Human Growth and Development Case Study
Category : Case Studies Samples, Erickson Theory, Growth and Development
Human Growth and Development Case Study
According to Erikson’s theory of development, the age of 60 is in the span of the stage of life termed as generativity versus stagnation (ages 40-65). In this stage, the adult face the task of becoming productive members of society and nurturing the younger generations (Pazmino, 1997).
Erikson believed that in each stage the individual confronted particular choices about how to define themselves and their place in society (Pazmino, 1997). The stage of middle adulthood, generativity is the concern in establishing and guiding the next generation. Simply having or wanting children does not achieve generativity. Socially valued work and discipline expresses generativity.
The parents, having established values and close relationship to a person, want to pass on what they have learned through productive work and through raising and nurturing their children. But in the case of Claude and Davinia, they are failing in this stage. They are behaving like their own child, indulging themselves to alienation wanting to be independent even though they have to behave as adult couples.
In the case presented to us, the parents are distant from their children and the relationship seems to be very cold. Human development in this point causes the family structure to become deviant, and the impact of socialization in the family is very minimal. Even the relationship between the husband Claude and his wife Davinia is not in good terms and are both alienated due to their personal concerns.
In adulthood, the psychosocial crisis demand generativity, both in the sense of marriage and parenthood, and in the sense of working productively and creatively. In the case of Claude and Davinia, they both have excelled in their individual careers and are of the age of retirement.
There is a hindrance in their productive working, they were both ill. Claude has heart failure and life expectancy is low while Davinia has breast cancer, which will be treated in the future times. So they are obliged to quit their work because they cannot perform well. These hindrances also make their relationship with their children cold due to lack of time being together.
Historically, retirement was a stage of life few individuals lived long enough to experience or enjoy. In the early 20th century, the average life expectancy was 47 years. As a result, most people worked until they became too sick to continue. Because the advanced medical knowledge and resources we enjoy today were not yet available, a majority of people died quickly of acute illness. Overall, time spent in retirement was only 7% of adulthood or about 3 years. In the early 21st century, 25% of one's adulthood can be spent in retirement. Because the average life expectancy in 2002 is 76 years, those retiring at age 65, on average, can expect to spend 18 to 20 years in the role of retiree (Price 2002).
But in the case of Claude and Davinia, their retirement is not meant for them t enjoy but to suffer. Being diagnosed with a chronic health problem or a debilitating illness can significantly influence one's decision to retire (Atchley, 2000). Since both of them are ill, they cannot fully consummate their given benefits as retirees. They cannot as well attend to their responsibilities to their children since they will eventually turn weak and helpless.
Life-span theorists propose that developmental continuity is manifested through the progressive mastery of age-graded tasks. Success in mastering tasks at one stage results in both effective functioning within that stage and preparation to address the tasks of subsequent stages. This principle is consistent with Havighurst's (1952) developmental proposition that "good performance on a task at one age will be followed by good performance on this or similar tasks at later ages" (p. 320).
In addition, Havighurst (1952) deconstructed task mastery into coping responses, that is, "behaviors instrumental to satisfactory and satisfying responses to the tasks" (p. 222). Identifying specific coping behaviors as good performance on stage-specific developmental tasks permits counselors and researchers to assess intraindividual differences within a given life stage and allows for examination of intraindividual developmental changes across the life course. In summary, the major constructs in career development theory are organized hierarchically, with life-span career divided into life stages, each of which contains developmental tasks and a range of coping behaviors that constitute mastery.
Their children are turning adults and the elder one Melissa will be entering the married life soon. Marriage is a very sacred thing and nobody can break the bond that the Lord has made. Entering marriage is not an easy task; it comes with responsibility and obligations not only to yourself but also to your husband and to your children.
A study said that the decline of marriage in America continues to decrease since 1970. Vast majority of population marries generally. Those who marry are better off mentally, physically, and economically (Mace, 1992).
The formula for a successful marriage is formulated but making the marriage work will also depend on the people involved in the marriage. Both individuals entering marriage should be both mature. The individuals should love their spouses and also themselves. The couple should enjoy being together as well as being alone. They should be established in their occupations. They should also express themselves assertively.
Marriage qualifies as a life cycle transition that is both normative and anticipated, and yet, has the potential to be highly stressful (Boss, 1988). According to McGoldrick (1989), becoming a couple is one of the most complex and difficult transitions of the family life cycle even though it is often perceived as the least complicated and most joyous. This romanticized view of the transition to marriage may contribute to a couple’s lack of adequate preparation and subsequent difficulty and distress during the transition. Many people consider marriage as the unimpeded, blissful joining of two individuals. However, Carter and McGoldrick (1989) have suggested that marriage really represents the merger of two entire systems combining together in developing a new, third family system.
Atchley, R.C. (2000). Social Forces and Aging (9th Ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Boss, P. (1988). Family stress management. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Havighurst, R. J. (1952). Developmental tasks and education. New York: David McKay.
McGoldrick, M. (1989). The joining of families through marriage: The new couple. In B.
Carter & M. McGoldrick (Eds.), The changing family life cycle: A framework for family therapy (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Mace, D. (1982). Close companions: The marriage enrichment handbook. New York: Continuum.
Pazmino, Robert W. (1997). Erik Erikson’s Work.
Price, Christine A. (2000). OSU State Extension. About Retirement. The Ohio State University.