chapter  7
16 Pages

Substance Abuse Counseling with Males in Middle Adulthood (Ages 34 to 60)

From their training, mental health professionals will have a basic understanding about what are considered to be normal psychosocial developmental challenges of middle adulthood for both women and men, e.g., managing one’s career and work life, nurturing an intimate relationship while expanding other caring relationships, and managing one’s household, home, and family life (Newman & Newman, 2012). The reality for men in this age group is that male gender role norms and expectations continue to aff ect how they will coordinate work and home life, how they will act in close, intimate relationships (e.g., in terms of self-disclosure and expressing vulnerability in relationships), and how they will handle either expected or unexpected events in their lives, such as the emotional and legal implications of a possible separation or divorce, the sudden change that comes from losing one’s steady employment (and sense of masculinity that may accompany a job), or even the unexpected consequences of a planned career change or transition in middle adulthood that has repercussions related to status, meaning, and assumptions about one’s self (O’Neil & Egan, 1992).