In the 20th century, more years were added to the average life expectancy than in all previous millennia. This lengthening of the life course has created two new in-between adult life stages – Emerging Adulthood and Late Adulthood and these new stages in turn have changed the timing of all the other stages. The first new life stage, Emerging Adulthood, extends from late adolescence to the mid/late twenties, when many young people still do not feel fully adult. Many of those in their twenties are still living with and dependant on their parents and still engaged in the self-discovery process started in adolescence.
The second new life-stage is Late Adulthood. Many of those in their late 60s and 70s do not consider themselves ‘old’. Many continue to work in some way and most have active interests and busy family and social lives. Yet, there are few social norms about what’s expected of you, or how to structure your life. As a result, Late Adulthood is a particularly unstructured stage of life, a peculiar mix of freedom and dislocation and as a result there is a lot of individual variability, and sometimes frustration, as to how you want to live your life.
The presentation on Zoom will be given by Dr. Maureen Gaffney and will focus on how to best meet the challenges of Late Adulthood and prepare for the rest of your life. Dr. Maureen Gaffney is a psychologist, writer and broadcaster. She was Director of the first Trinity College Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology. She now works as a consultant on leadership, resilience and organisational culture change with major companies in Ireland, the US, the UK and Israel. She is the author of two best-selling books Flourishing(Penguin 2011) which focused on the science and art of wellbeing; and Your One Wild And Precious Life(Penguin 2021) which describes how the three basic psychological needs for connection, autonomy, and competence play out at each stage of life and how they shape our happiness, wellbeing and success.