Social Development

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Social Development in Adulthood
Jill Rudiger
2/10/13
University of Phoenix

I chose the article Adulthood and Aging: Social Processes and Development because when I read through it, the article covered many points about aging including the “grand theories” by noted psychiatrists like Erikson and Levinson, elements that influence adult social development, newer theories by Riley, myths of aging adults, changing roles of women, and challenges facing aging adults. I thought this would be a credible and reliable source if I were writing a research paper. It is relevant and up to date, and I think the Encyclopedia of Psychology is a reliable source.

The article started by explaining how we have a much longer life expectancy than ever before and with that, comes some changes. This process is commonly referred to as the “graying of America”. Most people now days, can expect to live at least 10 years past retirement age (Antonucci, T.C., Vandewater, E.A., Lansford, J.E., 2000, p 80). The fastest growing segment of the aging population is those in the 80 or older group. It is becoming clearer that to understand older adults, requires an examination of individual experiences across a life course (Antonucci, T.C., Vandewater, E.A., Lansford, J.E., 2000, p 80).

Classic theories in adult social development by Erikson (1982), Levinson (1978), Valliant (1977), and Neugarten (1968) explain how optimal adult development occurs (Antonucci, T.C., Vandewater, E.A., Lansford, J.E., 2000, p 81). Basic elements that influence adult development include: pressures and/or demands of the external world, internal developmental pressures (struggling with sense of self), and major developmental tasks such as negotiating major life transitions (teen to adult, marriage to parent, etc.) (Antonucci, T.C., Vandewater, E.A., Lansford, J.E., 2000, p 81). The problem with these theories is “universal applicability” or assuming that everyone has access to the same level of education,...
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