Case Study Adulthood

 
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Introduction

Many developmentalists express an unwavering belief in earlier and later development. They believe that the developmental aspects that characterize childhood provide a basis for development during adolescence and adulthood. However, whereas certain aspects of development remain constant others change keep changing through the lifespan (Baltes & Schaie, 2013). The change in these developmental aspects is influenced by social, personal, cultural and environmental among other factors.  Different theoretical viewpoints can be applied in understanding the differences in various developmental aspects such as behavior. Theoretical perspectives provide a practical explanation of the behaviors demonstrated by individuals during different stages of life as well as when exposed to certain circumstances.  This paper will use the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory to expound on the case of a 52-year-old White male who is currently experiencing family, work, financial and extreme social challenges.  David is overwhelmed by his supervisory duties and feels that his work is not beneficial (Broderick & Blewitt, 2014). The paper will apply the needs theory to determine the most effective intervention for David. Moreover, the effect of personal and cultural factors on development for the current age and context will be highlighted.

Lifespan development theory 

Although various lifespan development theories are suitable for David’s case, not all of them are applicable. The Erickson’s psychosocial theory, for instance, is applicable since it described the changes in growth and development as well as the psychological and social changes that take place during different stages of life. Psychosocial theory places more emphasis on social interactions and conflicts that emanate from these interactions lifespan (Baltes & Schaie, 2013). The theory elucidates eight distinct developmental stages from infancy through adulthood. Erickson noted that individual face numerous conflicts as they progress through these developmental stages. The ability to overcome these challenges lays the ground lifelong psychological virtue. The behavioral development theory is also applicable in David’s case since it outlines how environmental factors influence human behavior. The Piaget Cognitive Development Theory, on the other hand, asserts that an individual’s understanding interaction with the world can be influenced but his/her thoughts.

The Maslow hierarchy of need theory was selected as the most applicable lifespan development theory in the case study since it explains how motivation influences human behavior (Yong et al. 2017). The theory makes it clear that motivation drives people to accomplish certain needs. The five-stage development includes psychological needs, safety needs, belonging needs, esteem and self-actualization. The need theory was developed upon the realization that for individuals to move to subsequent levels of need, they must first deal with survival needs such as food, shelter and clothing (Bassett, 2016). Individuals are more likely to yearn for new skills to improve their qualification for future jobs. The principles of the needs theory can help understand why psychological safety and security is necessary for effectiveness and efficiency at the workplace (Phillips, 2018). The social needs level of Maslow’s theory deals with belongingness. At the workplace, for instance, a supervisor should implement measures to facilitate the development of a culture that supports interaction between workers (Yong et al. 2017). At home, the social need level calls for the creation of an environment characterized by love and connectedness. Such a culture is vital for improving the self-esteem of the people within a certain social circle (Bassett, 2016).


 

Application of the development theory to an identified intervention process

According to the needs theory, the motivation to achieve certain needs grow stronger the more they are denied. Maslow asserted that when a deficit need remains unsatisfied for long, it will eventually go away. Individuals will develop behaviors and embrace activities directed towards satisfying the next set of needs which are yet to be accomplished (Heckhausen, Wrosch & Schulz, 2010). The next set of needs automatically turn out to be the salient needs of an individual. However, the need for growth becomes stronger once the salient needs have been engaged. David seems to have developed deficiency needs due to deprivation and a lack of motivation. He has devoted much of his time to his work at the expense of social interaction with his family. He is also longing for promotion which means more income though it will mean more work responsibility (Broderick & Blewitt, 2014). To address the social, workplace and family issues that are holding him down David needs to allocate more time to his family and recreational activities to boost his internal energy (Phillips, 2018). It is clear that the desire to accomplish the financial needs of his family has driven him to stick to his work to the extent that he is even working during weekends. David is, however, feeling that his work is negatively affecting his social relations. His working on weekends to catch up on tasks means he does not have time to interact with his children and his wife. His ability to accomplish safety and belongingness needs has decreased significantly. Notably, David is experiencing self-actualization problems. He has not been able to realize personal potential, as well as growth and peak experiences and thus wonders whether the increased paperwork is important to him at all.

The potential impact of individual and cultural differences on development for adults

Cultural and individual factors can influence development during adulthood. Individual responsibilities, for instance, increase significantly during adulthood.  The capability to cope with the challenges that characterize adulthood, however, differs considerably from one person to another as well as from culture to culture. During adulthood, individuals develop the ability to show intimacy, hold careers and start families. However, the ability to cope with the challenges associated with these activities differs from one person to another lifespan (Baltes & Schaie, 2013). To accomplish developmental objectives during middle adulthood, individuals must overcome the challenge of establishing a base for the welfare of future generations and make significant contributions to the world through family and work. One of the most significant factors that influence the ability of an individual to progress successfully through adulthood is self-regulation (Heckhausen, Wrosch & Schulz, 2010).  Individuals with high levels of self-perception can relate positively to their spouse besides developing social and civic responsibilities. These individuals are also able to reach and maintain satisfaction in their occupation. It has also been noted that adults who demonstrate self-regulation skills can help teenage children to become responsible in the current stage as well as during adulthood.

Cultural factors also influence the process of development as well as the behaviors demonstrated by an individual during adulthood. Culture is usually taken as a platform on which to determine what is right from wrong. Cultural aspects thus play a crucial role in the determination of whether an individual has taken a right developmental path or not lifespan (Baltes & Schaie, 2013). Most cultures, for instance, place the responsibility of taking care of children on both parents. The father takes the role of the ultimate provider whereas the mother acts as the source of emotional support for the family. These responsibilities are demonstrated in David’s cases, whereby even after divorcing his first wife and remarrying, he continues to provide for both families. In the case of a divorce in most western cultures, the mother is usually given the custody of the children to ensure they are provided with the emotional and social support necessary for development. Culture also requires adults to behave in a manner that earns them respect from age mates and younger generations.

Conclusion

Adulthood is one of the distinct phases of human development. During this stage, individuals demonstrate behaviors that differ significantly from those of other developmental stages. Individuals also behave and react differently from various situations. The Maslow’s need theory explains the differences in behavior during this stag beside elucidating how motivation influences human behavior. The principles of the needs theory can help understand why psychological safety and security is necessary for effectiveness and efficiency at home and the workplace. Individuals develop behaviors and embrace activities directed towards satisfying the next set of needs which are yet to be accomplished. During adulthood, individuals develop the ability to show intimacy, hold careers and start families. However, the ability to cope with the challenges associated with these activities differs from one person to another. One of the most significant factors that influence the ability of an individual to progress successfully through adulthood is self-regulation. Cultural factors also influence the process of development as well as the behaviors demonstrated by individuals during adulthood.

References

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Baltes, P. B., & Schaie, K. W. (2013). Life-Span Developmental Psychology: Personality and Socialization. Burlington: Elsevier Science.

Bassett, L. A. (2016). The Constitutionality of Solitary Confinement: Insights from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine, 26: 403.

Broderick, P. C. & Blewitt P., (2014). The Life Span: Human Development for Helping Professionals. New York, NY: Pearson Education,

Heckhausen, J., Wrosch, C., & Schulz, R. (2010). A Motivational Theory of Life-Span Development. Psychological Review, 117(1): 32.

Phillips, C. (2018). How to maximize employee health and productivity: Maslow s ‘hierarchy of needs’ shows how individual needs affect the work environment. New Hampshire Business Review, 40(5): 20.

Yong Jae, K., Yonghwan, C., Wonseok, J., Sagas, M., & Otto Spengler, J. (2017). A Hierarchical Approach for Predicting Sport Consumption Behavior: A Personality and Needs Perspective. Journal of Sport Management, 31(3), 213-228. doi:10.1123/jsm.2015-0142

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