In May of 1977, Daniel Levinson constructed a model of the season's of
a mans life. His developmental theory consists of universal stages or phases
that extends from the infancy state to the elderly state. Most development
theories, such as Freud's psychosexual development theory or Piaget's cognitive
development theory, end in the adolescent stage of life. Levinson's stage
theory is important because it goes beyond most theories assuming that
development continues throughout adult life.
Levinson based his model on biographical interviews of 40 American men.
These 40 men were between 35 to 45 years in age and they worked as either
biology professors, novelists, business executives or industrial laborers. The
biographical interviews lasted one or two hours and ranged from six to ten
interviews for each subject. The questions asked focused on the subject's life
accounts in their post adolescent years. The interviews focused on topics such
as the men's background (education, religion, political beliefs) and major
events or turning points in their lives.
Levinson's concept of life structure (the men's socio-cultural world,
their participation in their world and various aspects of themselves) is the
major component in Levinson's theory. The life structure for each person
evolves through the developmental stages as people's age.
Two key concepts in Levinson's model are the stable period and the
transitional period in a person's development. The stable period is the time
when a person makes crucial choices in life, builds a life structure around the
choices and seeks goals within the structure. The transitional period is the
end of a person's stage and the beginning of a new stage.
Levinson's model contains five main stages. They are the pre-adulthood
stage (age 0 - 22), the early adulthood stage (age 17 - 45), the middle adult
stage (age 40 - 65), the... [continues]
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