MIDLIFE CRISIS – EXTERNAL MANIFESTATIONS AND INTERNAL CHANGES

Милица Чоловић, Momčilo Stojković

DOI Number
10.22190/TEME1702315C
First page
315
Last page
336

Abstract


The aims of the research include determining the difference in specific forms of midlife crisis manifestation (the Marmor Тheory) as well as the type of deep psychological changes occurring in individuals (the Levinson Тheory) during midlife crisis among the scores of subjects of different ages and gender. The following instruments were used: the Midlife Crisis Scale, the Sex-Role Inventory, the adapted Loyola generativity scale, the adapted scale of preferred aloneness, and a list of the subjects’ basic biodata.

The sample included 600 respondents of which 200 were middle-aged, 200 were younger and older. The results demonstrated a difference in individual experiences and behaviors, characteristic of midlife crisis manifestation in individuals.

To determine the difference in the degree of prominence of certain variables between the groups of subjects the following tests were used: the Mann-Whitney U-test and Kruskal Wallis test. The results show that the mechanism of denial with overcompensation is most pronounced between 25 and 30 years (χ2 = 167,810, df = 10, p <0.001), decompensation (χ2 = 44.524, df = 10, p <0.001) and the mechanism of denial with escape are most pronounced between 50 and 54 years (χ2 = 160,904, df = 10, p <0.001), while creative and successful confrontation with crisis is most pronounced between 60 and 64 years (χ2 = 196,810, df = 10, p <0.001).

That means that the Marmor’s theory is adequate when analyzing external manifestations of midlife crisis, but that the Levinson’s theory needs to be revised when determining the boundaries of occurrence and the process of deep internal changes characteristic of this crisis. More precisely, this suggests that finding a new balance between masculinity and femininity (χ2=237.898, df=10, р<0.001), youth and old age (χ2=379.456, df=10, р<0.001), life gains and losses (χ2=40.136, df=10, р<0.001) and closeness and separation (χ2=27.919, df=10, р<0.001) is a long-term process and that most people, much later in life, become really aware of changes that took place in structure and internal dynamics.


Keywords

midlife crisis, external manifestations, inner changes, theories of midlife crisis.

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