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Volume23,Issue4,December1989,Pages435–449

Volume23,Issue4 ,December1989,Pages435–449 Search ScienceDirect Abstract References Gener

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GenerativityandErikson's“beliefinthespecies”

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DonnaA.VanDeWater ,DanP.McAdams

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Abstract

Generativityistheconcernforguidingandpromotingthenextgenerationthroughsuch creativebehaviorasparenting,teaching,mentoring,leading,andgeneratingproducts

andoutcomesthatbenefitothers.Erikson(1963)hasarguedthatinordertobe

generativeinadulthood,peoplemusthaveafundamental“beliefinthespecies”orafaith thathumanprogressispossibleandworthworkingtoward.Thepresentstudyfocuseson hopeandtrustconcerningtheselfandothers(Erikson's“beliefinthespecies”).In addition,however,thestudyexaminestherelationbetweengenerativityandpersonality traits,inthiscase,dominance,leadership,self­absorption,andnurturance.Asampleof

70adultswasadministered(1)aseriesofself­reportquestionnairesconvergingon

Erikson'sideaofbeliefinthespecies,(2)aself­reportscaleassessinggenerativity,(3)

measuresofpersonalitytraits,and(4)twoopen­endedmeasuresofgenerativity

requiringsubjectstodescribelifecommitmentsandcreativeendeavors.Theresults providemodestsupportforErikson'sclaimofalinkbetweenbeliefinthespeciesand

generativity,withsignificantpositivecorrelationsobtained(1)betweenself­report

generativityandtwomeasuresofbeliefinspeciesand(2)betweengenerativity

assessedthroughlifecommitmentsandonemeasureofbeliefinthespecies.Inaddition,

thepersonalitytraitofnurturancewaspositivelyrelatedtoallthreegenerativity

measures.Problemsandissuesintheassessmentofgenerativityarediscussed.

CorrespondenceandrequestsforreprintsshouldbesenttoDr.DonnaA.VanDeWater,NCM

International,3000MalmoDrive,ArlingtonHeights,IL60005.

Copyright©1989PublishedbyElsevierInc.

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