Middle age is the period of age beyond young adulthood but before the onset of old age. According to the Oxford English Dictionary middle age is between about 45 and  "The period between early adulthood and old age, usually considered as the years from about 45 to Merriam-Webster lists middle age from about 45 to 64,  while prominent psychologist Erik Erikson saw it starting a little earlier and defines middle adulthood as between 40 and The Collins English Dictionary lists it between the ages of about 40 and 60,  and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — the standard diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association — used to define middle age as about 40 to 60, but as of DSM-IV revised the definition upwards to about 45 to This time in the lifespan is considered to be the developmental stage of those who are between 18 years old and 40 years old.
Crisis in Middle Adulthood: Age 45–65
Erikson's stages of psychosocial development - Wikipedia
By Saul McLeod , updated Erikson maintained that personality develops in a predetermined order through eight stages of psychosocial development, from infancy to adulthood. During each stage, the person experiences a psychosocial crisis which could have a positive or negative outcome for personality development. For Erikson , , these crises are of a psychosocial nature because they involve psychological needs of the individual i.
Adult Developmental Stages: Adults in Their 30's
Erikson's stages of psychosocial development , as articulated in the second half of the 20th century by Erik Erikson in collaboration with Joan Erikson ,  is a comprehensive psychoanalytic theory that identifies a series of eight stages that a healthy developing individual should pass through from infancy to late adulthood. Erikson's stage theory characterizes an individual advancing through the eight life stages as a function of negotiating their biological and sociocultural forces. Each stage is characterized by a psychosocial crisis of these two conflicting forces. If an individual does indeed successfully reconcile these forces favoring the first mentioned attribute in the crisis , they emerge from the stage with the corresponding virtue.
The midlife crisis may also result in a person divorcing his or her spouse, changing jobs, or moving from the city to the suburbs. Of course, not everyone experiences stress or upset during middle age; instead they may simply undergo a midlife transition, or change, rather than the emotional upheaval of a midlife crisis. Other middle adults prefer to reframe their experience by thinking of themselves as being in the prime of their lives rather than in their declining years.