ERIC Number: ED182194
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
Is There Life After Adolescence and If So, Should Political Scientists Care?
The paper describes developmental theories pertaining to adults and considers the implications of these theories for political scientists. Specifically, the works of four developmental theorists are examined: Erik Erikson's theory of the eight ages of man, Daniel J. Levinson's developmental stages which characterize the life of the early and middle aged male adult, Jane Loevinger's concept of the ego as an organizing agent, and Lawrence Kohlberg's stages of moral development. Common to these theorists is the concept of personality as dynamic rather than static in the adult years. For example, the theorists agree that the belief system changes more often than not during the post-adolescent life course; moral development, at least to the highest stages, takes place as a result of experiences in young adulthood; ego development makes its longest strides during adulthood and only as the result of an external stimulus; and feelings of self-esteem vary over the life course. Also, the focus of the Committee on Work and Personality in the Middle Years (Social Science Research Council) is outlined. Areas of study include intellectual functioning, sense of self, health and physical functioning, social networks and relationships, and work and retirement. Implications for political scientists are examined in terms of intervention approaches. Deliberate use of politically relevant stimuli may be successful in situations where a new mode of political thought is deemed desirable such as programs geared to adults in prison. The necessity to understand functional age (how well an individual performs physically, emotionally, and intellectually) as opposed to chronological age is emphasized. (Author/KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Erikson (Erik); Levinson (Daniel J); Loevinger (Jane)
Note: Prepared for delivery at Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (Washington, DC, August 31-September 3, 1979); Not available in paper copy from EDRS due to poor reproducibility of original document.