Women at Middle Age: Developmental Transitions


Journal Article

The shapes of women's lives have changed over the twentieth century as a result of declining fertility, extended longevity, new life-styles in marriage and family formation, and increased attachment to the labor force. Midlife role transitions for women are diverse and dependent upon earlier life events related to marriage, child bearing, and work. Trends such as the postponement of marriage and child bearing, divorce and separation, and early career entry have changed the traditional family life cycle. Low fertility among women with patterns of early childbirth has led to an extended empty nest period and to increased labor participation at midlife. All these trends point to the continuities and discontinuities in individual women's lives and in the experiences of different age cohorts of women over time. The future prospects for today's middle-aged women are viewed in terms of both their predictable and variable features. © 1982, SAGE PUBLICATIONS. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • O'Rand, AM; Henretta, JC

Published Date

  • January 1, 1982

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 464 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 57 - 64

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1552-3349

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-7162

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0002716282464001006

Citation Source

  • Scopus