The success of her marriage was highly important in her young and middle adulthood as she built a strong relationship with her husband and children. This is evident in her loneliness and her memories of her husband who died. Also, the distance of her daughters has increased her level of loneliness as they have established their families and live independently. However, the presence of her grandchildren has enabled her to establish new relationships with them and to understand that she still has a family that cares for her.According to Brown and Lowis (2003), individuals within their 80s and 90s develop new demands, difficulties, and re-evaluations that require adequate confrontation and discussion achievable by designating a ninth stage that would clarify such challenges (Brown & Lowis, 2003). This proposition was earlier made by Erikson himself, and the researchers in the study only targeted at investigating if such a stage could be established and hold significance for individuals beyond the eighth stage, characterized by “integrity” versus “despair”. The findings of the study revealed that human beings are constantly developing psychologically and spiritually, all through their lifespan, for as long as they may live. According to the authors of the article, such knowledge is of great importance in terms of comforting those individuals that are aging, and of value to relatives, caregivers, and friends who can gain in terms of developing in-depth understanding of the superficial behaviour of the elderly (Brown & Lowis, 2003).From the interview I conducted with Catherine, one of the most important things I learned is the importance of having interests, as one grows old. Such interests may either be creative, intellectual, or social. At an advanced age, such interests should not be necessarily directed towards achieving certain objectives or goals, as they are mostly important in maintaining self-identity. Erikson’s contradiction between “integrity” and “despair” does not clearly capture the niceties of growing old. These are just the end states that one attains after growing old, but do not involve the process of growing old. Erikson’s stages of psychological were highly important in understanding Catherine and her current state of psychological development.Catherine explained that she had faced a series of health
Brown, C., & Lowis, M. J. (2003). Psychosocial development in the elderly: An investigation into Erikson’s ninth stage. Journal of Aging Studies, 17, 415–426.
Shaffer, D. R., & Kipp, K. (2009). Developmental Psychology: Childhood & Adolescence: Childhood and Adolescence. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Zastrow, C., & Kirst-Ashman, K. (2009). Understanding Human Behavior and the Social Environment (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
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