Human Growth and Development (Part 2)
8. Lifespan Theories: Individual
Various theorists have proposed that human development involves accomplishing specific tasks or reaching milestones. These milestones mark progress and maturity, leading to higher levels of development. In this section, we explore the developmental perspectives of Gesell, Havighurst, Gould, Peck, and Levinson, as well as the unique developmental considerations for women and individuals from different generations.
8.1. The Developmental Milestone Approach of Arnold Gesell
Arnold Gesell, a psychologist and pediatrician, emphasized the genetic and maturational factors in human development. He created the Gesell scales to assess developmental progress, providing norms for important milestones in physical, cognitive, language, and social-emotional domains.
Gesell’s Developmental Milestones.
|Period||Physical and cognitive||Language and personal–social|
|Birth to 6 months||Sucking reflex; organized sleep cycle; can lift head, roll over, and reach objects; hearing and depth perception develop; repeats pleasurable behaviors; displays object permanence||Differential crying; social smile and laughter; cooing and babbling; expresses most basic of emotions (e.g., happiness, sadness, surprise, fear, anger, and interest); imitates adult expressions|
|7 to 12 months||Can sit up, crawl, and walk; pincer grasp; more advanced depth perception; goal-directed behavior; finds hidden objects; recall of people, places, and things||Sounds of spoken language; gestures (pointing); stranger and separation anxiety; attachment to caregiver; more intense displays of emotions|
|13 to 18 months||Coordinated walking; scribbling; stacks cubes two to three high; trial-and- error experimentation; climbs stairs; throws objects||Can play peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake; speaks first words; points to desired objects; recognizes self in mirror; signs of empathy and compliance; vocabulary may reach 50 words|
|19 to 24 months||Runs, jumps, and climbs; builds four-or-five-block tower||Vocabulary consists of approximately 200 words; three-to-fourword sentences; parallel play; takes turns and cooperates; uses language for emotional selfregulation; begins to display self-control.|
|3 to 5 years||Increasing skill in running, jumping, climbing, throwing, and catching; completely toilet-trained; can stand on one foot||Make-believe play; vocabulary of several thousand words; gender identity and self-concept developing; cooperative play emerges|
|6 to 11 years||Growth slows; gross motor skills and coordination improve substantially; handwriting becomes smaller and more legible; reaction time improves; thinking becomes more logical; attention is more focused and activity more deliberate; memory improves.||Dominance hierarchies become stable; vocabulary and grammar improve; awareness of double meanings leads to advances in humor and flexibility; emotional selfregulation; friendships and peer groups.|
|Adolescence||Pubertal growth spurt and sexual maturation; secondary sex characteristics develop; complex problem solving; formal operational reasoning||Use of abstract words; complex grammar and writing; increased time spent with peers; intimacy and loyalty in friendships; peer pressure to conform; cliques; identity and sexual behavior|
8.2. Robert Havighurst’s Developmental Task Approach
Robert Havighurst, an American professor and aging expert, identified a series of developmental tasks that individuals accomplish throughout their lifespan. These tasks contribute to their personal growth and sense of mastery. While early tasks have biological foundations, later tasks are influenced by social and cultural factors.
I. Developmental Tasks of Infancy and Early Childhood
II. Developmental Tasks of Middle Childhood
III. Developmental Tasks of Adolescence
IV. Developmental Tasks of Early Adulthood
V. Developmental Tasks of Middle Age
VI. Developmental Tasks of Late Maturity
8.3. Roger Gould’s Adult Developmental Theory
Roger Gould, an American psychiatrist and writer, conducted a study involving over 1,000 adults. He found that these individuals aimed to overcome false assumptions, particularly those related to parental dependency, which hindered their personal growth in young and middle adulthood. Gould viewed adult development as a process of resolving tasks, enabling individuals to challenge these false assumptions and regain control over their lives.
I. Young Adulthood
II. Midlife Decade (35–45 years)
8.4. Robert Peck’s Phase Theory of Adult Development
Robert Peck, a prominent researcher in human development, focused on various aspects such as coping skills, motivation, career competence, moral behavior, and teacher effectiveness. He specifically expanded on the last two stages of Erikson’s stages, which correspond to the later years of adulthood (around 40-50 years).
I. Phases of Middle Adult Psychological Changes
II. Phases of the Retirement Years Psychological Development
8.5. Daniel Levinson’s Adult Male Development Theory
Daniel Levinson, an American researcher, examined the development of adult males and proposed a theory that combines tasks and stages. He observed that men create life structures characterized by periods of stability and growth, which are followed by transitional periods that facilitate their progression to higher levels of maturity in life structures.
I. Novice Phase
II. The Settling Down Phase
III. Midlife Transition (40–45 years)
Men assess their successes and failures in meeting the goals set in the previous phase, experiencing satisfaction with successes while building motivation to use their remaining life wisely.
IV. Entering Middle Adulthood (45–50 years)
Several polarities arise from individuation (i.e., a person’s relationship to himself and the external world), including the young–old polarity, mortality–generativity polarity, and masculine–feminine polarity.
V. Age 50 Transition
More individuation occurs, and this transition can be an especially difficult one for those not conducting the necessary preparations.
VI. Building a Second Middle Adult Structure (55–60 years)
Progress is made toward new goals and aspirations; a time of rejuvenation and enrichment.
VII. Late Adult Transition (60–65 years)
Men experience changing physical and mental capacities and a sense of mortality as they experience decreasing physical vitality and experience losses.
VIII. Late Adulthood (65+ years)
Pursuit of enjoyable and rewarding past times in retirement, preparation for own death, concern over the fate of family and humanity, and reaching ultimate involvement with self.
8.6. Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Model
Uri Bronfenbrenner introduced a systems perspective that examines the interactions between individuals and their environments. He identified various social structures, including the microsystem (e.g., families), mesosystem (e.g., communities), exosystem (e.g., local and global economies), macrosystem (e.g., political organizations), and chronosystem (e.g., historical eras), which collectively shape human development.
8.7. Women’s Development
Theories of human development have faced criticism for their gender specificity, male-centeredness, and lack of consideration for femininity. Several scholars have offered diverse perspectives on women’s development, although no comprehensive theory has gained widespread support.
8.8. Generational Considerations in Human Development
Generations are groups of individuals defined by their birth years and historical context, shaping their shared experiences and collective identities. The United States has seen the emergence of multiple generations, each with unique characteristics and influences. Here is a summary of the living generations in the U.S.:
These generational categories offer insights into the values, experiences, and behaviors that shape each cohort.
9. Family Development and Issues
Family development typically follows a predictable pattern, but the diversity of modern family structures and sociocultural factors can lead to significant variations. In this section, we explore the stages of family development, the impact of parenting, divorce and remarriage, maternal employment, and the effects of abuse on family dynamics.
9.1. Family Development
Family development progresses through distinct stages, each marked by significant life decisions and events that shape the family’s responsibilities and dynamics. Here are the stages of family development:
I. Independent Living
Young adults venture into self-sufficiency, assuming financial and emotional responsibilities. This stage influences future decisions on marriage and sets the foundation for personal identity and close relationships.
II. Establishing Marital Union
Adults commit to creating a new family system, integrating their respective families and redefining relationships with extended family members.
III. Nurturing Parenthood
The couple welcomes children into their family, adjusting the marital relationship and sharing responsibilities of raising children. The extended family plays a role in supporting the new parents.
IV. Guiding Adolescents
Family boundaries become more flexible as children navigate adolescence. The couple focuses on midlife transitions, career advancements, and addressing the needs of aging parents. The diverse nature of families is reflected in the various ways they handle these stages.
V. Launching Children
Parents adapt to the departure of adult children and the addition of their partners and grandchildren. They adjust the marital relationship and establish new connections with their adult children and extended family.
VI. Later Life
Couples embrace changing roles as they age, accommodating generational shifts and physical changes. They support their adult children’s leadership in the family while respecting the wisdom of aging parents. Coping with losses, such as the death of loved ones, becomes a part of this stage.
Throughout these stages, families evolve and adapt, facing unique challenges and joys in their journey of development.
9.2. Parenting Influences
Parents have significant influence on the social development of children, which can also shape their own personality traits. Parenting styles are often classified based on two dimensions: permissiveness-control and warmth-hostility.
|Authoritarian||(Called autocratic in the extreme manifestation) parents are restrictive and lack outward expressions of warmth. They exert control over children, often through physical punishment, and require adherence to absolute standards of behavior and life choices.||Children reared by authoritarian parents are often either submissive or rebellious and, typically, have lower levels of achievement and responsibility.|
|Authoritative||(Sometimes called democratic or egalitarian) parents display moderate control and explain the reasoning behind their decisions in order to help children understand the important factors that go into governing behavior and decision making.||These children tend to have the best outcomes, becoming independent, assertive, and responsible.|
|Permissive||(Sometimes called laissez faire) parents display little control and, at most, moderate warmth.||Usually, children reared by these parents are self centered, aggressive, low achieving, and lack social responsibility.|
|Uninvolved||(Sometimes called unengaged) parents show little if any interest in their children and are indifferent or rejecting toward them. In the extreme, uninvolved parenting constitutes neglect and should be reported to Child Protective Services.||Children reared by uninvolved parents fare the worst of all parental styles; with no support or guidance, children are left to essentially raise themselves.|
9.3. Separation, Divorce, and Remarriage
Separation is the legal process of living separate lives while remaining married, preceding divorce, which is the formal termination of a marriage. Annulment is the voiding of a marriage. Causes of divorce include infidelity, irreconcilable differences, abuse, financial issues, mood disorders, conflicts in parenting, communication problems, sexual incompatibility, and differing gender role expectations. Rich identified four phases of divorce: shock and disbelief, initial adjustment, active reorganization, and life reformation.
Children may experience changes in behavior, mental health issues, and academic difficulties due to divorce. Counselors should monitor and address these concerns.
Approximately 50% of first marriages end in divorce. Remarriage is common, with 75-80% of divorced adults entering into a new marriage. However, second marriages have a divorce rate of around 60%, while third marriages and subsequent marriages have even higher divorce rates. It is worth noting that women generally perceive divorce as more stressful but tend to adjust better psychologically compared to men.
Historically, divorce was often attributed to issues like abuse, alcoholism, and nonsupport. However, in recent years, reasons for divorce are more likely to be cited as incompatibility, poor communication, and unfulfilled life goals.
Single-parent households are predominantly headed by females, accounting for about 85% of such households. Financial problems are commonly identified as a major stressor in single-parent families. Single parents often face challenges in terms of time, patience, and consistent discipline styles. Noncustodial fathers may initially be more permissive but frequently struggle with maintaining visitation arrangements and child support payments.
Children of divorce face various difficulties, but the negative impact can be minimized if parents demonstrate cooperation, psychological health, empathy, and open communication with their children. Recent research suggests that the negative outcomes of divorce are similar to those experienced by children in high-conflict families where the parents are not divorced. This suggests that ongoing parental conflict, rather than the single-parent family structure, may be more responsible for negative outcomes.
9.4 Maternal Employment
Women make up about 45% of the U.S. workforce, but they often face job limitations due to childcare responsibilities. Approximately 61% of women in two-parent families are employed. On average, women still receive lower pay than men for the same job, except for those who have chosen not to have children. Working mothers tend to experience higher life satisfaction, less stress, and lower levels of depression compared to non-working women. However, they may have concerns about balancing work and family responsibilities. Marital satisfaction is not significantly different between working and non-working mothers, unless the spouse opposes maternal employment. The impact of maternal employment on children suggests that quality daycare can mitigate negative effects and may even offer socialization and intellectual benefits.
Child abuse encompasses harm to individuals under 18 years of age, resulting from exploitation, neglect, or physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) defines additional forms of abuse, including caregiver inaction in preventing harm or death to a minor. Mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse is required for professional counselors.
Maintaining the structure, the information has been condensed while preserving the key points.
9.6. Intimate Partner Violence
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is abusive behavior used to gain control over an intimate partner. It can occur in various relationships and affects women more often than men.
10. Crisis, Resilience, and Wellness
The counseling profession emphasizes developmental and preventive approaches to personal and social challenges. While the medical model is commonly used for diagnosing mental disorders, counselors also recognize the significance of client resilience and wellness. They intervene in individual and societal crises, employing a holistic perspective.
10.1. Crisis and Crisis Management
A crisis is a time-limited period of disequilibrium that occurs when an individual is faced with a stressor that overwhelms their normal coping abilities, leaving them unable to effectively handle the circumstances. It is important to note that crises can have both negative outcomes and positive opportunities for personal growth. Eric Lindemann, known for his work with survivors of the Cocoanut Grove Nightclub fire, made significant contributions to the development of crisis models. He emphasized the role of mental health professionals in helping individuals affected by traumatic events to properly grieve and mourn, thereby preventing further mental health complications. Gerard Caplan expanded on Lindemann’s work by applying principles of public health and preventive psychiatry.
During a crisis, individuals experience intense distress, where their usual stress management and problem-solving skills are insufficient for the situation. The perceived or actual stressors outweigh the available resources. While crises are typically short-term in nature, traumas involve longer-term crises with no resolution or balance between stressors and available resources.
There are five types of crises that have been identified:
James and Gilliland’s six-step model for crisis assessment and intervention includes:
These steps guide counselors in addressing client needs and promoting effective crisis resolution.
Hill proposed the ABC-X model to explain family crisis and stress. The model includes: (A) a stressor/event that triggers the crisis; (B) family resources to cope with the stressor; (C) the meaning assigned to the stressor/event; and (X) the crisis itself, characterized by family disequilibrium and immobilization.
There are several important terms related to crisis management:
Suicide is a critical issue that counselors often encounter. To ensure appropriate care, counselors must use reliable interventions and exercise foresight based on a comprehensive risk assessment. Neglecting thorough assessment falls below the expected standard of care. Warning signs of suicide can be remembered with the mnemonic IS PATH WARM: Ideation, Substance abuse, Purposelessness, Anxiety, Trapped, Hopelessness, Withdrawal, Anger, Recklessness, and Mood change. The SLAP acronym helps counselors assess specific details of the plan, plan lethality, method availability, and proximity to help. It’s important to note that standardized assessments may not fully capture the risk if clients provide untruthful responses.
Professional counselors should take the following steps when working with suicidal clients:
Remember, working with suicidal clients requires sensitivity, adherence to ethical guidelines, and collaboration with other mental health professionals when necessary.
10.2. Risk and Resiliency Factors
Risk factors are characteristics that increase the likelihood of mental disorders, academic problems, or personal-social difficulties in students and clients. Multiple risk factors have a greater impact on risk status than a single factor. While risk factors can be useful in prevention and intervention, assessing resiliency factors is often more important. Resiliency factors enable individuals to bounce back from adversity and maintain positive functioning. The Search Institute identified 40 developmental assets organized into eight categories, providing counselors with a resilience-based approach to counseling.
|Support||1. family support2. positive family communications3. other adult relationships4. caring neighborhood5. caring school climate6. parent involvement in schooling|
|Empowerment||7. community values youth8. youth as resources9. service to others10. safety|
|Boundaries and Expectations||11. family boundaries12. school boundaries13. neighborhood boundaries14. adult role models15. positive peer influence16. high expectations|
|Constructive Use of Time||17. creative activities18. youth programs19. religious community20. time at home|
|Commitment to Learning||21. achievement motivation22. school engagement23. homework24. bonding to school25. reading for pleasure|
|Positive Values||26. caring27. equality and social justice28. integrity29. honesty30. responsibility31. restraint|
|Social Competence||32. planning and decision making33. interpersonal competence34. cultural competence35. resistance skills36. peaceful conflict resolution|
|Positive Identity||37. personal power38. self-esteem39. sense of purpose40. positive view of personal future|
10.3. Responding to Crises
Professional counselors are crucial in crisis teams, which respond to events that disrupt individuals’ coping mechanisms. Individual trauma refers to personal coping, while collective trauma refers to community-wide reactions. Crisis teams consist of professionals from various fields trained to assist those in crisis. After a traumatic event, people often experience decreased psychological functioning, highlighting the importance of counselors being available to help individuals recover in both local and widespread crises.
10.4. Trauma Counseling
Trauma can result from a single event or a prolonged stressful situation, causing individuals to feel overwhelmed and lose control, leading to a sense of helplessness and questioning of purpose.
Judith Herman’s three-phase model for healing from psychological trauma involves ongoing processes that integrate into one’s life:
10.5. Conflict Resolution
Conflict resolution involves seeking resolution to interpersonal differences through negotiation, mediation, facilitation, and arbitration, aiming to minimize the risk of violence. The ideal outcome is a win-win situation that benefits both parties. Different forms of conflict resolution include:
Involves compromise and can take various forms such as power negotiations, rights negotiations, interest-based negotiations, and transformation-based negotiations that focus on empowerment and recognition.
Utilizes an objective, uninvolved person to assist with conflict resolution, helping individuals determine desires and find mutually beneficial solutions. It can be voluntary or court-mandated.
Uses counseling-related skills, particularly in group settings, to analyze conflicts, find compromises and solutions, and foster commitment among individuals.
Involves a third party making binding or nonbinding decisions to resolve conflicts for the involved individuals.
Combines mediation and arbitration, with the objective individual listening to both sides, incorporating mediation techniques, and allowing individuals to make the final decision. It is commonly used in divorce or child custody cases.
Counselors should tailor their approach to each situation, as not every form or technique will be suitable for every client.
10.6. Peer Mediation
Peer mediation, commonly utilized in schools, involves an unbiased third party who assists individuals in negotiating, compromising, and problem-solving when conflicts arise. The aim of peer mediation is to enhance students’ conflict resolution skills.
Aggression involves actions intended to cause harm, whether through verbal, physical, or relational means. Relational aggression, which occurs within social groups, is receiving increased attention in counseling literature. Examples of aggression include insults, hate crimes, physical harm, gossiping, and bullying.
Microaggression refers to subtle acts of aggression targeted at minorities, such as people of color. These acts are not overtly violent but occur within everyday social interactions, gradually making individuals feel like they don’t belong.
Violence, on the other hand, involves a deliberate intention to cause harm. It can be premeditated or impulsive, often driven by feelings of anger, shame, or humiliation. The progression of violence typically starts with a sense of humiliation and disconnection from society, leading to heightened self-consciousness, destructive behaviors, and blurred boundaries.
Warning signs of potential violence include feelings of rejection, past victimization, disciplinary issues, fear of ridicule, academic difficulties, artistic expressions depicting violence, threats towards others, intolerance, involvement in gangs, substance abuse, and access to weapons.
Wellness encompasses the harmonious integration of the mind, body, and spirit, leading to overall positive well-being. Counselors often adopt a wellness perspective that focuses on assisting clients in achieving a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Instead of viewing clients as solely seeking help for mental illness, counselors approach counseling as a journey towards greater well-being by nurturing the mind, body, and spirit. Myers and Sweeney have developed an evidence-based model called the Indivisible Self that emphasizes wellness. They proposed five dimensions of wellness, each with multiple facets:
I. Physical: exercise and nutrition
II. Essential: spirituality, gender identity, cultural identity, and selfcare
III. Social: friendship and love
IV. Coping: leisure, stress management, self-worth, and realistic beliefs
V. Creative: thinking, emotions, control, work, and positive humor
10.9. Self-Care Strategies
To effectively serve clients, counselors must prioritize their own well-being and attend to their personal needs. Burnout can hinder counselors’ ability to meet their clients’ needs, making self-care crucial. While burnout can manifest differently in individuals, the following activities and skills are believed to help prevent or alleviate its effects:
By incorporating these practices, counselors can safeguard their own well-being and ensure they are equipped to provide optimal care for their clients.