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The nature, prevalence and correlates of generativity among men in middle career

Clark, Michael; Arnold, John


John Arnold


Multiple methods were used to explore the character, contexts, and correlates of generativity among 41 men aged 45-55. Generativity in the role of worker was unrelated to generativity in men's roles as father, citizen and 'leisurite'. Individuals who were generative in their work reported greater job satisfaction and subjective career success. These associations were stronger for generativity targeting societal well-being and fellow-workers' growth than for creative/productive generativity. As some theorists have argued, therefore, nurturant forms of generativity may be more adaptive in mid/late career than other varieties, and more indicative of psychosocial maturity. The status of creativity/productivity within the generativity construct seems problematic. Our findings offer qualified support for McAdams and de St Aubin's (McAdams, D.P., & de St Aubin, E. (1992). A theory of generativity and its assessment through self-report, behavioral acts, and narrative themes in autobiography. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 62 (6), 1003-1015) contention that generativity is expressed differentially in the domains of concern, commitment and action, and that the different relationships of these generativity domains to third variables can be interpreted in meaningful ways. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Clark, M., Clark, M., & Arnold, J. (2008). The nature, prevalence and correlates of generativity among men in middle career. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 73(3), 473-484.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 1, 2008
Journal Journal of Vocational Behavior
Print ISSN 0001-8791
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 73
Issue 3
Pages 473-484
Keywords generativity, middle age, career growth, career maintenance, career plateau, career success, fatherhood, engineer, Roman Catholic priest, secondary school teacher
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