Keeper of the Meaning

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This older adult has a collection of bicycles that he has preserved, reflecting his role as a keeper of the meaning.

Keeper of the Meaning is a stage of adult development which involves the "conservation and preservation of the collective products of mankind".[1] This stage was developed by George Vaillant in 1993 and added to Erikson's stages of psychosocial development, between generativity vs. stagnation and integrity vs. despair.[2] This stage covers the ages of 60 to 75.[3] Vaillant contrasts keeper of the meaning with rigidity.[2]

Vaillant stresses that wisdom is a central part of the keeper of the meaning stage.[2] Where generativity focuses on the care of individuals, keeper of the meaning is less selective and focuses on wisdom and justice.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b George E. Vaillant (1 January 2002). Aging Well: Surprising Guideposts to a Happier Life from the Landmark Harvard Study of Adult Development. Hachette Digital, Inc. ISBN 978-0-316-98936-7. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
  2. ^ a b c George E. Vaillant (1995). The Wisdom of the Ego. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-95373-4. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
  3. ^ Hay, R. (2010). "The relevance of ecocentrism, personal development and transformational leadership to sustainability and identity". Sustainable Development. 18 (3): 163–171. doi:10.1002/sd.456.
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