Developmental Psychology
  Lifespan Theories
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Comparing major classic theories in lifespan developmental psychology with stages...
  1. About
  2. Philosophy
  3. Lifespan
  4. Details
  5. Synopsis
  6. References
  A reference to compare developmental lifespan theories or find out where you stand, according to the leading psychologists of the 20th century.
philosopher area development is era follow theme age coverage
Freud psychodynamic social-emotional 1917 Darwin eros vs thanatos all
Erikson psychodynamic social-emotional 1950 Freud trust creates a worker all
Levinson social-emotional 1978 questioning vs building 17-65
Gould social-emotional 1978 Levinson eliminate fables 17-
Selman social-emotional 1980 empathy 3-15
Marcia social-emotional 1980 Erikson commitment all
Vygotsky cognitive cognitive 1934 ZPD
Piaget cognitive cognitive 1954 accomodation all
Kohlberg moral cognitive 1970 John Locke
authority varies
Ginzberg career cognitive 1972 experience 0-23
Super career cognitive 1976 experience 14-35
Fowler religious cognitive 1981 Erikson
awareness all
Bronfenbrenner ecological social 1979 relationships all
Through the Ages:
Erogenous Zones
stage oral anal phallic latency genital
pleasure relieve tension relieve tension genitals repress sex non-familial sex
example sucking voiding masturbation cooties marriage
crisis Oedipus Complex
resolution be like same-sex parent develop intellect
forget traumatic phallic stage
love relationship
Life-span Stages
name oral-sensory muscular-anal locomotor latency adolescence young adulthood middle adulthood maturity
positive trust autonomy initiative industry identity intimacy generativity integrity
negative mistrust shame & doubt guilt inferiority identity confusion isolation stagnation despair
affiliation attachment disassociation
requires physical comfort
no fear
recognize own behavior
recognize will
learn responsibility mild but firm coersion to industry
learn skills of the culture
explore roles
do not impose identity
willfully open and commit to another involvement with future generation resolve other stages positively
accept death
event eat toilet train independence school peer love parent reflect & accept
Cognitive Development
stage sensorimotor preoperational concrete operational formal operational
realize world not extension of self symbols physical objects
loose egocentric thinking
ability reflex pattern
object permanence
weakness symbols manipulate symbol
gender role
moral realism
abstract reasoning
Conceptual Development
concepts thematic classification chain abstract
description 1 quality = whole object selection process 1 quality classifies objects
example dog is bowl because dog drinks from bowl
Perspective Taking
stage egocentric social-informational self-reflective mutual perspective social & conventional system
sense differentiate self from other
label visible feelings
social perspective based on other's reasoning
can differ from self's reasoning
focus on one view
put self in other's place to judge intentions, purpose, and action 3rd person perspective
self and other view each other mutually and cimultaneously as subjects
mutual perspective taking cannot explain whole story
social conventions are necessary
unaware cause of other's feelings can't see both self and other siumultaneously
Religious Development
faith intuitive-projective mythical-literal synthetic-conventional individuating-reflexive conjunctive universalizing
characteristic fantasy is reality interpret religious stories literally conform to others' beliefs
little exposure to alternatives
expend effort to find own path aware of finiteness and limits
open to paradox and other views
exceed belief systems
conflicting events not paradox
right consequence to self fair exchange harm to relationship
what others might say
welfare of self and others arbitrary oneness with all beings
comparison trust-mistrust to preoperational pre to concrete operational formal operational and conventional morality formal operational with development
Developmental Career Choice
stage fantasy tentative realistic
determination unlimited and arbitrary interests capacities values exploration by practice
Career Self-Concept
accomplishment crystallization specification implementation stabalization
characteristic define work in terms of self-concept narrow down choices by experiencing work complete education and start full-time work focus on one specialty
Adult Personality
stage leave parents' world I'm nobody's baby open to what's inside midlife decade beyond midlife
corrects assumption eternally with parents parents' methods
 + hard work
 = success
life is:
no conflicting self
abscence of:
need spouse
I'm innocent
family is everything
attain independence
stability permanent personality
questions life strengths and weaknesses life's worth
Seasons of Life
stage pre-adulthood transition early adulthood transition adulthood transition early middle age transition middle adulthood transition
change independence
leave home
establish adult role
start family
revise dream
consolidate goals and anchor to:
accept aging
resolve mid-life crisis
accept death
release commitments
struggle start dream form:
rebalance polarities:
crisis rare if none before
  1. Sigmund Freud
    1. personality
      1. general
        1. defense mechanisms
          1. reduce anxiety caused by friction of the 3
            1. by ego warping reality
          2. repression
            1. push id's shouts into unconscious
            2. top defense mechanism
          3. we fear
            1. judgment of superego
      2. structures
        piece role presence will variable aware moral
        id instinct, reason to live born, biological pleasure principle eros/thanatos dependent no evil
        ego decision born individual yes yes
        superego conscience parent, society, class, isms independent yes good
      3. superego defense
        mechanism exhibit
        act out irresponsible behavior
        deny reality selective facts
        displacement attack all but the issue
        fixation attach to person or event
        projection percieve own motives as others'
        rationalization contrive to conceal motive
        reaction formation obsessive act to prevent opposite perception
        regression immature acts
        repression suppress bad thoughts
        sublimation redirect suppressed sex to other activities
        undoing illogical acts to alleviate guilt
    2. erogenous zones
      1. general
        1. pleasure source defines stage
        2. stuck at stage if crisis is unresolved
      2. stages
        # from to stage pleasure example crisis resolution
        0 1 oral relieve tension sucking
        1 3 anal relieve tension voiding
        3 6 phallic genitals masturbation Oedipus Complex be like same-sex parent
        6 10 latency repress sex cooties develop intellect forget traumatic phallic stage
        10 die genital non-familial sex marriage love relationship
    3. practice
      1. psychotherapy
      2. justify odd behavior as stage norms
        1. judicial: extenuating circumstances
      3. child labor laws and schools
  2. Erik Erikson
    1. apply Freud
      1. stress more
        1. ego
        2. creating a worker
    2. Eight Life-Span Stages
      1. general
        1. psychosocial stages
        2. must resolve all crisis of one stage before advancing to next
          1. resolution
            1. may be negative
            2. changes personality
          2. positive resolution of a stage = healthier
            1. even if exposure to the negative makes you wiser
        3. stages
          # from to name positive negative affiliation requires event
          0 1 oral-sensory trust mistrust attachment physical comfort no fear eat
          1 3 muscular-anal autonomy shame & doubt disassociation recognize own behavior recognize will toilet train
          3 5 locomotor initiative guilt learn responsibility independence
          6 10 latency industry inferiority coerce mildly but firmly to industry
          learn skills of the culture
          10 20 adolescence identity identity confusion explore roles
          do not impose identity
          20 40 young adulthood intimacy isolation willfully open and commit to another love
          40 60 middle adulthood generativity stagnation involvement with future generation parent
          60 die maturity integrity despair resolve other stages positively accept death reflect & accept
    3. practice
      1. harm from a constantly negative environment
      2. infants need touch
      3. children need to feel useful
        1. importance of self-esteem
  3. Jean Piaget
    1. organismic
    2. Cognitive Developmental Theory
      1. general
        1. psychology links epistemology with biological intelligence
        2. information processing
          1. assimilation vs. accommodation
          2. advance stage by
            1. natural tendency to form equilibrium (schema) from disequilibriam (violation of schema) by balancing
              1. maturation
              2. social interaction
              3. experience
          3. morality
            # from to name rules and laws are consider justice
            4 7 heteronomous unchangeable uncontrollable consequences imminent
            10 die autonomous changeable created convenient socially-agreed intentions
          4. operational = ability to mentally redo physical experiences
        3. Four Stages of Cognitive Development
          # from to name realize ability weakness
          0 2 sensorimotor world not extension of self reflex pattern object permanence symbols
          2 7 preoperational symbols words images drawing animism artificialism manipulate symbol gender role classification egocentric moral realism
          2 4 symbolic symbols nonexistent objects egocentric
          4 7 intuitive why they know
          7 11 concrete operational physical objects loose egocentric thinking conservation reversibility sequence trial/error abstract reasoning
          11 adult/ never formal operational hypothesis/test ideals hypothetical deduction algebra
    3. practice
      1. Scholastic model based on curriculum fitting of stages
        1. example: multiplication table near end of preoperational and algebra at formal operational
        2. subjects too advanced for current stage are incomprehensible
  4. Lev Vygotsky
    1. child development
      1. general
        1. ZPD
          1. "general zone of proximal growth and development"
          2. difference between
            1. kid's current level
            2. potential level with the theoretically perfect environment
        2. stress
          1. words
          2. culture
          3. learning precedes development
      2. 3 claims
        # cognitive can only by evaluation
        level measure all preceding histological steps like Piaget, he believes in stages
        function understand words words are the best tool to describe thought
        skill originates culture culture provides tools {inventions, math, etc}
      3. stages
        age stage description example
        0-4 thematic classification dog is bowl because dog drinks from bowl
        5 chain concepts selection process
        6- abstract concepts 1 quality describes object
    2. practice
      1. must master language before approaching other subjects
      2. poor language leads to poor performance in everything
  5. Robert Selman
    1. self theory
    2. Stages of Perspective Taking
      # from to perspective sense unaware
      3 5 egocentric differentiate self from other label visible feelings cause of other's feelings
      6 8 social-informational social perspective based on other's reasoning can be different from self's reasoning focus on one view
      8 10 self-reflective put self in other's place to judge intentions, purpose, action can't see both self and other simultaneously
      10 12 mutual perspective 3rd person perspective self and other view each other mutually and simultaneously as subjects
      12 15 social & conventional system mutual perspective taking can't explain whole story social conventions necessary
  6. self esteem theories
    1. general
      1. can only replace when prospect of exceeding existing needs is obvious
      2. need scan be met with negative methods
    2. theories
      theory needs by
      self-perception profile for children scholastic, athletic, social acceptance, physical appearance, conduct, general self-worth Harter
      self-perception profile for adolescents close friendship, romantic appeal, job competence and all of self-perception profile for children Harter
      parent-child relationship affection, concern, home harmony, in family activity, available help, clear/fair rules set, abiding by rules, freedom within limit Coopersmith
      uniqueness, power/choice, connected, models
  7. Lawrence Kohlberg
    1. apply
      1. John Locke's tabula rasa
      2. Piaget's moral realism
    2. Six Stages of Moral Development
      1. general
        1. vaguely relates to age
          1. most never get stage 5 and 6
        2. influence more by peers than family
      2. levels
        # level awareness stage orientation choice source
        preconventional own needs 1 punishment for obedience any rule avoid physical punishment
        2 personal reward society return favor
        conventional society and law 3 good boy/nice girl aka interpersonal norms society approval of others
        4 law and order authority censure guilt embarrassment intra-societal law is ultimately good
        postconventional personal 5 social contract democratic law individual rights duty individual rights inter-societal liberty above law
        6 universal ethical principle arbitrary conscience universal point of view above society
  8. Urie Bronfenbrenner
    1. ecological theory (interactive)
    2. Environmental System Model
      1. general
        1. units from each circle has direct relationships with units in the circle next to it
        2. the individual experiences all levels
        3. levels divided by level of participation by the individual
      2. levels of the cylinder
        1. Chronosystem
          1. applies to all ages - a lifetime
          2. height of the cylinder
        2. circle levels (inside to outside)
          1. individual
            1. characteristics
              1. examples {sex, age, health}
            2. biology
          2. microsystem
            1. everything/everyone (units) in direct contact/participation
              1. examples {family, peers, neighborhood, church group}
            2. units the individual influences
            3. "bulk of environmental influence research focuses only in this system" - Bronfenbrenner
          3. mesosystem
            1. all relationships between the units in both microsystem and exosystem as experienced by the individual
          4. exosystem
            1. units the individual does not significantly influence/participate
              1. examples {government, marital conflict}
          5. macrosystem
            1. culture
            2. examples {ethics, media, Constitution}
    3. practice
      1. justify some social services
      2. organizes social relationships and suggest only direct influences exist
      3. pretty picture but not useful
  9. James Fowler
    1. Religious Developmental Theory
      1. general
        1. most stop at stage 4
        2. most never get 5 and 6
      2. stages
        # from to faith characteristic right comparison
        0 7 intuitive-projective fantasy is reality consequence to self trust-mistrust to preoperational
        7 11 mythical-literal interpret religious stories literally fair exchange pre to concrete operational
        11 20 synthetic-conventional conform to others' beliefs / little exposure to alternatives harm to relationship / what others might say formal operational and conventional morality
        20 40 individuating-reflexive expend effort to find own path welfare of self and others formal operational with development
        40 60 conjunctive awareness of finiteness and limitations / open to paradox, other views arbitrary
        40 die universalizing transcend specific belief systems / conflictual events not paradox oneness with all beings
  10. James Marcia
    1. Four Statuses of Identity
      1. general
      2. identities
        identity crisis commitment characteristic
        diffusion none none little interest
        foreclosure none solid parent directed / no self exploration
        moratorium now none / vague
        achievement done solid
  11. Eli Ginzberg
    1. Developmental Career Choice
      1. general
        1. steps
          1. crisis - choose from alternatives
          2. commitment - show personal investment
        2. when
          1. adolescence
      2. stages
        # from to stage determination
        0 11 fantasy unlimited, arbitrary
        11 17 tentative progression:
        11 12  evaluate interests
        13 14  evaluate capacities
        15 16  evaluate values
        17 23 realistic exploration by practice
  12. Donald Super
    1. Career Self-Concept Theory
      1. general
        1. ONLY career exploration develops career self-concept
      2. stages
        # from to accomplishment characteristic
        14 18 crystallization define work in terms of self-concept
        18 22 specification narrow down choices by experiencing work
        21 24 implementation complete education & start full-time work
        25 35 stabilization focus on one specialty
  13. Daniel J. Levinson
    1. Seasons of Life
      1. general
        1. Resolving the crisis of life's work and family
      2. stages
        # from to stage change struggle crisis
        0 16 pre-adulthood
        17 22 transition independence, leave home, explore
        22 25 early adulthood establish adult role, start family start dream
        28 33 transition reflect, revise dream form: dream, job, family, mentorship
        33 40 adulthood consolidate goals and anchor to:
         family, work, community
        40 45 transition rare
        45 50 early middle age
        50 55 transition accept aging, resolve mid-life crisis rebalance priorities:
        if none before
        55 60 middle adulthood
        60 die transition accept death, retire, release commitments
  14. Roger Gould
    1. Adult Personality
      1. general
        1. "dismantling of the illusions of safety developed in childhood"
      2. stages
        # from to stage corrects assumption attains questions
        16 22 leave parent's world eternity with parents independence and identity
        22 28 I'm nobody's baby parent's methods + hard work = success goals and responsibility
        28 34 open to what's inside Life is simple and controllable.
        No conflicting self.
        34 35 midlife decade Absence of death/evil.  I'm innocent.
        Need spouse.  Family is everything.
        stability strengths and weaknesses
        45 die beyond midlife permanent personality appreciation life's worth contribution

    All lifespan theories...
  1. imply psychlogical development achieves, in this order:
    1. mental ability
    2. career
    3. letting go
  2. suffer from the same weakness:
    1. cannot cover human innovation
    2. focuses on creating industrious workers

  1. "Psychodynamic Theories,"
  2. Carson, Robert C, "Abnormal Psychology and Modern Life," MA, 2000,, p85.
  3. Cramer, Craig, "Erik Erikson's 8 Stages of Psychosocial Development,"
  4. Springston, Timothy, "Jean Piaget's Theory of Development,"
  5. Boatman, Andrew Mclain, "Education Theory Handbook," 1998,
  6. Developmental Psychology, 2001,
  7. Dushkin, "Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development," 2002, McGraw-Hill,
  8. Harris, Jim, "College of Education Mission," University of Memphis,
  9. "Levinson,"
  10. McCrae, Robert R., "Personality in Adulthood: A Five Factor Theory Perspective," New York, 2003.
  11. "Gould,"
  12. Clifford, Jim, De Anza Community College, 2002, lecture.
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