Beyond doubt, survival, continuity, and positive change in every society, community, and kin group strongly depend on the readiness of its members to invest resources in offspring and future generations. In psychology, the term generativity was coined in the 1950s by Erik H. Erikson in his life-span model of psychosocial development describing such willingness as a concern in establishing and guiding the next generation. Erikson considered generativity to be the central developmental task in middle adulthood. This entry begins with a brief description of Erikson’s work on generativity and then provides a brief overview of the model of generativity developed by Dan McAdams and Ed de St. Aubin, which represents an integrative theoretical framework for empirical research.

By having successfully resolved earlier developmental tasks such ...

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