Midlife Concerns of Women:
Implications of the
MALKAH T. NOTMAN
Except for the adult stages described by Erikson, adult development has received little attention until the past few years. Recent work by Neugarten (1968, 1975), Levinson and associates (1978), Gould (1972), Barnett and Baruch (1978), and others has focused attention on the middle years as a time of development and change rather than a static period or one whose major dynamic is toward aging and death.
Midlife for women has in the past been defined in relation to the menopause, often in terms of loss. A closer look at actual midlife concerns for women as well as at the menopause and its implications indicates that this is highly questionable.
Most studies of development, including those of the middle years, have had male subjects and have been based on a male model, where development is seen as proceeding linearly through a series of stages,