Family and Work Changes

Family and Work Changes

A Chapter by Debbie Barry

An essay about the changes of family and work inb the course of life, Written for PSY 202: Adult Development and Life Assessment.


Family and Work Changes

October 14, 2009


The most challenging family-related change in this period of my life is a positive challenge, not a negative one.  I am engaged to be married, and I am helping my children adjust to living with my fiancé and accepting him as part of their parent group.  I am very happy and excited as I go through this change, but I am also apprehensive because I have a very bad track record with relationships in general and with romantic relationships in particular, and I am afraid this happy, harmonious, stable period will not last.

My most challenging work-related change is my enrollment in college, which i hope will be a precursor to beginning meaningful employment.  I have only worked for a handful of months in the last dozen or more years, having been a stay-at-home wife and mother for most of that time.

I think I have been stuck in an area between Erikson's identity-versus-role confusion stage and his intimacy-versus-isolation stage (Boyd and Bee, 2006, 27) for a good deal longer than many adults, partly because of the effects of clinical depression and partly because of a pervading social awkwardness that began in  early childhood and was exacerbated by the combined shocks of my parents' divorce and my best friend's suicide in my early teens.  I think I need to move through Erikson's stages into his generativity-versus-stagnation stage (Boyd and Bee, 2006, 141), as "generativity is positively related to satisfaction in life and work and to emotional well-being" (Ackerman, Zuroff, & Moskowitz, 2000, cited in Boyd and Bee, 2006, 141).  I will need that satisfaction and well-being to succeed in this change in my life.

© 2017 Debbie Barry

Author's Note

Debbie Barry
Initial reactions and constructive criticism appreciated.

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Added on November 10, 2017
Last Updated on November 10, 2017
Tags: essay, psychology, change, family, work, development, maturation

A Journey through My College Papers


Debbie Barry
Debbie Barry

Clarkston, MI

I live with my husband in southeastern Michigan with our two cats, Mister and Goblin. We enjoy exploring history through French and Indian War re-enactment and through medieval re-enactment in the So.. more..