Transition to Adulthood – Theories
(Chapt. 4, pg 98-107)
Erik Erikson's Eight Stages of Life
Jane Loevinger's Theory of Ego Development
The Family Life Cycle
Daniel Levinson's Theory of the Seasons of Life
Klaus Riegal's Interpretation of Development
Leonard Pearlin's Theory of Psychological
To Do:
Brainstorm about the physical, emotional, and
social developmental milestones of human
On a piece of newsprint, draw a timeline that
begins with birth and ends with death.
Is each milestone is physical, emotional, social,
or a combination?
Psychologists have studied the relationships
between these milestones of human aging and
emotional and social development.
They have developed theories about how
personalities develop.
Erik Erikson
Danish-German-American Developmental Psychologist)
-Erikson coined the term “identity crisis”
-8 stages in which an individuals identity emerges
-at each stage a person is faced with something they must
overcome (a dilemma)
-their biological and social clock pushes them through the
dilemma they are faced with
-failure to resolve the dilemma suggests some problems later
in life
-theory of Psychosocial Development
Erikson's Dilemmas of Youth and
Later Life
Identity vs Role Confusion ( 12 – 18 years)
-define who he/she is an d what he/she will be in the future
-in resolving this they develop fidelity
Intimacy vs Isolation (19 – 40 Years)
-the ability to merge your identity with someone else, without
losing yourself
-in resolving this they develop love
-women may develop identity and intimacy together
velop the ability to care
Generativity vs Stagnation (40 – 65 Years)
-how to contribute to society
-create and nurture things that outlast them
-failure will result in a shallow involvement in the world
Ego Integrity and Despair (65 Years to Death)
- feel a sense of fulfillment, wisdom
-with failure you are left feeling despair and bitter
Jane Loevinger
Ego (understanding of self) development
Full ego development is having an autonomous
self – being a self reliant person and
understanding and respecting others as unique
Few adults achieve full ego dev't
Young adults are between conformist and
conscientious stage
Require a sense of self before they can form
intimate relationships with others.
Family Life Cycle
Parents and children must separate from one another so that
adults can accept emotional responsibility for themselves. Three
tasks must occur in order for young adults to become self
1) individuation - separation from family of origin. What you will
take, leave behind and create for themselves
2) young adults must develop new and intimate relationships
3) young adults must make their first commitment to a career or
Daniel Levinson
-Adults begin to prepare a life structure
-adults form a dream - individuals sense of self in an adult
4 Tasks must be developed from age 22 - 28
1) A Dream
2) mentor relationships
3) an occupation
4) from love relationships
People re-evaluate their life structures between 28 - 33 years
Klaus Riegal
Change occurs when a change in one dimension
requires an adjustment in one or more or the other
dimensions (psychological, biological, sociological, and
Leonard Pearlin
Development can be unique to each individual yet appear to
occur in a common pattern.
Four elements determine the path that an individual will take:
1) individual characteristics - gender, race, intelligence, family
2) skills for coping with stress
3) social support networks
4) timing of stress

Ego Integrity and Despair (65 Years to Death)