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Wisdom From the Elder, Research Paper Example

Pages: 1

Words: 649

Research Paper

What is one of your happiest memories from your childhood?

“I guess living down on the farm before I was married. Helping out on the farm.”  Mary’s childhood was spent on a farm with her family. According to Erikson, the young child is developing a sense of trust, then a sense of independence at this age.  Mary obviously enjoyed the independence that she was given at this age, the sense of trust that was given to her to be a working member of the family.

What do you wish your parents had done differently in raising you?

“Nothing, I can’t think of anything.”  During the school aged years of 7 to 12 a child is, according to Erikson, going through a stage where they are finding out how capable they are of completing and achieving tasks.  Life on a farm, where a child is expected to help out with chores at a young age, would have given Mary confidence in her abilities to work and be a dependable member of her family.

Tell me a little about your life in your early adulthood.

“Well, I guess I was 14 when I was married and my family started when I was 15.”  For our society, it would seem that Mary married and began her family very young.  However, according to Erikson, at this age the individual is at a stage where they are able to settle on a life goal, so for Mary, who learned early to be independent and trust in her abilities, having kids and raising a family so young was probably not hard.

Is there anything you would do differently if you had the opportunity to raise your children again?

“No not really because the way I raised them and the way they raise their own children is too different worlds.”  During her young adulthood stage, as defined by Erikson, Mary was developing a sense of balance between blending herself with her family and friends and developing a sense of identity in solitude and isolation.  Having kids makes this task more complex as mother struggles to maintain a sense of self outside of her husband and children.  Since Mary has no regrets from this time, it seems she was able to maintain a balance between isolation and intimacy.

What is most important to you at this stage of your life?

“Staying well. Keeping my health I guess.”  Mary is at is at the Late Adulthood stage according to Erikson.  This is the stage where people may be asking themselves about the quality of life that they lived.  From Mary’s responses, she does not appear to have regrets about the past and seems content and happy with the decisions she has made.

What advice would you give a young person about making the most of life?

“Well let me see. Ahh, be strong, don’t change your mind on anything.”    This question correlates to the idea of generativity which is guiding the concern of guiding or leading the next generation.  Mary’s advice is for the young person to not be led, but to be independent and a leader, a lesson learned at a young age from her time on the farm.  Mary’s early introduction to independence and self trust during her child years gave her the strength to raise her family at such a young age.  It also gave her the foundation to live a happy and fulfilled life, which is evident from her late adulthood stage, which is happy and content.

References

Christiansen, Shawn L., Palkovitz, Rob. (2007). Exploring Erikson’s psychosocial theory of development: Generativity and its relationship to paternal identity, intimacy, and involvement in childcare.  The Journal of Men’s Studies. 7(1), 133-156.

Streitmatter, Janice. (1993) Gender differences in identity development: An examination of  longitudinal data.  Adolescence. 28(109), 55-66.

Markstrom, Carol A., Sabino, Vicky M., Turner, Bonnie J., Berman, Rachel C. (2004). The psychosocial inventory of ego strengths: Development and validation of a new Erikson measure. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 26(6), 705-732

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