the patients will be more open and honest. On the contrary, knowledge of physical development enables healthcare practitioners to distinguish between symptoms of clinical conditions and the various natural processes. Furthermore, it facilitates the recommendation for the administration of the correct dosage amounts, preventive strategies, and non-pharmacological treatment strategies, such as exercise.
Rathus, A. S. (2016) Human development. (4th ed.). CENGAGE Learning.