There is a growing body of scientific knowledge regarding development during the middle years which has so far been relegated to discipline-specific texts and journals (e.g., clinical psychology and endocrinology). Life in the Middle consolidates main findings across disciplines, with a life-span perspective regarding mid-life. Coverage includes individual development in middle age from the psychological and biological perspectives as well as the sociocultural context in which middle-aged individuals live and work, including physical health in mid-life, psychological well-being, cognitive development, the impact of work on the individual, and the general development of the "self." This age period is increasingly becoming the focus of scholarly attention as the largest cohort in U.S. history are now moving into the middle years (e.g., the "babyboomers"). From 1990 to 2015 the number of middle-aged people will increase 72 percent from 47 to 80 million.

Key Features

@introbul:Key Features @bul:* Contributors are outstanding scholars in the field of adult development * Addresses critical theoretical issues in midlife * Includes important contributions to our understanding of physical health at midlife * Presents a thorough review of women's health at midlife * Takes a holistic approach to biopsychosocial functioning at midlife


Researchers and academics in gerontology, social psychology, adult development, aging and sociology; individuals interested in adult behavior; professional psychologists.

Table of Contents

Theoretical Perspectives on Midlife: P. Moen and E. Wethington, Midlife Development in a Life Course Context. S.K. Whitbourne and L.A. Connolly, The Developing Self in Midlife. S.D. Rosenberg, H.J. Rosenberg, and M.P. Farrell, The Midlife Crisis Revisited. Biological Functioning and Physical Health at Midlife: S.S. Merrill and L.M. Verbrugge, Health and Disease in Midlife. N.E. Avis, Women's Health at Midlife. I.C. Siegler, B.H. Kaplan, D.D. Von Dras, and D.B. Mark, Cardiovascular Health: A Challenge for Midlife. Psychosocial Functioning at Midlife: C.L.M. Keyes and C.D. Ryff, Psychological Well-Being in Midlife. M. Clark-Plaskie and M.E. Lachman, The Sense of Control in Midlife. M.H. Huyck, Gender Roles and Gender Identity in Midlife. S.L. Willis and K.W. Schaie, Intellectual Functioning in Midlife. B.J. Avolio and J.J. Sosik, A Life-Span Framework for Assessing the Impact of Work on White-Collar Workers. J.D. Reid and S.L. Willis, Middle Age: New Thoughts, New Directions. Author Index. Subject Index.


No. of pages:
© 1999
Academic Press
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Electronic ISBN:

About the authors

Sherry Willis

Affiliations and Expertise

Pennsylvania State University, University Park, U.S.A.

James Reid

James B. Reid is trained as a developmental psychologist, gerontologist, and clinical psychologist. He currently teaches at Washington University in St. Louis and is in private practice specializing in adult development and aging. Dr. Reid is currently president of the St. Louis Psychological Association.

Affiliations and Expertise

Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.


@qu:"This volume helps fill the need for literature and research related to adult development (roughly ages 40-64)...All of the selections emphasize a contextual approach to understanding the diversity of middle development--the complex interplay of bio-psycho-social-cultural factors. Academic (upper-division undergraduate and up) and lay readers alike should find this readable volume interesting and useful. It could easily serve as a primary or secondary text in a specialized course." @source:--CHOICE, October 1999 @qu:"Willis and Reid deserve praise for creating a book that... meets... the worthy goals they set for themselves." @source:--CONTEMPORARY PSYCHOLOGY, October 2000