Wednesday, May 16, 2018

nonhierarchical theories of adult development

1.agree with Piaget that logico-mathematical development in childhood proceeds through hierarchical stages
2.propose development also can occur in adulthood---the development that is non-logico-mathematical and non-hierarchical in nature

Levinson--life structure, theory of life structure development in adulthood

life cycle
  • life course unfolds through a life cycle consisting of four major eras: pre-, early, middle, and late adulthood
  • life cycle as a sequence of eras (eras: the macrostructure of the life cycle)
  • successive eras in adulthood can't be considered higher than their predecessors, i.e, no stage hierarchy in adult development; eras are like seasons, metaphorically, that have their own distinct characters but don't necessarily represent a progression in evolutionary form
  • each era contains a series of developmental periods
1. preadulthood: from conception to age 22
early adult transition (age 17 to 22): new step in individuation (budding adult modifies his or her relationship with family and other components of the preadult world, begins to form a place as an adult  in the adult world)

2.early adulthood: age 17 to 45, begins with early adult transition
pursue youthful aspiriation, establish a niche in society, raise a family
mi-life transition (age 40-45): new step in individuation, more compassionate, reflective, judicious, more genuinely loving of ourselves and others

3. middle adulthood: age 40 to 65

4.late adulthood: start at about age 60-85
late adult transition (age 60-65)

5.late lat adulthood: age 80+

life structure: adult development is the evoluation of the life structure
    • life course has an underlying life structure that unfolds in an invariant sequence through the eras
    • life structure don't remain static, nor does it change caprisiously, 
    • life structure goes through a sequence of alternating stable periods (last 6-8 years) and transitional periods (last 4-5 periods)
    • life structure= patterning or design of the individual life at a given time
    • life structure refers to self-in-world, to the engegement of the invidual in the society
    • life structure differs from cognitive structure or self structure
    • life structure, self-in-relation-to-world, unfolds in a fixed sequence (eras); four major eras: pre-, early, middle, and late adulthood
    • life strcuture has three aspects: (1) the nature of the man's sociocultural world (class, race, family, religion), (2) his participation in the world (e.g., role as citizen, boss, member of diverse groups, (3) aspects of his self --- life structure focues on the patterning of the three aspects 
    • life structure: the underlying pattern or design of a person's life at a given time---what is my life like now?
    • within a given life structure, certain components are central, they occupy most time and energy, provide the basis on which other components are chosen, have the greatest significance for the self; occupaton and family  are usually most central in a man's life
    • the primary components of a life strucure are the person's relationships with various others in the external world; the other may be a person, a group, an institution or culture, a particular obect or place
    • the concept of life structure requires us to exam the nature and patterning of a person's relationships with all significant others and the evolution of these relationships over the years
    • a life stucture may have many and diverse components, but only one or two components occupy a central place in the structure, most often, marriage-family and occupation are the central components of a person's life
    • the central components are those that have the greatest significance for the self and the evolving life course
    • life structures are distinctly different for each person (unlike logical structure, piaget)
    • life structure is built around significant and changing personal relationship with people, institutions, and objects
    • age-linked sequence at the broader level of life-structure periods, with the onset for a given period varying within a range of three to four years
    • in studying the development of the life structure, equal weight to structure-building and structure-changing periods
    • overall pattern of relations between self and world
    • evolution of life strucure
    the sequence of periods in life structure development
    • structure-building periods (5-7 years) --- to form a structure and maintain and enhance our life within it; stable periods; the primary developmental task of a stable period is to make certain crucial choices, build a life structure around crucial choices, seek to attain particular goals nd values within this structure
    • transitional period (5 years) -- terminate the existing life structure and create the possible for a new one; almost 1/2 of adult life is spent in developmental transition; a transition is a process of change that forms a bridge between x and y; during a transition, we are in transit between the two; we are in some sense leaving x and moving toward y; A transitions period involves three main developmental tasks: (1) termination of the existing life structure, (2) individuation, (3) initiation (making a start toward a new life structure); the primary developmental task of a transitional period is to terminate the exisitng stucture and to work toward the initiation of a new structure
    • no life strucure is permanent, periodic change is fundamental to our existence
    • a period is defined in terms of its major tasks, which require a man to build, modify, and rebuild his life structure; a period is not defined in terms of specific external events or inner states
    • each period begins and ends at a defined age--- age-linked periods in the adult development of the life structure
    Developmntal periods in early adn middle adulthood
    • each era contains a series of developmental periods
    • a period is defined in terms of its major tasks, which require a man to build, modify, and rebuild his life structure; a period is not defined in terms of specific external events or inner states
    1. Early adult transition (age 17-22): developmental bridge beween preadulthood and early 
         adulthood; developmental tasks include teminating preadulthood, initiating early adulthood;
         questioning the nature of the preadult world and one's place in it
    2. Entry life structure for early adulthood (Entering the adult world, the first adult life structure)(age
         22-28): building and maintaing an initial mode of adult living; keep options open/avoid strong
         commitments/maximiaing alternatives or creating a stable life sturcure
    3. Age 30 transition (28-33): reappraise and modify the entry structure and to create the basis for the       next life structure
    Novice phase (age 17-33): move beyond adolescence, to build a provisional but necessarily flawed entry life structure, and to learn the limitations of that structure

    4. Settling down: the second adult lif structure (take shape at 32 or 33 and presents unitl 39 or 40)
         Culminating life structure for early adulthood (age 33-40): the vehicle for completing this era and
         realizing youthful aspirations
    5. Mid-life transition (age 40-45): cross-era shifts, serving both to teminate early adulthood and to
        initiate middle adulthood; what have I done with my life? what is it I truly want for myself and
        others?  what are my real values and how are they reflected in my life? What are my greatest
        talents and how am i using or wasting them?
    Culminating phase (age 33-45): bring to fruition the efforts of this era

    6. Entry life structure for middle adulthood (age 45-50): provide an initial basis for life in a new era
    7. Age 50 transition (age 50-55): mid-era opportunity for modifying and improving the entry life
    8. Culminating life structure for middle adulthood (age 55-60): the framwork in which we conclude
        this era
    9. Late adult transition (age 60-65): a boundary period between middle and late adulthood,
        separating  and linking the two eras; Dittmann-Kohli and Baltes offer the concept of wisdom as a
        significant form of cognitive-emotional change that may occur in middle or late adulthood

    The Mid-Life Transition: A Period in Adult Psychosocial Development
    Daniel J. Levinson (1977)

    Dittmann-Kohil and Baltes

    • neofunctionalist conception of adult intellectual development: wisdom as a prototypical case of intellectual growth
    • adult cognitive growth
    • two basic aspects of intelligence: mechanics (logico-mathematical, fundamental context-free cognitive capcacities, piagetian operations, develope early in life, universal, hierarchical stages, develop mainly in childhood) , pragmatics (applying the mechanics of intelligence in the construction or synthesis of context-speficit, factual, procedural knowledge of the world, develop mainly in adulthood)
    • mechanical intelligence is a necessary condition for growth of pragmatic intelligence, but it is not sufficient for it
    • life experience and aspects of the individual not integral to mechanical intelligence are required for the synthesis of pragmatic intelligence
    • the central emphasis in adulthood is not on developing cognitive skills but on deploying existing skills in practical contexts and developing an individualized system of efficacy and knowledge
    • adult growth is particular and conditional, depending on the pragmatics and context of adult life
    • wisdom as one of the fulles expression of synthesized intelligence 
    • psychometric intelligence during adulthood and old age
    • adult intelligence---multiemensionality, multidirectionality, interindividual variability, intraindividual plasticity

    Gardner, Phelps, Wolf
    • aspects of intelligence besides logico-mathematical (mechanical) intelligence
    • visual-spatial thinking,  bodily-kinesthetic activity, musical knowledge, narrative thought
    • sequence of capacities for symbolic expression
    • creativity--adult creativity differ from chilhood creativity in terms of increased technical skill and enhanced flexibility of movement between forms of knowing
    • across the entire life-span, three major stages of creative development can be identified:
    1. preconventional (preschool age): free exploration uninfluenced by society's agenda and standards
    2. conventional (preadolescent): attentive to society's standards and concerned with mastering tecnhical skills
    3. postconventional (from adolescense): shift back to self-expression and freer experimentation on the basis of greater technical mastery 
    • difference between creative develpment and cognitive development studied by piaget and kohlberg
    • although adult's world view is qualitatively and irreversibly different fromthe child's; but through creative development, the adult can gain access to earlier forms---such access is integral to fruitful innovation, whereas in logical reasoning, reversion to childhood forms would be dysfunctional 

    McGuinness, Pribram, Pirnazar
    • agree with Piaget that there is a univeral progression in cognitive development from a sensory level to an abstract level of symbolic transformation
    • this progression doesn't take the form of age-related general stages, but recurs within each new learning experience or task domain at any age, e.g., in learing to read in adulthood
    • the learning sequence begins at a sensory  level and progresses sequentially to an abstract one

    Langer, Chanowitz, Palmerino, Jacobs, Rhodes, Thayer
    • developmental psychology should focus less on how life ordinarily unfolds and more on how it could possibly change at any time through alteration in underlying style of mental functioning
    • two basic styles of mental orientation: mindfulness (through which one actively constucts new categories about self and the world), mindlessness (through which one passively remains within the confins of previously formed distinctions
    • do not believe there is a developmental end  state definable in terms of particular capacities
    • developmentally higher apply only to a general increase of mindfulness as opposed to mindlessness 
    • unlimited potential for increase of mindfulness, the current state can alwayes be further transformed
    • development is open-ended, multipathed, multidirectional

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