Who Cares? Generativity and the Moral Emotions, Part 1. Advancing the "Psychology of Ultimate Concerns"

Volume
Volume 36
Issue
Fall 2008
Title
Who Cares? Generativity and the Moral Emotions, Part 1. Advancing the "Psychology of Ultimate Concerns"
Abstract

Contemporary thinking in generativity theory and research (de St. Aubin, McAdams, & Kim, 2004) and in the "psychology of ultimate concerns" (Emmons, 1999) posits that Erik Erikson's notion of generativity is a multi-faceted construct concerned with the moral telos of positive psychological growth, but one that has yet to be satisfactorily explored. The current article draws on some of Erikson's (2000) less-cited descriptions of generativity to propose a new domain for generativity theory and research, termed relational generativity. Relational generativity is conceptualized as the motive and capacity to take care of the strengths-development of cared for others, and is delineated as (a) a moral telos (to be pursued), (b) a motive (to be activated), (c) a psychological capacity (to be developed), and (d) an investment (to be given). Christian ethicist Don Browning (2006) suggests that these features substantively outline Erikson's relational ethic of "generative mutuality" and provide a view of relational well-being that potentially enriches the Christian understanding of neighbor-love. Suggestions for continued theoretical and empirical development of relational generativity, and its relevance to the relational spirituality paradigm are offered. Collectively this three-article series extends the author's recent proposal for a moral motive approach to emotion and transformation (Leffel, 2007a, 2007b, 2007c).

Author
Dr. G.M. Leffel
Pages
161 - 181
Price
Add to Cart $5.00