Extending the framework of generativity through research: A qualitative Study

April 16, 2014


  • Kate de Medeiros

This study defines 4 foci of generativity (people, groups, things, and activities) and 4 spheres of generativity (historical, familial, individual, and relational) based in American culture and with which older informants could easily identify. The approach outlined here also discusses a form of generativity oriented to the past in which relationships with persons in senior generations form a kind of generative action since they are involved in caring for the origins of the self and hence of future generative acts. These 3 elements of a new framework will allow researchers to pose critical questions about generativity among older adults. The article addresses some new ways of thinking about generativity as a construct, which may be useful in understanding the cultural personhood of older Americans.

The Gerontologist, 55 (4), 548-559. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnu009

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  • Case Studies/ Qualitative Research
  • Research Methods