Am I having a Midlife Crisis?
as men have for years, women are experiencing midlife crises
— but in ways far different than men. By the age of 50, 36.1 percent
of women report having a midlife crisis, defined as a stressful
or turbulent psychological transition that occurs most often
in one's late 40s or early 50s, as compared to 34 percent of men of
the same age. Consequently, of the 42 million women who are
nearing or in middle age — 38 to 55 years old — more than 15
million of them can be expected to undergo this difficult transition.
Women experience bigger changes than men in middle age, and
they are more likely to have a more positive attitude about
their prospects in life. Women report experiencing a more dramatic
rebound in personal fulfillment at midlife after a deeper dip
in their child-rearing years; 36 percent of women 50-64 find
themselves reaching some fulfilling personal goal in the preceding
five years, while only 28 percent of men can say the same.
midlife crises are more apt to be triggered by family events
or problems such as divorce, a parent's death, an extramarital
affair, or a sense of inadequacy as a parent; men's crises,
on the other hand, are more likely to be driven by work or career
issues. And how they deal with the crises differs, also. Women
are more likely than men to talk with others about their inner
turmoil, to openly seek solutions, and to look for remedies
in the larger community and society.
are women facing these crises? Women in middle age today are
very different from their mothers and grandmothers. As they
increasingly move into the workplace, they face new stresses
which can bring on a midlife crisis. But they also have the
financial resources, the skills, and the confidence to tackle
the turmoil. They have a sense of freedom at midlife which can
lead to a time of powerful renewal for themselves.
Campbell-Ewald - Orginally Printed in The Wall Street Journal)