The search for fulfillment: revolutionary new research that reveals the secret to long-term happiness, by Susan Krauss Whitbourne

  • Dowd H
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Reviews the book, "The search for fulfillment: Revolutionary new research that reveals the secret to long-term happiness" by Susan Krauss Whitbourne (2010). This book presents an overview of a longitudinal research project which examines the development of 182 individuals over the course of 40 years through the lens of Erik Erikson’s model of psychosocial development. This is a fascinating book that brings Erikson’s theory into sharp focus by reference to concrete and specific cases of adult development. While much of the book is written in a narrative style, the author takes a more argumentative approach when she challenges what she calls ‘the myth of the midlife crisis’. The author calls on a broad range of research to suggest that the idea of the midlife crisis, as it is commonly understood, has no basis in extant research evidence. The author also uses the findings of her own research to support this conclusion. The overview it provides on a life-long research project was of interest to me as a researcher. The life stories of the participants and the interpretation of these stories by the author interested me as a clinician. As a researcher, the opportunity to read an overview of a life-time of research immediately attracted me and this book gives a wonderful insight into how a researcher can devote their life with such enthusiasm and integrity to one project. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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  • Haulie Dowd

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