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Discuss research into the impact of life events in adulthood.

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Discuss research into the impact of life events in adulthood There are three key events affecting many adults: marriage, parenthood and divorce. Marriage fulfils basic needs for companionship and security. It is an overt sign of adult status and provides a legitimate unit to raise children. Through time initial passionate love may deepen into a more profound secure attachment that can withstand time and all the obstacles of life, including the inevitable rough patches. Bee studied marriages and formed a theory called the U shaped curve. This suggests that satisfaction in marital relationships decline after marriage, reach a low when children go to school, then rise to a peak at retirement. The problem with this research, (apart from the value judgement of what is a satisfactory marriage), is that the findings were based on a cross cultural study and when unsatisfactory marriages were finished and lost from the samples then the marriages left would have been satisfactory leaving an artificial impression that satisfaction increased with time. Vaillent and Vaillent's study suggested that the u-shaped curve may be an illusion created by using a retrospective approach rather than a prospective one, which can suggest marital satisfaction appears to remain stable. ...read more.


After birth the preparenthood quality of relationship will never probably return. This is shown by studies done in the USA, Germany, Austria, and Korea by Nickel et al. However in non-western cultures, where parenthood id highly valued, the decline in marital satisfaction after children is less marked. This is because motherhood confers high status and the extended family is supportive. Apart from the impact of parenthood in different cultures parenthood can have different impacts on men and women. Traditional roles of male and females hinder both genders in their capacity as parents - women still do most of the household and parenting tasks even when both partners work. Therefore the adjustments women have to make are greater; they have conflicting positions between being a parent and pursuing a career and have to get to grips with "mother love and "maternal instinct." Males may initially become more involved in practical aspects of childcare, but are less prepared than women. They may feel left out or feel they cannot meet the demands of being a provider, household help and nurturer. Both parents have to adjust to sharing their time and affection within the family, but this can be harder for the father, especially if he is less involved in the daily care of the baby. ...read more.


The scale of trauma is also associated with the length of the marriage, the age of the spouses, the number and ages of any children, who suggested the divorce and how it went. The divorce can be much harder if there is children involved, this is because the divorcees have to deal with their children's distress as well as their own. Also they have to take responsibility of the child on their own, which could mean discipline is not consistent with each parent and behaviour of the children could deteriorate. Contact time of the children can affect the affects of serious long-term damage. If there is frequent, satisfactory time spent with each parent with minimum disruption of the children's lifestyle then damage to the children can be minimized. Existing research shows there is at least two years of turmoil following divorce. In research into divorce in Israel, it was found because of their lifestyle, the legal, parenting and economical obstacles that exacerbate stress in divorce was a minor consideration. However when comparing the emotional impact of divorce it was found to be similar in all cultures. So divorce feels the same to everyone regardless of practical, maternal and cultural issues that accompany it. ...read more.

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