Generativity Among Young, Midlife, and Older Adults

Dan P. McAdams*, Ed de St. Aubin, Regina L. Logan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

413 Scopus citations


Generativity is conceived as a configuration of psychosocial features constellated around the goal of providing for the next generation. This study used a stratified random sampling of young (ages 22-27), midlife (ages 37-42), and older (ages 67-72) adults to examine age-cohort differences in 4 generativity features: generative concern, commitments, actions, and narration. Although prevailing views on generativity (e.g., Erikson, 1963) predict a peak in midlife and decline thereafter, support for this developmental hypothesis was mixed. Midlife Ss scored higher than young and older Ss on concern and actions in a second administration of measures, but not in the first. Generative commitments and narration showed high scores for both midlife and older Ss and relatively low scores for young Ss. Generative concern, assessed with the Loyola Generativity Scale, was positively associated with life satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-230
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology and Aging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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