Lindsay J. Hastings
Date of this Version
Sellon, A. E. (2022) Exploring generativity in young adults: A grounded theory study. [Unpublished master's thesis]. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Generativity expresses one’s level of care and concern for the next generation (Erikson, 1950, 1963). Initially established as a middle adulthood phenomenon, generativity has long been rooted in a middle adulthood framework both conceptually and through its psychometric dimensions. However, many studies have found generativity to be present in other stages of life, particularly young adulthood. This then raised the question of whether the traditional model used for generativity’s manifestation represents young adults’ experiences. This study sought further to explore generativity’s manifestation in a way that is specific to young adults. Applying traditional grounded theory techniques, the present research reanalyzed secondary data from four original studies to explore how generativity is manifested within young adults. A new conceptual model of generativity was developed from these studies, and a theory depicting how generativity is manifested among this age group was generated. The new conceptual model was also compared to the traditional framework of generativity, showcasing similarities and differences in how generativity manifests among middle-aged and young adults. This study establishes foundational insight into the uniqueness of generativity’s development in young adulthood and encourages future research to explore this construct further.
Advisor: Lindsay Hastings