A Study Of Selected Personality, Emotional, And Cognitive Variables Experienced By Women Entering The Midlife Period

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Counseling Psychology


The primary purpose of this study was to compare women in the midlife transition (ages 34-45) on selected personality, cognitive, and emotional variables, to two groups of women in life stages chronologically preceding the midlife transition (ages 24-29, 30-34), in order to demonstrate that changes occur during the transition period. A second objective of this investigation was to provide descriptive data about midlife women in the 1980s to allow helping professionals to assist women in negotiating this period.A total of 153 subjects participated in this study. The sample consisted of middle to upper middle class, urban Caucasian women from Dade County, Florida. The subjects were divided into three equal groups, ages 24-29, 30-34, and 35-45. Data from the Edwards Personal Preference Schedule, the Multiple Affect Adjective Check List, and a Midlife Concerns Questionnaire were utilized in the analysis of eleven hypotheses, including three hypotheses related to affective variables, seven related to personality variables, and one related to the cognitive variable. Both univariate and multivariate techniques were used to analyze the data.The results of the study consistently failed to detect a significant difference on the ten of the eleven hypotheses using univariate statistics. Multivariate analyses confirmed this pattern of results. In the univariate analysis, midlife women did score significantly higher on the Heterosexuality variable as had been predicted. Findings in the multivariate analysis indicated that scores on Heterosexuality in combination with Intraception, two personality variables, were significantly higher for the midlife group. Nevertheless, the statistically significant variables were not powerful predictors of group membership.Possible explanations for these findings as well as recommendations for further research were discussed.


Psychology, Developmental

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