Interview an older adult of your choice (they may be your parents, relatives, or friends) and have a discussion about the factors that influenced their development. Address the following as part of the interview: Write a paper of 750-1,000 words, discussing the selected theory and how it relates to your interview. Include the following in your paper: Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide
Title: Factors Shaping Adult Development: An Interview-based Analysis
The study of adult development is complex due to the multitude of factors that influence it. This paper aims to explore the factors that have significantly shaped the development of an older adult, Mrs. Jane, through an in-depth interview. To frame the analysis, Erik Erikson’s psychosocial theory, which emphasizes the interplay between social and individual factors in human development, will be employed. By examining Mrs. Jane’s life experiences and comparing them to Erikson’s theory, the paper seeks to provide a meaningful understanding of the factors that influenced her development.
Mrs. Jane, a 70-year-old retired schoolteacher, provided valuable insights into her life experiences and the factors that influenced her development. The interview covered various aspects such as family, education, relationships, and career, all of which contribute significantly to adult development.
Family Influence on Development:
Mrs. Jane acknowledged the paramount role of her family in shaping her development. Erikson’s theory posits that during infancy (stage 1: Trust versus Mistrust), a child’s primary caregiver influences their sense of trust in the world. Mrs. Jane consistently mentioned that her warm and nurturing relationship with her parents during her early years fostered her sense of security and trust.
Furthermore, Erikson’s theory suggests that during adolescence (stage 5: Identity versus Role Confusion), individuals seek to establish their identity. Mrs. Jane highlighted the importance of her parents’ support during this phase, which allowed her to navigate her identity formation successfully.
Education and Development:
Education played a significant role in Mrs. Jane’s development, aligning with Erikson’s theory on the developmental impact of schooling. Erikson theorized that during school age (stage 4: Industry versus Inferiority), children develop a sense of competence and industry through successful completion of tasks. Mrs. Jane recounted her strong academic performance during school, which not only instilled a sense of accomplishment but also fostered her capabilities and lifelong love for learning.
In addition, Erikson’s theory suggests that young adults (stage 6: Intimacy versus Isolation) strive to form intimate relationships. Mrs. Jane attributed her success in developing strong friendships and a stable marriage to the social interactions initiated during her college years. Here, education acted not only as a provider of knowledge but also provided a platform for socialization and relationship building.
Work and Development:
Mrs. Jane’s professional journey aligned closely with Erikson’s theory on adult development and work. According to Erikson, during adulthood (stage 7: Generativity versus Stagnation), individuals strive to leave a lasting impact on future generations. Mrs. Jane’s dedication to her students and her passion for teaching indicated her generative nature, as she actively contributed to the growth and development of young minds.
Furthermore, Erikson’s theory argues that as individuals progress into later adulthood (stage 8: Integrity versus Despair), they reflect upon their accomplishments and assess the meaning of their lives. Mrs. Jane expressed a sense of fulfillment and contentment when reflecting on her career, signifying a sense of integrity and harmony with her life choices.
Throughout the interview with Mrs. Jane, it became evident that various factors significantly influenced her development. The integration of Erik Erikson’s psychosocial theory enabled a comprehensive analysis of how individual and social aspects shaped Mrs. Jane’s life journey. Family support, education, and a meaningful career were identified as pivotal factors in her positive development.
This analysis underscores the importance of understanding the multilayered influences on adult development and validates the applicability of Erikson’s theory in demonstrating how these factors interact to shape individuals’ lives. By employing a theoretical framework and analyzing empirical data, this research contributes to the existing knowledge on adult development, highlighting the interplay between individual experiences and broader sociocultural factors.