Many middle-aged adults go through personality changes due to many changing life events that can occur. Psychologists such as Carl Jung have been in strong favor of defining such changes as the “mid-life crisis” due to the clear and present psychosocial and personality changes that adults may experience (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2010). Socially, this type of change is more commonly viewed as middle-aged men suddenly purchasing new cars or chasing younger women in attempts to re-experience the vibrant events of their youth. Furthermore, most Americans believe that they have or will experience a mid-life crisis at some point in their adult years (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2010). In addition to these clear developments, many individuals looks at the trends in public media to guide their actions as adults. These trends can include older celebrities purchasing plastic surgery, botox and skin creams in an attempt to reduce the signs of aging. It is no longer socially “acceptable” to be old. Nevertheless, “for several decades, the bulk of research evidence has failed to support the idea that most adults experience difficulty at the level of a crisis in midlife” (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2010).
The question still remains why some individuals show these changes and others do not. Psychology has found that the personality and determination factors such as ego resilience enable people to handle midlife changes must more effectively than others (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2010). These changes can also be much different for men and women. Men stereotypically practice the previously mentioned behavioral changes, while women are more engaged in the skin creams and plastic surgery. However, in the end the belief appears to be that money can be the answer to the mid-life crisis and purchase goods or services that will drastically alter the “causes” of the mid-life crisis. While studies cannot clearly define why these changes occur in men and women, it is easy to hypothesize that they exist due to a mix of biological, psychological and social factors. Primarily, biological changes in estrogen, testosterone and other hormones in the body have an equal transitional effect on the psychological factors within an individual which can also alter how an individual perceives themselves. Therefore, the mix of all three types of factors combines to enact these changes in adults.
Kail, R. V., & Cavanaugh, J. C. (2010). Human development, a life-span view. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.