Developmental Differences across the Lifespan


DevelopmentalDifferences across the Lifespan

DevelopmentalDifferences across the Lifespan

The growth anddevelopment of individuals in the varied stages of life has attractedconsiderable interest from scholars. Indeed, scholars have, sincetime immemorial, tried to comprehend and explain the varied changesthat occur in the varied components of an individual’s life,including social, physical, psychological and emotional aspects. Ithas well been acknowledged that the varied elements areinterconnected and have a bearing on the overall wellbeing of anindividual both in the current stage and in the future development.Further, research has shown that an individual’s development at onestage has a bearing on the subsequent one and, therefore, the overallhealth and development. Nevertheless, scholars and researchers havecome up with numerous theories that explain the interrelationshipsbetween the different stages of growth and development of anindividual. Of particular note is the importance of the relationshipsthat are formed in the different stages of growth. The importance ofthis project revolves around the examination of the significance ofthese relationships with reference to Erikson’s Stages ofPsychosocial Development. Whilethere may be differing opinions, it is evident that the successfulcompletion of development for any stage is primarily dependent on thetrust that is built in the subsequent and current stages.

SiblingRelationships: Developmental concept

In Erikson’sStages of Psychosocial Development, Erikson aimed at showing that thepsychosocial development of an individual results from the interplayof the developing biological organism, cultural/social/historicalcontents and the individual psyche. He expanded the ego developmentconcept that was propagated by Freud and included the interactionwith the cultural and social environment of an individual therebyreframing it as the development process of individual identity(Newman&ampNewman, 2009).Underlining the basis of his theory is his description of theidentity concept which he saw as the accrued confidence in one’sinner sameness and perpetuity pertaining to one’s meaning forothers, alongside an individual’s inner experience of oneself(Berger,2004).The theory, therefore, is relational in its encompassing andorientation to individual meaning-making, as it is based on anindividual’s relationship with other people.

Leading Advocate

Erikson’sStages of Psychosocial Development was primarily advocated for byErikson, who mainly borrowed from Anna Freud, the daughter of SigmundFreud. As much as there are numerous similarities between thearguments of the two scholars, Erikson’s theory is a departure fromFreud’s theory and, in fact, incorporates quite a number ofadditions.

Overview ofResearch Evidence for Theory,

Quite a body ofevidence has been gathered in support for this theory. In the 6thStage of Development (Intimacy vs. Isolation), it is stated thatyoung adults attainthe ability to love and be committed to others asa result of individual identity that is sufficiently strong to risklosing intimate relationships with others. Further, the 1stStage (Basic mistrust versus trust Hope) underlines the fact that a dependent infant learns not to trustor to go ahead and trust that the world will provide its needs fornurturing thereby developing an ego capacity that allows them to hopein the future (Newman&ampNewman, 2009).

Continuous orDiscontinuous View

This theoryespouses a continuous view where it sees an individual’s growth anddevelopment as continuous and as involving the succession of eightdevelopmental stages, each of which come with an entirely newpsychosocial crisis that need to be resolved and one that causes thegrowth of entirely new ego qualities (Berger,2004).Erikson saw these crisis’ resolution as the dialectical synthesispertaining to opposing attitudes and ideas to life that resulted innew dynamic balance pertaining to ego strength, which quantitativelyvaries but is based on the qualities of the previous qualities(Newman&ampNewman, 2005).He opined that the dialectical process is interwoven with thebiological organism’s unfolding capacities and needs as it developsand matures in the lifespan. This means that the subsequent egocapacity attained in every developmental stage is a function of thecapacity of the social environment to support the development.


Berger,K. (2004).&nbspThedeveloping person through the life span.New York, NY: Worth

Newman,B. M., &amp Newman, P. R. (2005).&nbspDevelopmentthrough life: A psychosocial approach. Belmont,Calif: Thomson/Wadsworth.

Newman,B. M., &amp Newman, P. R. (2009).&nbspDevelopmentthrough life: A psychosocial approach. Australia:Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.