AN OPENING NOTE FROM BARBARA BJORKLUND The Journey of Adulthoodis now in its fifth edition and it continues to capture the dynamic process of adult development, from young adulthood to old, old age. It continues to be based on large-scale research findings and theories of human development, but because diversity increases with age, I have also included more studies of smaller group differences such as gender, culture, race, and socialeconomic status. I have sought a similar balance in seeking out the latest research findings while retaining some of the classical studies by pioneers in the field. And I have accompanied this sometimes medicinal taste with a spoonful of honey--a little personal warmth and humor. After all, I am an adult in the middle years of this journey, following my parents who are in their 80s and looking back at my children in their 30s. The first three editions of this book were written by Helen Bee and although she has retired and is no longer involved in the 4th and 5th editions, the core of the book is still hers. She remains the author emeritus of this series and I maintain her focus and tone. I have also retained some of her comments and stories which I identify with her name; the comments and stories that use the first person "I," are mine. I hope there is no confusion. The first two chapters of this book contain the basics for the course--the definitions, methods, and grand theories of adult development. They lay the groundwork for the following chapters which present a topical overview of adult development. In each of these seven chapters, I cover a topic of adult development using recent research, classic studies, current theories, new directions, and practical applications. In the last five chapters I present some topics that are not as easily classified into traditional fields of study but instead draw upon a number of areas covered in the previous chapters, such as the growth of meaning, the stress encountered at different stages of adulthood, overall views of adult development, and coping with death. In these chapters, to use Helen Bee's terms, "I try to pull the threads together and tie up loose ends." NEW IN THIS EDITION The fifth edition reflects three types of changes--changes in the field of adult development, changes in the world around us, and changes in the academic settings in which this book is used. Changes in the Field of Adult Development The field of adult development has widened and this edition reflects this trend, including information from various medical and biological sciences, sociology and social psychology, women's studies, economics, educational and vocational psychology, anthropology, and clinical psychology, just to name a few, I have found common ground among these disciplines and when discrepancies appear, I have made judgments or suggested future research questions. Another change in the field that is reflected in this edition ofThe Journey of Adulthoodis the international flavor that most sciences are adopting. This book features many studies conducted by international scholars and information about populations outside the U.S. I have also done some fine tuning in terminology and definitions which aligns this book more closely to recent changes in child and adolescent development writings. Changes in the World Around Us The world around us has changed drastically since the last edition of this book. As I write this preface, we in the U.S. are at "level orange" on the homeland security scale. We have just ended a war with Iraq and have started to rebuild that country. The horror of September 11 th, 2001 is still fresh in our minds. The economy is in a slump all over the world and many older adults have seen their investments dwindle to a fraction of their value five years ago. Many middle-aged adults have abandoned plans for early retirement. Although I try to mainBee, Helen L. is the author of 'Journey of Adulthood', published 2003 under ISBN 9780130970411 and ISBN 0130970417.