Here is the formal citation:
Drake, Pamela Jo Willenbring. Successful Aging: Investment in Genealogy As a Function of Generativity, Mobility and Sense of Place. Thesis (M.A.)--California State University, Fullerton, 2001, 2001.
I also found a related paper as follows:
Umfleet, S. Bradley. Genealogy and Generativity in Older Adults, A Social Work 298 Special Project
Presented to the Faculty of the College of Social Work San José State University. Special Project, (M.A.) San José State University, San José, California, 2009.
Then, guess what? I found there is a whole string of commentaries and scholarly papers on this subject. So what is the subject? Generativity. I found a concise definition in About.com Phychology:
Generativity versus stagnation is the seventh stage of Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development. This stage takes place during middle adulthood between the ages of approximately 40 and 65. During this time, adults strive to create or nurture things that will outlast them; often by having children or contributing to positive changes that benefits other people.
Contributing to society and doing things to benefit future generations are important needs at the generativity versus stagnation stage of development. Generativity refers to "making your mark" on the world, through caring for others, creating things and accomplishing things that make the world a better place.
Stagnation refers to the failure to find a way to contribute. These individuals may feel disconnected or uninvolved with their community and with society as a whole.This is starting to look very interesting, particularly in relationship to the age factor in genealogy. I am in the process of reviewing several of these publications and may provide some commentary here.
These issues touch on several related subjects, including the relative popularity of genealogy as a "hobby" or interest, the median age level of the participants and whether or not genealogy as a "community" is attracting or can attract "younger" members?
It will take me a while to read through what I have found already, but I expect I will have some comments to make.