Faculty Books and Book Chapters

Midlife Stress

Midlife Stress

Book Title

Essays in Developmental Psychology


Randall Summers, Charles Golden, Lisa Lashley, & Erica Ailes


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Midlife stress occurs naturally through the aging process but can be the result of an external psychological stressor due to loss or change such as occupational stress, health concerns, parental bereavement and divorce. Coping with the psychological suffering associated with these stressors brings challenges throughout all stages of life, but when it occurs during midlife it can be complicated by heightened or unique feelings of bewilderment. For men, recognition of their own mortality and sense of purpose in life can drive the experience of midlife stress. For women, this experience may be derived from feelings of emptiness and sadness, physical changes related to menopause and the challenges of the addition of roles such as becoming caretakers for elderly parents.


aging, coping, midlife stress (midlife crisis), psychological suffering

Publication Date





This is one in a collection of essays as part of a project that began as an encyclopedia of developmental psychology coordinated by Dr. Randall Summers. However, for unforeseen reasons, the publisher was no longer in a position to publish the encyclopedia. This project was undertaken so that thousands of hours of work by psychologists would not go wasted. Enjoy these essays and feel free to cite them using the proper format.

Submit suggestions for corrections and topics to goldench@nova.edu.

Midlife Stress