Adult Development Research Essay
Essay Topic: A stage of adult development that you would like to explore: Emerging
Adulthood-18-26yrs; the 30’s; the 40’s; Midlife-45-55 yrs. or so; Early Elderhood-60-75yrs or
so; Late Elderhood-75-110yrs.
RESEARCH: Pick a stage of adult development and summarize two different psychological
viewpoints about that stage of life. One of the psychological viewpoints must be from the
following adult developmental theorists: Jeffery Arnette (emerging adulthood), Lawerence
Kolberg, Carol Gillighan (adult women’s development), Daniel Levenson, Erik Erikson, or Joan
Erikson (for Late Edlerhood). You are free to choose a viewpoint or theory about adult
development based on your interest, which could be through the lens of cultural, gender theory,
development of faith, or socioeconomic class understanding. You could also use Liberation
Psychology, Indigenous Psychology, and other schools of psychology.
Use 3 sources or more and pick a source from at least 2 of the following categories:
1. Book or ebook
2. Video, Utube, or TEDtalk
3. One credible online source
WRITING (4 pages):
A minimum of 3 pages of the essay must be a summary of your research: Introduce and
summarize the two different viewpoints on the adult stage of development that you have chosen.
Be sure to cover the major tasks, challenges, and achievements for that stage of development.
(Cite sources throughout the research part of the essay, as well as on a Works Cited page.)
B. One page and no more of the essay must be personal reflection: If you are in the stage of life
that you are researching, or have already gone through it, write a reflection on what you have
researched as it relates to your own life. How does your development compare or contrast—with
your research? Also, are there important areas of development that you think the research did
not cover? Name these and explain why you feel they are important. If you have not
experienced the stage, reflect by comparing the research to someone you know, either personally
or professionally. You can do a personal interview with that person if you choose and count this
as one of your research sources.
Arnett, Jeffery, Emerging adults in America: Coming of age in the 21st century.
Bridges, W. Managing transitions
Chinen, Allan B. Once upon a midlife: Classic stories and midlife tales.
De Castillejo, Irene. Knowing woman: A feminine psychology
Fowler, James W. Stages of faith: The psychology of human development.
Gerzon, M. Listening to midlife
Herzog, J. M. Father Hunger: Explorations with adults & children
Hollis, James. The middle passage: From misery to meaning in midlife.
Lemme, B. H. Development in adulthood.
Panchal, S. & Jackson E. Turning 30: How to get the life you really want.
Robbies, A. & Wilner. A. quarter life crisis: The unique challenges of life in your twenties Schulz, R., & Salthouse, T. Adult development and aging: Myths and emerging realities.
Sheehy, Gail. Understanding men’s passages: Discovering new ways of men’s lives.
Sell, C. M. Transition: The stages of adult development
Sheehy, G. New passages: Mapping your life across time.
Sheehy, G. Passages: Predictable crisis of adult life.
Sheehy, Gail. New passages. (and lots of other books by her. Some of her books have a chapter
on each decade, such as the 20’s, the 30’s, the 40’s)
Skromme Granrose, Cherlyn, Work-Family role choices for women in their 20’s and 30’s: From
college plans to life experiences.
Sperling, M. B. & Berman, W. H. Attachment in adults: Developmental perspectives.
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