2018-08-31 11:31



  Aging As Development

  Human life is a process. A number of psychologists have attempted to identify the particular tasks that must be accomplished at each stage of development. Successful completion of tasks at one stage means that the individual normally proceeds to the next stage and a few set of tasks. It is not always recognized, however, that there are new tasks for the aged as well as for those who are younger. Aging, in other words, is a new stage in the developmental process of life .

  What are the developmental tasks faced by the aged? Some tasks are similar to those of other age groups, and some are peculiar to the elderly. In the nineteenth century, for instance, most men had no transition to retirement. Typically, a man worked until disability or death. Few people had to deal with the "empty nest" problem, since children either did not leave the family house or returned there to live with their elderly parents.

  Today, when an increasing number of people are living into their seventies and eighties, there are at least five developmental tasks facing the elderly. First, the aged must come to terms with the physical limitations inherent in their stage of life. They will no longer be able to engage in certain activities as often or as successfully as they once could. Second, having come to terms with the limitations, the older person must redefine the scope of his or her activities. Third, the older person must find new sources for satisfying his or her needs. This may be particularly acute at the time of retirement for those who hold to the work ethic .

  A fourth task is to reassess the criteria for self-evaluation. Again, the loss of work is involved, for many Americans consider themselves worthwhile because they have a fulltime job. The question the elderly person must face is "am I a worthwhile person because of the kind of individual I am, because of the various qualities I possess, or am I worthwhile only as long as I can function in some kind of job?" A man who lost his job in advertising when he was sixty-one told the author that he could not find another job in his field. He has done some freelance work, but he still mourns the loss of his job. "I loved what I did," he said, "and I resented being thrown out on the scrap heap. There are times when I think I'm just not worth anything anymore."

  Finally, the aged face the task of finding ways to give meaning and purpose to their lives. This task arises throughout the individual's life. Many elderly people find challenges, struggles, and gratifications just as they did in their earlier years.


  I. Complete the sentences with the proper forms of the words given in parentheses :

  1. We are _____( gratification) to learn that you have won the scholarship.

  2. Your work in office has not been very _____( product) .

  3. Money will be paid half in advance and half on_____ ( complete ) .

  4. All railroads have weight and height _____( limit) because of tunnels, bridges and so forth.


  1. gratified 2. productive 3. completion 4. limitations


  衰老是个发展过程人生是个过程。一些心理学者试图找出人生每一阶段必须完成的特定任务。圆满地 完成一个阶段的任务意味着这个人已顺利进入下一个阶段, 又要面对一些新的任务。然 而, 人们并不一定能意识到不仅年轻人有新任务, 而且老年人也有新的事情要做。换句话 说, 衰老是人生过程中一个新的阶段。

  那么老年人面对的发展任务是什么呢? 有些任务与其他年龄组的相似, 还有一些则是 老年人特有的。比如说, 19 世纪, 大多数人不会退休。那个时候的人常常会工作到做不动 甚至做到死。很少会有人面对“ 守空巢”的问题, 因为他们的孩子或者不离开父母家, 或者 离家后又回来跟年迈的父母同住。

  今天, 步入耄耋之年的老人越来越多, 他们至少要面对五项生活任务。首先, 老年人必 须承认这个人生阶段所带来的身体上的限制。他们已不能像年轻时候那样频繁地参加某 些活动, 也不会如过去那般成功。第二, 承认身体上的局限之后, 老年人就必须重新界定自 己的活动范围。第三, 老年人必须要找到能满足自己需要的新的资源。对于那些恪守工作 道德的老年人来说, 这一点在他们退休的时候也许尤为重要。



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