Adulthood

Word Count: 2842 |

According to Erik Erikson’s stages of human development, a young adult is a person between the ages of 19 and 40, whereas an adolescent is a person who is between the ages of 12 and 21. The following stage in human development is known as middle adulthood. This person is between the ages of 41 and 65. In maturity, or late adulthood, the person is between the ages of 65 years or older.

Young adulthood, also known as early adulthood, is characterized by a desire to try new ways of doing things and by changing your relationship with your parents. In the beginning of adulthood, many people believe that they must live the way their parents do in order to survive. Some also assume that they will always have their parents to fall back on if they fail. Eventually, young adults learn to become independent and take responsibility for their own actions. Studies have shown that, in the United States, becoming independent from parental authority is a key goal of development for most young adult men. Women are usually less concerned with being independent. They seem to be more interested in creating new relationships with other people. However, many women in their 20s become independent and develop as individuals.

People in their 20s often believe that they have chosen the course in life that is perfect for them. When they reach their 30s, however, they begin to rethink their decisions and worry that they may not have chosen the right course. Some people often change jobs. People who are working from home may get the urge to get back out into the working world. And couples who do not have children may consider starting a family. Women are more likely to reassess their choices in life. A lot of times, women begin to think about the biological changes that lie ahead. They may become concerned with how many years they have to bear children, especially if they do not have any children yet.

After everything that people consider in their early 30s, the late 30s are more likely than not characterized by settling down. They may increase their financial and emotional investments they make in their lives. Many get promotions or pay raises. Also, they become more interested on advancing their careers and gaining stability in their lives. Not every individual experiences all of these tasks. And if they do, not everyone follows them in a specific order. Many people today choose to remain single or postpone.

An important part of adolescence and young adulthood is to develop your identity. Who you are and what you stand for. Identity brings the personal stability that is needed to form lasting relationships. According to Erik Erikson, the key task of young adulthood is forming relationships.
Relationships can be extremely difficult to keep when one or both of the people do not have personal stability. This may be the main reason why teen marriages suffer a higher divorce rate than adult marriages. However, young adults who have developed a firm sense of identity during adolescence may be ready to join their lives with those of other people through friendships and marriage. Erikson believed that people who do not develop intimate relationships may risk falling into a pattern of isolation and loneliness. An intimate relationship does not necessarily mean that it is a physical relationship. It is, rather, a trusting, close friendship with another person in which one can be honest without a fear of being rejected. Most people in the U.S. marry. Only about one in four people over eighteen has never been married. However, more and more people are beginning to delay marriage in favor of pursuing educational and career goals. In the past twenty five years, the age most men get married has risen to about 23 to 27 and the age most women get married has risen to about 21 to 25 years old.

In many Western cultures, men traditionally play the dominant role in marriage as well as in society. This was known as a patriarchy. Over the past several decades, however, spouses are now more likely to be considered equal partners in a marriage. Marital roles are still changing in today’s society. Some couples, however, still adhere to the old ways where the man makes the money and the women stays home and takes care of the home and children. Sometimes, these roles are even reversed. Most people marry for love. The concept of romantic love is a reason for marriage; however, this was not always how things went. In the 1600s and 1700s, most marriages were arranged by the parents of the bride and groom, based on how the marriage would benefit the two families. Another purpose of marriage was to provide a stable home life in which to have children. Today, however, companionship and intimacy are central goals in most marriages. Research shows that most young adults firmly believe that marriage should be a lifetime commitment.

Unlike in times past, in which young marriages were arranged by the families, today many young people choose their own mates. Parents do sometimes, however, have some say in who their children are with. People may also be influenced in their marital decisions by factors such as ethnicity, level of education, social class, and religion. People usually marry people who are similar to who they are. People also tend to like their mates in race and religion. Less that three percent of marriages are between people of different races. The majority of marriages are between people of the same religion. Many partners also tend to be similar in physical attractiveness, attitudes, personality traits, and intelligence. They are also usually similar in height and race. Plus, people tend to choose mates who are near the same age as their own. People who marry later in life or who remarry, however, are less likely to select partners who are close in age.

Although most couples marry for love, many marriages end up in divorce or permanent separation. The most common reasons for divorce are problems in communication and lack of understanding. The divorce rate in the U.S. rose steadily through much of the 20th century before leveling off in the 80s. About one fourth of the children in the U.S., under the age of 18, live in single parent households.

Divorce is a very common occurrence, even in people who believe marriage is a lifetime commitment. One reason may be that divorce has become much easier than it used to be. If both partners agree on issues of child custody, financial support, and the distribution of the couple’s assets, the marriage is legally dissolved.

The increased economic independence of women also may have some responsibility for the rise in the divorce rate. Increasingly high expectations may also be contributing to the high divorce rate. Many people enter marriage believing it will be easy. They’re wrong. Of course, there are many other reasons why people get divorced. These reasons include spouse abuse, child abuse, and infidelity, strains brought about by illness or financial problems, or an inability to communicate effectively.

Divorce can be extremely difficult for children. Even when the children are almost adults, a divorce can be very difficult. Some research shows that almost half of all the children of divorced parents experience problems such as anxiety, poor grades, low self-esteem, and anger. Many children also blame themselves for their parents divorce. Some effects of divorce on children are not quickly evident. It may seem that some children adjust well to divorce. In early adulthood, however, they may find it hard to trust the commitment of a possible partner. This may cause them to be reluctant in starting a relationship. This delayed reaction is called the “sleeper effect.”

Middle adulthood spans the years from 40 to 65. By their 40s, people begin to lose some of the strength, coordination, and stamina they had in their 20s and 30s.

Erik Erikson believed that the biggest challenge for middle-aged adults is generativity. This is the ability to create, originate, and produce. According to him, generativity adds to the lives of adults, and helps them maintain and enhance their self-esteem.

Adults can be very creative in various areas of their lives, such as their career, their family, and their community. People in middle adulthood are often in positions in which they can exercise a particularly important influence on the world around them. They might improve methods and relationships in the workplace. As parents, they guide the next generation. Erikson also believed that adults who are not generative become stagnant. Stagnation is the lack of advancement or development. This can develop in feelings of emptiness and meaninglessness.

The midlife transition is a period in middle adulthood when people’s perspectives change in a major way. Some adults are struck with the realization that they have lived half of their lives. They see themselves as being at a turning point. Once the midlife transition occurs, people begin to view their lives in how many years they have left to live.

Women tend to undergo their midlife transitions about five years before men do, at about age 35 instead of 40. Why are the mid 30s so special for women? For some women, 35 is about the age when they send their youngest child off to grade school. This event can illustrate that their children are growing up. Many women, however, are not finished or have not yet started having children. For women who have children after 35, doctors recommend routine fetal testing for Down Syndrome and other chromosomal disorders.

In some people, the midlife transition may trigger another period of reassessment. This is called a midlife crisis. The middle aged adult who sees younger people advancing at a faster rate may become seriously depressed. A parent with more than one teenager may feel less needed by their children.

The concept of midlife crisis has often been treated as something generally negative. It suggests that people are overwhelmed by the realities and limits of their lives. Journalist Gail Sheehy is very positive about the years from 45 to 65. She refers to these years as “age of mastery”. Sheehy believes that during these years people are frequently at the height of their creative and productive powers. She believes that the key task for middle-aged adults is to decide what they will do with the rest of their lives.

The term middlescence is sometimes used to describe a period of searching that in some ways resembles adolescence. They are both periods of transition. The key task for adolescence is the formation of identity in becoming an adult. The key take for middlescence involves a search for a new identity, or second adulthood. By the time they reach their 40s, women have already dealt with some of the fears and uncertainties that are only just starting to confront men. As women emerge from middlescence in their 40s and 50s, they often experience a renewed sense of self. Many women feel confident and secure. They have committed to what they are doing and feel productive, effective, and powerful.

Empty-nest syndrome is the term used to describe the feelings of emptiness and loss mothers supposedly feel after their children have left home. To mothers who have never worked outside the home, the transition is particularly hard. After years of being totally committed to being a wife and mother, some women seem to lose their sense of purpose and become depressed after their children leave home.

However, many women report that when their children move out they are happier with their marriage and other aspects of their lives. Many women mention positive changes such as greater peace of mind, self-confidence, and personal stability. Many middle-aged women become more self-assertive and achievement oriented. There is much variation though. Some women may feel hopeless and drained. But more often then not, middle age is a time of increased freedom. Many begin to travel.

Menopause, the end of menstruation, usually occurs in women’s late 40s or early 50s. It is caused by the decrease in the secretion of the hormone estrogen and pro-estrogen. Women can no longer produce egg cells that can be fertilized. Breast tissue decreases, and the skin become less elastic. There can also be a loss in bone density. This is a condition call osteoporosis.

There is also a psychological meaning to menopause. Some women may feel that they have become less attractive or even that they are losing their identity as women.

When women are referred to as “menopausal,” it is usually the mood swings and increased irritability that are being talked about.
Do men experience menopause? Actually, yes they do. At about age 40 or 50, testosterone levels in men being to decline. It does not resemble the sharp plunge in estrogen levels that women experience. The decline in a man’s testosterone level may be connected with such other age-related changes as loss of strength, weight gain, reduced energy, and decreased fertility. Some of these changes, however, could just as well be due to a gradual loss of the human growth hormone rather than a diminishing testosterone level.

Age 65 sparks the beginning of late adulthood. People are living longer than ever before. Some people view the later years as the beginning of the end of life. In fact, the later years provide many opportunities for self-fulfillment.

Many physical changes take place in late adulthood. Wrinkles occur and the skin becomes less elastic. Some of the senses become less sharp. In general, older people can not see or hear as well as younger adults. The reflexes and reaction time of older people also tend to be a little slower than those of younger people.

A few physical changes can cause health problems. As bones become more brittle, they become easier to fracture. As people grow older, their immune systems become less effective as a barrier against disease.

However, older people can do many things to maintain their health, strength, and energy levels. Regular exercise and healthful diet can help older people fight disease and make them feel well. Exercise helps maintain flexibility and fitness at any age.

Programmed theories are the developmental theories that maintain that aging is the result of genetics. These theories of aging view people as having biological clocks that move forward at a predetermined pace. Studies show that people with parents who had long lives are also likely to live long lives.

Some older adults occasionally experience memory loss, but this is not serious. Serious loss of cognitive functioning is called a dementia. People with dementia show major losses in memory. They may develop speech problems or be unable to perform simple tasks.
Dementia that occurs after the age of 65 is called senile dementia. Most cases occur in people over the age of 80. Aging, however, does not cause dementia. As the life expectancy of the population has increased, dementia had become more frequent simply because there is now more time in people’s life spans for it to occur.

The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. This disease affects about 10 percent of people in the U.S. over the age of 65. The risk increases with age.

Aging also involved many social changes. People have to make decisions about their retirement, how much time to spend with their children and grandchildren, and where they should live.

Many people dream of retirement. Where they do not have to wake up early in the morning and go to work. Other people dread the idea, wondering what they will do with their time. It is, however, voluntary. But people in some professions, must retire when they reach a certain age.
Grandparents often have more relaxed relationships with their grandchildren than their children. Their perspectives may have grown broader as they have grown older.

Erik Erikson believed that people in late adulthood face certain developmental tasks. He believed that one challenge is the maintenance of ego integrity. Ego integrity is the belief that life is meaningful and worthwhile even when physical abilities are not what they used to be. A person with ego integrity is able to accept his or her approaching death as part of life.

Many people in their 70s report being largely satisfied with their lives. More than 75 percent rate their health as good or excellent. Older people tend to be more satisfied with their lives when they are in good health and when they are financially secure. They tend to worry less, and their stress is reduced.

Dying people, like other people, need security, self-confidence, and dignity. They may need relief from pain. They need to feel supported and cared for. The knowledge that one’s final wishes will be carried out can help the dying person gain a sense of peace and completion.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

Allegory Of American Pie By Don Mc Lean

Ask anyone what was the defining moment in the rock history of the 1960s was and all you will get is a one word answer: Woodstock. The three day rock festival that defined an era was only one of many music festivals of the '60s. But Woodstock has come to symbolize, "an era of peaceful, free- loving, drug- taking hippie youth, carefree before harsher realities hit..." (Layman 40). The Woodstock festival ended a century filled with many metamorphoses of rock'n'roll, from the era of pop music to the rebirth of folk music to the invention of acid rock. But some cynics say that rock'n'roll died with the death of Buddy Holly before the 60s even began. One such person is Don McLean. The poet behind the haunting epic song about the death of 'danceable' music, McLean wrote the ever popular song, "American Pie" (appendix 1). The most important song in rock'n'roll history, "American Pie", is the song about the demise of rock'n'roll after Buddy Holly's death and the heathenism of rock that resulted. Although McLean himself won't reveal any symbolism in his songs, "American Pie" is one of the most analyzed pieces of literature in modern society. Although not all of its secrets have been revealed, many "scholars" of the sixties will agree that the mystery of this song is one of the reasons it has become so successful- everyone wants to know the meanings of its allegories. Proof of "American Pie's" truth lies in the allegory of the song. Many People enjoy the song but have no idea what it means- Who is the Jester? What is the levee? When the deeper story is found, the importance of the song is unearthed. "American Pie" is not only a song, it is an epic poem about the course of rock'n'roll...

Carl Orffs Philosophies In Music Education

While Carl Orff is a very seminal composer of the 20th century, his greatest success and influence has been in the field of Music Education. Born on July 10th in Munich, Germany in 1895, Orff refused to speak about his past almost as if he were ashamed of it. What we do know, however, is that Orff came from a Bavarian family who was very active in the German military. His father's regiment band would often play through some of the young Orff's first attempts at composing. Although Orff was adamant about the secrecy of his past, Moser's Musik Lexicon says that he studied in the Munich Academy of Music until 1914. Orff then served in the military in the first world war. After the war, he held various positions in the Mannheim and Darmstadt opera houses then returned home to Munich to further study music. In 1925, and for the rest of his life, Orff was the head of a department and co-founder of the Guenther School for gymnastics, music, and dance in Munich where he worked with musical beginners. This is where he developed his Music Education theories. In 1937, Orff's Carmina Burana premiered in Frankfurt, Germany. Needless to say, it was a great success. With the success of Carmina Burana, Orff orphaned all of his previous works except for Catulli Carmina and the En trata which were rewritten to be acceptable by Orff. One of Orff's most admired composers was Monteverdi. In fact, much of Orff's work was based on ancient material. Orff said: I am often asked why I nearly always select old material, fairy tales and legends for my stage works. I do not look upon them as old, but rather as valid material. The time element disappears, and only the spiritual power remains. My...

Johann Sebastian Bach Biography

Throughout the history of music, many great composers, theorists, and instrumentalists have left indelible marks and influences that people today look back on to admire and aspire to. No exception to this idiom is Johann Sebastian Bach, whose impact on music was unforgettable to say the least. People today look back to his writings and works to both learn and admire. He truly can be considered a music history great. Bach, who came from a family of over 53 musicians, was nothing short of a virtuosic instrumentalist as well as a masterful composer. Born in Eisenach, Germany, on March 21, 1685, he was the son of a masterful violinist, Johann Ambrosius Bach, who taught his son the basic skills for string playing. Along with this string playing, Bach began to play the organ which is the instrument he would later on be noted for in history. His instruction on the organ came from the player at Eisenach's most important church. He instructed the young boy rather rigorously until his skills surpassed anyone?s expectations for someone of such a young age. Bach suffered early trauma when his parents died in 1695. He went to go live with his older brother, Johann Christoph, who also was a professional organist at Ohrdruf. He continued his younger brother's education on that instrument, as well as introducing him to the harpsichord. The rigorous training on these instruments combined with Bach?s masterful skill paid off for him at an early age. After several years of studying with his older brother, he received a scholarship to study in Luneberg, Germany, which is located on the northern tip of the country. As a result, he left his brother?s tutelage and went to go and study there. The teenage years brought Bach to several parts of Germany where he...

Michelangelo

Michelangelo was pessimistic in his poetry and an optimist in his artwork. Michelangelo?s artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures that showed humanity in it?s natural state. Michelangelo?s poetry was pessimistic in his response to Strazzi even though he was complementing him. Michelangelo?s sculpture brought out his optimism. Michelangelo was optimistic in completing The Tomb of Pope Julius II and persevered through it?s many revisions trying to complete his vision. Sculpture was Michelangelo?s main goal and the love of his life. Since his art portrayed both optimism and pessimism, Michelangelo was in touch with his positive and negative sides, showing that he had a great and stable personality. Michelangelo?s artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures that showed humanity in it?s natural state. Michelangelo Buonarroti was called to Rome in 1505 by Pope Julius II to create for him a monumental tomb. We have no clear sense of what the tomb was to look like, since over the years it went through at least five conceptual revisions. The tomb was to have three levels; the bottom level was to have sculpted figures representing Victory and bond slaves. The second level was to have statues of Moses and Saint Paul as well as symbolic figures of the active and contemplative life- representative of the human striving for, and reception of, knowledge. The third level, it is assumed, was to have an effigy of the deceased pope. The tomb of Pope Julius II was never finished. What was finished of the tomb represents a twenty-year span of frustrating delays and revised schemes. Michelangelo had hardly begun work on the pope?s tomb when Julius commanded him to fresco the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to complete the work done in the previous century under Sixtus IV. The overall organization consists of four large triangles at...

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin Ireland on October 16, 1854. He is one of the most talented and most controversial writers of his time. He was well known for his wit, flamboyance, and creative genius and with his little dramatic training showing his natural talent for stage and theatre. He is termed a martyr by some and may be the first true self-publicist and was known for his style of dress and odd behavior. Wilde, 1882 His Father, William Wilde, was a highly accredited doctor and his mother, Jane Francesca Elgee, was a writer of revolutionary poems. Oscar had a brother William Charles Kingsbury along with his father's three illegitimate children, Henry, Emily, and Mary. His sister, Isola Emily Francesca died in 1867 at only ten years of age from a sudden fever, greatly affecting Oscar and his family. He kept a lock of her hair in an envelope and later wrote the poem 'Requiescat' in her memory. Oscar and his brother William both attended the Protora Royal School at Enniskillen. He had little in common with the other children. He disliked games and took more interest in flowers and sunsets. He was extremely passionate about anything that had to do with ancient Greece and with Classics. Wilde during school years In 1871, he was awarded a Royal School Scholarship to Trinity College in Dublin and received many awards and earned the highest honor the college offered to an undergraduate, the Foundation Scholarship. In 1874, he also won the College's Berkley Gold Medal for Greek and was awarded a Demyship to Magdalen College, Oxford. After graduating from Oxford, Oscar moved to London with his friend Frank Miles, a well-known portrait painter of the time. In 1878 his poem Ravenna was published, for which he won the...

The History Of Greek Theater

Theater and drama in Ancient Greece took form in about 5th century BCE, with the Sopocles, the great writer of tragedy. In his plays and those of the same genre, heroes and the ideals of life were depicted and glorified. It was believed that man should live for honor and fame, his action was courageous and glorious and his life would climax in a great and noble death. Originally, the hero's recognition was created by selfish behaviors and little thought of service to others. As the Greeks grew toward city-states and colonization, it became the destiny and ambition of the hero to gain honor by serving his city. The second major characteristic of the early Greek world was the supernatural. The two worlds were not separate, as the gods lived in the same world as the men, and they interfered in the men's lives as they chose to. It was the gods who sent suffering and evil to men. In the plays of Sophocles, the gods brought about the hero's downfall because of a tragic flaw in the character of the hero. In Greek tragedy, suffering brought knowledge of worldly matters and of the individual. Aristotle attempted to explain how an audience could observe tragic events and still have a pleasurable experience. Aristotle, by searching the works of writers of Greek tragedy, Aeschulus, Euripides and Sophocles (whose Oedipus Rex he considered the finest of all Greek tragedies), arrived at his definition of tragedy. This explanation has a profound influence for more than twenty centuries on those writing tragedies, most significantly Shakespeare. Aristotle's analysis of tragedy began with a description of the effect such a work had on the audience as a "catharsis" or purging of the emotions. He decided that catharsis was the purging of two specific emotions, pity and...

Scholarship Essay About Goals

Ever since I was a young kid I have always been interested with aircraft. I was so curious of how airplane's fly. I remember taking my toys apart to see how it works. As a kid I wanted to go to the airport to watch the airplanes land and fly and pondered how this happens. Other kids wanted to go to the amusement places. As I grew older I became more and more interested in aircraft and the technology behind it. I always involved myself with aviation early on. I read books and magazines on aviation, took museum tours, built model airplanes. When I was younger my father would take me to aircraft repair facilities where I would watch in great fascination. In my teens, went up to the military bases and befriended many soldiers involved with aircraft and asked them numerous questions. I got to meet many aeronautics engineers and borrowed their old textbooks and read them till the wee hours of the morning. As technology improved with information superhighway, I logged on the web. Stayed up for hours and hours searching through web pages and web pages of information about aircraft and technology. I started my elementary school in the Philippines, then we moved to U.S. and continued my high school education and graduated. Enrolled at the CCSF to pursue my college education and now I am in the 2nd year in CCSF taking aeronautics. My goal now is to obtain my AS degree from the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) so I can transfer to a University and get a Bachelors degree and to continue for my Masters degree in Aeronautics Engineering. I will strive hard to reach the peak level of my career which is a Professor and hopefully to be an aeronautic professor so...

Circus Circus Enterprises Case Studies

Executive Summary: Circus Circus Enterprises is a leader and will continue to be in the gaming industry. In recent years, they have seen a decline in profit and revenue; management tends to blame the decrease on continuing disruptions from remodeling, expansion, and increased competition. Consequently, Circus has reported decreases in its net income for 1997 and 1998 and management believes this trend will continue as competition heightens. Currently the company is involved in several joint ventures, its brand of casino entertainment has traditionally catered to the low rollers and family vacationers through its theme park. Circus should continue to expand its existing operations into new market segments. This shift will allow them to attract the up scale gambler. Overview Circus Circus Enterprises, Inc founded in 1974 is in the business of entertainment, with its core strength in casino gambling. The company?s asset base, operating cash flow, profit margin, multiple markets and customers, rank it as one of the gaming industry leaders. Partners William G. Bennett an aggressive cost cutter and William N. Pennington purchased Circus Circus in 1974 as a small and unprofitable casino. It went public in 1983, from 1993 to 1997; the average return on capital invested was 16.5%. Circus Circus operates several properties in Las Vegas, Reno, Laughlin, and one in Mississippi, as well as 50% ownership in three other casinos and a theme park. On January 31,1998 Circus reported net income of 89.9 million and revenues of 1.35 billion, this is a down from 100 million on 1.3 billion in 1997. Management sees this decline in revenue due to the rapid and extensive expansion and the increased competition that Circus is facing. Well established in the casino gaming industry the corporation has its focus in the entertainment business and has particularly a popular theme resort concept....

Effect Of Civil War On American Economy

The Economies of the North and South, 1861-1865 In 1861, a great war in American history began. It was a civil war between the north and south that was by no means civil. This war would have great repercussions upon the economy of this country and the states within it. The American Civil War began with secession, creating a divided union of sorts, and sparked an incredibly cataclysmic four years. Although the actual war began with secession, this was not the only driving force. The economy of the Southern states, the Confederacy, greatly if not entirely depended on the institution of slavery. The Confederacy was heavily reliant on agriculture, and they used the profits made from the sale of such raw materials to purchase finished goods to use and enjoy. Their major export was cotton, which thrived on the warm river deltas and could easily be shipped to major ocean ports from towns on the Mississippi and numerous river cities. Slavery was a key part of this, as slaves were the ones who harvested and planted the cotton. Being such an enormous unpaid work force, the profits made were extraordinarily high and the price for the unfinished goods drastically low in comparison; especially since he invention of the cotton gin in 1793 which made the work all that much easier and quicker. In contrast, the economical structure of the Northern states, the Union, was vastly dependent on industry. Slavery did not exist in most of the Union, as there was no demand for it due to the type of industrial development taking place. As the Union had a paid work force, the profits made were lower and the cost of the finished manufactured item higher. In turn, the Union used the profits and purchased raw materials to use. This cycle...

Evaluation Of The Effectiveness Of Trade Embargoes

Although I am a strong critic of the use and effectiveness of economic sanctions, such as trade embargoes, for the sake of this assignment, I will present both their theoretical advantages and their disadvantages based upon my research. Trade embargoes and blockades have traditionally been used to entice nations to alter their behavior or to punish them for certain behavior. The intentions behind these policies are generally noble, at least on the surface. However, these policies can have side effects. For example, FDR's blockade of raw materials against the Japanese in Manchuria in the 1930s arguably led to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which resulted in U.S. involvement in World War II. The decades-long embargo against Cuba not only did not lead to the topple of the communist regime there, but may have strengthened Castro's hold on the island and has created animosity toward the United States in Latin America and much suffering by the people of Cuba. Various studies have concluded that embargoes and other economic sanctions generally have not been effective from a utilitarian or policy perspective, yet these policies continue. Evaluation of the effectiveness of Trade Embargoes Strengths Trade embargoes and other sanctions can give the sender government the appearance of taking strong measures in response to a given situation without resorting to violence. Sanctions can be imposed in conjunction with other measures to achieve conflict prevention and mitigation goals. Sanctions may be ineffective: goals may be too elusive, the means too gentle, or cooperation from other countries insufficient. It is usually difficult to determine whether embargoes were an effective deterrent against future misdeeds: embargoes may contribute to a successful outcome, but can rarely achieve ambitious objectives alone. Some regimes are highly resistant to external pressures to reform. At the same time, trade sanctions may narrow the...