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Arthur Benjamin Niemoller (1912-1998) lived a long and full life. He exemplified dignity during his final years of life.

But the story doesn’t end there. I attended graduate school at Wayne State University in Detroit, which isn’t too far from the Cincinnati area, where Montgomery is located. I began visiting my grandfather regularly, which was quite interesting because I’d had very little contact with him before that (my family has never been close). He was a very active man. He was a Sunday school teacher and church council member at the local Presbyterian church, he belonged to a retired men’s club, he had season tickets to the opera, and he regularly attended the symphony. He had many friends, some of whom had also lost their spouses to old age. Most surprising, however, was that in his late 70s he joined two other men in forming a new company. He was responsible for developing the computer programs that calculated the materials needed and the cost of those materials for building an isolated phase bus (something for carrying industrial strength electrical currents in power plants, I never really understood what he did). He was very proud of his work, and always eager to show me his new computer programs. I was just as proud of him, and I am very pleased to be able to say that he is the only person who attended all three of my college graduations (B.S., M.A., and Ph.D.). We developed a relationship I will always treasure.

The last time I saw my grandfather, he had been given 3 weeks to live. He had been suffering from dementia for several years, and typically wasn’t sure who was visiting him. He thought I was his son Donny, and it didn’t help that my wife and my aunt are both named Donna. On that last day I saw him, he was not the excited man of 80 years old who had a new computer program to show me. In fact, it took a while for me to convince myself he was actually still alive. It is frightening to see what can happen to the human body as a result of what is simply a natural process (old age, that is, dementia is certainly not a given with old age). Before I left, I prayed to God, deeply and sincerely, that my grandfather would finally just die. I was the last person in our family to see him alive. It is even more frightening, though merciful nonetheless, to think that my prayer was answered. I was satisfied that his life had been a good one, and content that his suffering was ended.

Has there been anyone in your life who meant a great deal to you but who has died? Were you able to participate in their dying process, and if so, how difficult was it? Imagine what it might be like to face death yourself, and think about how you might want others to treat you. Do your feelings and expectations fit within the cultural expectations and/or traditions of your family and community?

Review of key points

  • Erikson never knew who his father was, and his relationship with his mother was never secure. This challenge to his own identity led him to focus much of his career on the development of identity.
  • Erikson’s theory was epigenetic, in that he believed people progress through a predictable series of psychological stages.
  • At each stage, there is a unique and critical psychosocial crisis.
  • Play is the royal road to understanding the young child’s ego, according to Erikson.
  • Before fully developing his theory, Erikson confirmed many of his observations in distinct cultures, including two Native American tribes (Sioux and Yurok).
  • Erikson described eight stages of development: trust vs. mistrust; autonomy vs. shame/doubt; initiative vs. guilt; industry vs. inferiority; identity vs. role diffusion/confusion; intimacy vs. isolation; generativity vs. stagnation/self-absorption; and integrity vs. despair.
  • Each of the eight stages is associated with a particular strength: hope, will, purpose, competence, fidelity, love, care, wisdom.
  • Sometimes young adults will take a moratorium during their search for an identity.
  • Joan Erikson proposed a ninth stage of development when death is imminent: despair vs. gerotranscendence.
  • Identity develops in relation to one’s environment and culture. Thus, it involves psychosocial relativity.
  • Individuals who lose a sense of personal sameness and historical continuity may face an identity crisis.
  • Both the ratio of where one falls on each continuum of a psychosocial crisis and the possibility of adopting a negative identity are challenges to healthy identity formation.
  • Erikson believed that the significant challenges faced by young Blacks trying to find an identity in America, their disconnection from both their African heritage and the White majority in America, led them toward adopting a negative identity. Evidence can be found in the movement of some young Blacks toward the Nation of Islam and the Black Panthers during the 1960s.
  • The family is an integral social institution in all cultures. Thus, family psychology can play an important role in helping individuals to recover from identity crises.
  • Adulthood is a time of continued psychological development, with its own unique psychosocial crises. The form of these crises, however, varies dramatically from one culture to another.
  • In all cultures, the primary activities of adulthood, around which the psychosocial crises revolve, are work and love.
  • Very old individuals can still be productive and creative. Old age is also an important time for grandparents to communicate a sense of continuity, a generational link, to their grandchildren.
  • Kubler-Ross described five stages that occur during the dying process: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Unfortunately, many people never reach the stage of acceptance.
  • When faced with death itself, those who have achieved acceptance can transcend life, and die in peace. Many non-Western cultures have different attitudes regarding death, and are able to facilitate acceptance much more readily.

Questions & Answers

how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Personality theory in a cultural context. OpenStax CNX. Nov 04, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11901/1.1
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