Adult Development

Topics: Kohlberg's stages of moral development, Jean Piaget, Developmental psychology Pages: 6 (2103 words) Published: February 24, 2014
Adult Development 1

Adult Development 2
Life experiences, challenges and accomplishments shape adult developments. These stages of developments are series of life events that will help adult to transition to the next stage. Some of the development crises are essential for growth and will enable adult to learn and adjust to their full potential.

The film, “Follow Me Boys”, started in a bus where a group of travelling musicians found themselves in a crossroad of their young career. A mild mannered man, Lemuel, who dreams of being a lawyer, is faced with uncertainty of his future but still very upbeat and very expectant of finding an honest job. This stage in adult development is critical because this is when the concept of age clock is practically used. The band members including Lemuel appear to look older at that stage of adult development. They all looked like in their early thirty’s and seem to be progressing through life rather slowly. Almost at the end of the film, his adopted son, Whitey, who is a medical doctor in the Army and recently married, looked younger and vibrant and progressing through life rather quickly. Edward “Whitey” White, Jr typifies a young developing adult in contrast to his adopted father, Lemuel, who appeared much older when he was at that stage, in transition and starting a family. These two characters in the film differ in their chronological age and psychological age at that point of their career. Lemuel showed his psychological age more matured by showing his resiliency and ability to adapt to social and environmental demands. Lemuel “Lem” Siddons is a person in midlife that is focused on the present while Edward “Whitey” White is a young person focused in the future. Nevertheless, the textbook stated that it is difficult if not impossible to pinpoint stages of adult development solely on the basis age (Understanding Human Development, 2010). One of the most distinguished psychologists of the century, Bernice L. Neugarten is best known for her groundbreaking Adult Development 3

contributions to the study of adult development and aging; rely on the concept of age clock. Rather than a biological clock that determined aging, she theorized that there were social clocks, by which people judged whether they were on time or off time and adjusted their behavior accordingly (Neugarten & Neugarten, 1996). Age clocks are form of internal timing that let us know if we are progressing through life too slowly or too quickly. It appears that Lemuel is in the normative event of his life and based on that 1930 cultural time frame.

When the bus band’s reaches Hickory, a small town, Lemuel encounters unruly kids who are starting to vandalize their bus. A fellow band member tried to stop the unruly kids by fear and intimidation. Lemuel intervened and his actions showed a good example of Lawrence Kohlberg’s theory, who concluded that cognitive development developed in stages. Kohlberg incorporated the ideas of Piaget into a sequence of developmental stages and described what he saw as “levels of moral advancement” throughout the human lifespan. According to Kohlberg, the first level of moral development is the Pre-Conventional level and under this level are two stages. The band member who tried to stop the unruly kids applied the stage known as the “obedience and punishment orientation”. This band member only concern is the consequences of what the kids would suffer if they engage in a certain behavior. The kids ignored him and continued their unruly behavior until Lemuel offered the kids candies at the store. He caught the kids’ attention and left the bus and their equipment alone. Kohlberg’s second level of moral advancement known as conventional level is at display on this scene. The stage three under this level is known as the “interpersonal accord and conformity” stage. Lemuel sought conformity based on the standards of that little town, Hickory’s society and culture. He...

References: Craig, G., Dunn, W. (2010). Understanding Human Development (2nd ed.) New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Kohlberg, L. (1958). Stages of moral development, University of Chicago.
Levinson, D. (1978). The season of man’s life. New York: Knopf.
Levinson, D. (1986). A conception of adult development. American Psychologist, 41, 3-13.
Murstein, B. I. (1982). Marital Choice. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall
Murstein, B. I. (1999). The relationship of exchange and commitment. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum.
Neugarten, B. L., & Neugarten, D. L. (1996). The meaning of age. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Rogers, C. (1980). A way of being. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
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