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Topics: Developmental psychology, Erik Erikson, Health Pages: 4 (914 words) Published: June 17, 2013
Joe Ross

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Adult Development


Instructor: Pamela Smilo PhD

June 27, 2010

Reaction Paper

Our textbook The Journey of Adulthood by Barbara R. Bjorklund and Helen L. Bee is the study of adult development, and it follows the tenets of developmental psychology, the field of study that deals with the behavior, thoughts and emotions of individuals as they go through various parts of the life span. The field also includes child development, adolescent development and adult development, which is the concern of the textbook.

This paper will be exploring the concepts in adult development discussing the theories of Erikson’s stages of adult development, the concept of career selection and the concept of retirement. Also this paper will be discussing healthy aging and unhealthy aging.

Theories of Adult Development

Eric Erikson believed that egos exist from birth and behavior is not totally defensive. He organized life into eight stages that extend from birth to death (many developmental theories only cover childhood). Since adulthood covers a span of many years, Erikson divided the stages of adulthood into the experiences of young adults, middle aged adults and older adults. While the actual ages may vary considerably from one stage to another, the ages seem to be appropriate for the majority of people. Erikson's basic philosophy might be said to rest on two major themes: (1) the world gets bigger as we go along and (2) failure is cumulative. While the first point is fairly obvious, we might take exception to the last. True, in many cases an individual who has to deal with horrendous circumstances as a child may be unable to negotiate later stages as easily as someone who didn't have as many challenges early on. For example, we know that orphans who weren't held or stroked as infants have an extremely hard time connecting with others when they become adults and...

References: Harder, A. (2009).  The Developmental Stages of Erik Erikson.  Retrieved June 1 2010.  Website:
Bjorklund, B. R., & Bee, H. L. (2008). The journey of adulthood (6th Ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall.
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