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Personality development in adulthood. Features of a Mature Person
According to domestic and foreign psychologists, a person in adulthood is capable of development. According to L. A. Petrovskaya, this is due to the process of socialization. An essential reason for rethinking adults the existing experience may be the desire to approach oneself, to a greater extent correspond to the original own internal nature. If you do not simplify the problem of personality and do not reduce it only to determination, accept the thesis of humanistic psychology about the existence of a true core, the core of the personality (A. Maslow), it should be recognized that socialization of a child can be associated with its suppression, distorted development due to various circumstances. In contrast to the primary socialization of the child, oriented primarily to the outside - to the appropriation of the external, the socialization of an adult is primarily a turning inward, this is self-knowledge. In humanistic psychology, the emphasis on the problem of self-knowledge is associated with the thesis of human freedom, implemented in his election. Authentic (genuine) being involves researching the possibilities provided by each situation and making a choice that expresses the person’s real values, his needs, feelings, etc. Thus, a productive choice fundamentally involves a more or less advanced orientation of a person in his own potential [8 ].
Within the framework of this approach, expanding the sphere of self-awareness is the most essential prerequisite for achieving self-actualization. The discovery of himself as a special reality, significant and worthy of study no less than the world around him, turning to himself first of all in the search for solutions to his problems is an important emphasis of this approach. Thus, the socialization of an adult is subjective in essence, this is self-development through the election - who to be, what to be, with whom to be, etc. That is, it means not only the freedom to choose activity in specific private situations, but also the choice of one’s own psychological appearance, health or illness - a way of life in general. This refers to self-regulation in the broadest sense of the word. Naturally, a special emphasis on the subjectivity of adult socialization does not mean a denial of the subjective nature of the child’s socialization - the choice is available to the child, however, the completeness, degree of subjectivity of primary and secondary socialization are, of course, different .
The adult's appeal to the existing psychological potential can be associated with the desire to become what he can become in his life. For example, P. D. Uspensky, who is at the forefront of humanistic psychology, justifying the idea of a possible evolution of a person, understands it as "the development of certain internal qualities and traits that, without effort on the part of a person, usually remain undeveloped and are not able to develop on their own." A similar or close idea was presented by A. Maslow, E. Shostroma, E. Fromm, A. Meneghetti. F. Nietzsche wrote about the development of man in the direction of higher man. His image of a superman is in many ways close to the self-actualizing personality of A. Maslow .
The indicated some forms of the adult's appeal to the existing psychological potential are usually presented in everyday life partially, spontaneously, sporadically. But they can be more or less constant, systematic, targeted. The fundamental premise of this can be defined as the phenomenon of “awakened consciousness” (C. Jung's term). In the most general sense, the cultivation of reflection and the establishment of harmonious contact with one's own unconscious can be called as the main means on this path .
According to some authors, personality development is associated with the process of personality self-determination, i.e., activity aimed at increasing the likelihood of self-realization. Self-realization becomes possible only if there is a certain degree of actual positive (positive) personal sense of the self. It is well known that it is through self-attitude that the subject presents his personal sense of self. It is the meaning of the self that performs the function of “closing” the process of self-determination, indicating the possibility and ability of the person to develop and to realize these or other sources of meaning and through this to fulfill oneself . Self-determination includes two processes: the formation of a sufficient level of self-esteem on the basis of the appropriate level of expected self-efficacy in relation to a particular found and designed plan or content of life; awareness and acceptance of personal qualities and characteristics, which are considered as one of the conditions for the alleged achievements. The latter is nothing more than finding a positive personal sense of the self .
Development psychology is interested not only in the process of personality development in adulthood, but also in the main characteristics of a mature personality.
In psychology, such characteristics of a mature personality are distinguished as a developed sense of responsibility, the need to care for other people, the ability to actively participate in society and effectively use one’s knowledge and abilities, to have psychological proximity with another person, and to constructively solve various life problems on the way to the most complete self-realization . It is obvious that the social situation of development significantly determines the characteristic features of a mature personality. So, M.V. Gamezo et al. Notes that the decisive sign of maturity is a person's awareness of responsibility and the desire for it. A psychologically responsible person is a person who is responsible for the content of his life and is responsible, first of all, to himself and other people. A mature person occupies a middle position between his parents, who have entered the age of old age, and their own children, who at the same time are on the verge of independent life. And if there are three generations in a family, under one roof, then a serious restructuring of family life is required. The baton of responsibility is passed on to the mature generation for all aspects of life (spiritual, material, etc.) in the family, which makes an adult the head of the family. The values of mature people begin to play a leading role in the life of society: mature people can affirm their tastes, their lifestyle, style of activity, etc. At this age, most people reach the top of their professional and social careers, management functions are concentrated in their hands in the most various spheres of public life, in the administrative structures of the state .
In Russian psychology, the most important manifestations of a mature personality are its activity (the desire of the subject to go beyond his own limits, expand his sphere of activity, act beyond the requirements of the situation and role prescriptions); personality orientation (characterized by a stable dominant system of motives - interests, beliefs, ideals); deep semantic structures that determine the consciousness and behavior of the individual; the degree of awareness of relations to reality, as well as the characteristic structure of relations, attitudes and dispositions of the person . A mature person has a developed self-awareness and subjectively for the individual acts as a self-ending person - a system of self-representations that ensures the unity and identity of his personality and finds itself in self-esteem, level of claims, self-confidence, etc. According to A. N. Leontyev , a mature personality is characterized by a wide system of connections with the world, a high degree of hierarchicality of activity motives and a general structure, which is understood as a stable configuration of the main motivational lines .
A deep description of a mature personality is given in the writings of foreign psychologists. So, in accordance with the theory of G. Allport, a mature person should have the property of self-extension. This means that life should not be tied to immediate needs and responsibilities. A person should be able to participate in a wide range of diverse activities and enjoy it. Satisfaction and frustration should be diverse and diverse, and not limited and stereotyped. An important feature of this self-extension is a projection into the future: plans, hopes. A mature person is characterized by warm relationships with others in both intimate and non-intimate contacts and has fundamental emotional security and self-acceptance. A mature person realistically refers both to himself (self-objectification) and to external reality. And finally, a mature person has a unified philosophy of life .
According to E. Erickson, the main characteristic of a mature personality is generativity, manifested in the desire to influence the next generation through their own children, through a practical or theoretical contribution to the development of society, in the need to take care of other people, in responsibility for their fate, for their actions, and also for the fate of loved ones, in the ability to participate in society. Inability to successfully join the productive life of society leads, according to E. Erickson, to personal stagnation, stagnation and self-absorption .
In connection with the problem of personality maturity in adulthood, one should cite A. A. Bodalev's judgments that the concepts of adulthood and maturity are not identical . You can reach a mature (adult) age and not have a mature personality. A. Bodalev writes: “If a person who has reached adulthood behaves in various situations in accordance with universal human moral standards and the basic values of life have become his own values, then we can speak with confidence about his personal maturity. In other cases, when he observes some norms and grossly ignores others, supports some values, and rebels against others, proving this with his actions, we can rightfully say that he is personally only partially matured ”[3.
And the same ambiguous relationship exists between the maturity of a person as a subject of activity and as a professional and his maturity. “If a person, passing a segment of his life's path, which is commonly called adulthood, masters his profession with the utmost dedication, and then with full responsibility for the results of his work, he works as a professional and, not stopping at what he has already achieved, seeks to reach the level of a Master in his field labor, then this, of course, is all - indicators of its maturity as a subject of activity ”[Z.S. 23].
Becoming a mature person is a difficult path, not without internal crises. The special significance of the period of adulthood lies in the fact that, being included in the whole variety of social relations, a person becomes their subject, consciously shaping his attitude to the world around him. An important characteristic in the development of a mature personality is a productive, productive moment of its activity. Cases, deeds, achievements, products, social influences of a personality are the criteria of its subjectivity. Moreover, the social value of products and influences, which is presented to the person as “the value of my life”, is important. In the changes that a person has made in the public world, she recognizes herself, she reveals the true level of her life, intrapersonal contradictions, prerequisites for self-development, self-change. A man uses his best life achievements in activity, behavior, communication at a new level, in new forms of attitudes to life .
The whole life path of a person is formed and develops in the process of continuous formation and resolution of contradictions that are diverse in nature and in meaning, which underlie internal conflicts of a person at a particular stage of life or in a particular life situation. In a state of internal conflict, a person experiences the problematic tension of all his behavior. This tension does not arise immediately, but gradually, accumulating. The relative social and psychological balance is at some point disturbed, which leads to difficulties and complications in the main activities (an adult projects psychological discomfort on production matters, on communication with colleagues, friends, with each other). Further - on the rise: there is a kind of “gap in life” (a person cannot fulfill his life functions until he resolves the contradiction). And this is a life crisis, in which the socio-psychological contradiction escalates to the limit, "to the last frontier that defines at the moment the intrapersonal reserves of social adaptive energy" . And it’s not uncommon today when an adult in the middle of his life (35–40 years) painfully tries to find answers to the questions: “How to live further?”, “Why live further?”, “Why even live further?”. True, we note that for the emergence of a socio-psychological contradiction, a developed personality structure, its I, and a sufficiently high level of development of higher feelings and values of a person are necessary. An adult has a number of significant tasks for his self-actualization: to become the best parent for his children, to achieve professional heights, to prove himself in public life, to be a devoted friend, to be interesting to others in communication, etc. All this creates a need for constant painstaking work on oneself, overcoming the flaws in character, the need for self-improvement .
Towards the age of forty, a person begins to clearly realize how diverging his life dreams are with the course and results of their implementation. Life, as a rule, is more severe; it makes its own adjustments to plans conceived in youth. Time is moving inexorably forward, and the adult is not at all sure that he will manage to do everything that he would like and that once seemed to him quite capable. Successful restructuring is not possible for everyone, but if a person overcomes difficulties and internal conflicts, then, as a rule, he retains his creative potential, moreover, he reaches qualitatively new heights. The midlife crisis has objective reasons and involves a significant restructuring of the personality, taking into account changes in the person’s position in life .
A reasonable and adequate reappraisal of values in the middle of life will lead to a deep renewal of the personality, create favorable conditions for successful “entry” into the next period - the period of maturity (40–45–55–60 years), and lead to an increase in satisfaction not only for the period of maturity, but and in later years. Studies of domestic and foreign scientists have shown that the most important self-feeling of an adult should be a feeling of restlessness (B. G. Ananyev, L. P. Grimak, E. A. Klimov, A. A. Bodalev, N. N. Obozov, E. F Rybalko, E. D. Smith, A. V. Tolstoy, E. S. Filatova, E. Frankl, T. Hannah, E. Erickson and others) (cited from ).
The crisis of adulthood carries a positive beginning, since it promotes self-knowledge, self-development, self-improvement, and qualitative neoplasms in the psyche. But what this experience of the crisis will be like, whether it will lead to depression, stagnation or creation - will depend on the specific conditions of its course, directly on the person.
Thus, during adulthood, there is an increase in the social development of the individual, his maximum inclusion in various spheres of social relations and activities, which requires the mobilization of all human resources, including his natural inclinations as an individual. At the same time, the process of its development depends on the level and degree of social activity and the productivity of the individual himself. The period of adulthood is most favorable for the formation of the main substructures of a person, for achieving maturity as a person and a subject of communication, knowledge and activity as an individual .
Psychology differences are interesting data on the specific features of personality development in adulthood in men and women. We will give these data according to the results of research by American psychologists, since in the USA the history of research of this age is already quite significant and many interesting facts have been accumulated.
Men in adulthood. Men tend to react to reaching mid-life individually, but still within the framework of a certain general scheme. Most men feel a commitment to both work and family. Most of them developed a familiar lifestyle that helped them cope with all the worries and problems. Farrell and Rosenberg believe that there are 4 main developmental paths in adulthood. The first of these is the path of a transcendentally generative man. He does not experience a midlife crisis, because he has found adequate solutions to most of his life's problems. For such a man, the middle of his life can be a time for realizing his capabilities and achieving his goals. The second path is the path of a pseudo-developed man. This man copes with problems by pretending that everything that happens is satisfying or under his control; in fact, he, as a rule, feels that he has lost direction, has reached a dead end or that he is all sick of it. A man in a midlife crisis - the third way - is confused, and it seems to him that his whole world is crumbling. He is not able to satisfy his requirements and solve problems. Для одних мужчин этот кризис может быть временной фазой развития; для других он может стать началом непрерывного падения. Четвертый путь развития — это путь обездоленного судьбой мужчины. Такой мужчина был несчастлив или отвергаем другими большую часть своей жизни и проявляет признаки кризиса середины жизни. Обычно он не в состоянии справиться с проблемами .
Женщины в зрелом возрасте. Хотя женщинам среднего возраста посвящено гораздо меньше исследований, чем мужчинам, для них середина жизни также часто является временем перехода и переоценки. Наряду с широкими индивидуальными различиями в реакциях женщин на средний возраст существуют и общие тенденции. Традиционно женщины в большей степени определяют себя в рамках семейного цикла, чем исходя из своего положения в профессиональном цикле.
Модель развития, в основу которой положено понятие времени наступления событий, особенно хорошо применима к женщинам среднего возраста. Это означает, что время наступления ключевых событий в семейном и профессиональном циклах определяют статус, образ жизни и выбор женщин среднего возраста — их основные занятия, радости и горести, круг коллег и друзей. Женщина, которая откладывает замужество и рождение ребенка до 40 лет, часто делает это для того, чтобы преуспеть в карьере. После рождения ребенка она может за годы его детства несколько раз бросать и снова начинать работать. Если она примет решение сочетать семью с полноценной профессиональной деятельностью, то уменьшит для себя вероятность испытать бедность в старости. Специфический характер ролевых конфликтов и ролевого напряжения также определяется временем наступления событий. Ролевой конфликт имеет место тогда, когда требования одной роли противоречат требованиям другой. Общими для женщин среднего возраста являются ролевые конфликты, связанные с тем, что им трудно найти время и для семьи, и для работы. В отличие от ролевого конфликта ролевое напряжение связано со слишком большим количеством требований в рамках одной роли. Мать, которая пытается уделить каждому из своих троих детей-подростков необходимое внимание, может ощущать, что она не в состоянии удовлетворить ни одного из детей .
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