Create and analyze a 1–2-page simulated case study of an adult with developmental challenges. Then, create a 5–7-page intervention plan based on evidence-based strategies that have proven effective in similar cases and make projections of possible long-term impacts that current challenges may produce across the individual’s remaining lifespan.
- Early adulthood, from 18–25 years, is a period when focus on relationships and career choice and success can become primary.
- Middle adulthood, or midlife, often focuses on growth, maintenance, and regulation of loss in family and work contexts.
- Late adulthood is when people move into their 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, and various challenges and losses can define developmental trajectories.
Theorists and researchers focus on these phases to understand the developmental trajectories of adults:
- Early adulthood, often referred to as young adulthood or emerging adulthood, is a period from 18 to 25 years, where the focus on relationships and career choice and success can become primary. Young adulthood is often understood by applying lifespan development theories that help in understanding social-emotional and career development issues that emerge in young adulthood. Examples are adult attachment theory, Holland’s personality type theory linked to career development, Super’s vocational self-concept stages, as well as Erikson’s stage of identity development.
- Middle adulthood, or midlife is a period where, according to developmental theory, there is evidence of growth, maintenance, and regulation of loss in various contexts such as family and work. Middle adulthood is often understood by applying lifespan development theories that help in understanding the cognitive and social development issues that emerge in midlife. Concepts of maintenance and loss as well and coping strategies linked to stress such as Hobfoll’s theory of conservation of resources (COR) are often useful. Cognitive changes are often understood in terms of fluid and crystallized intelligence. Social development is often understood in terms of Erikson’s concept of generativity.
- Adulthood or late adulthood is a period when people move into their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, with various challenges and losses that can define developmental trajectories. Late adulthood is often understood by applying lifespan development theories that help in understanding the gains and losses that are hallmarks of this stage of adulthood, such as the lifespan theory developed by Baltes and colleagues.
Questions to Consider
To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community.
- How do changes in the brain during adulthood affect success in school or the workplace?
- In what ways does adult female development differ from adult male development? In what ways is it similar?
- How might your knowledge of adult development be useful in your current or future professional pursuits?
- What factors promote stability in adult life? What factors promote change?
- How do the different measures of health in middle age contribute to the cognitive and social changes associated with middle adulthood?
- How might your knowledge that middle adulthood is often when a person first confronts the lessening of his or her abilities be useful in your current or future professional pursuits?
- What are some strategies for maintaining cognitive abilities, given the concerns about decline in cognitive development possible during late adulthood?
- What factors contribute to the increased life expectancy?
- What is the role of wisdom in healthy aging?
- How do we as a society support older persons as they deal with their own mortality?