Τα στάδια εξέλιξη της προσωπικότητας του ανθρώπου σύμφωνα με τους Levinson, McKee (1978). Ο άνθρωπος σαν το δέντρο θεμελιώνει ρίζες, ερευνά, βρίσκει ουσίες, υψώνει κορμό, αναπτύσσεται κι αν είναι τυχερός και ωριμάσει στο τέλος απολαμβάνει καρπούς. Κατά μέσο όρο οι αλλαγές των σταδίων γίνονται ανά 6-7 χρόνια
Levinson and McKee (1978) identified the following life stages: 1 spring (childhood and adolescence: from birth to the age of 16) 2 summer (early adulthood: 17–40) 3 autumn (middle adulthood: 41–60) 4 winter (late adulthood: 60+) e ach stage represents a period of transition that is characterized by the development of hopes and dreams, consolidation, evaluation in the face of challenges, further change in life (e.g. identity crises and self-doubts) and re-evaluation in relation to the reality of one’s world view.
For instance: 1 Early adult transition (17–22) As one enters adulthood, there is a sense of excitement about establishing independence in relation to one’s own parents. o ne opens up to a new world of ideas, embracing its uncertainty about where one stands in relation to one’s own aspirations. o ne has choices to make: further or higher education, entering a career or establishing a family. At such a critical juncture, one may experience self-doubt about one’s own ability to cope with the change in responsibility, as one senses the world’s expectations and demands (Who am i ? What kind of person do i want to become?).
2 Provisional adulthood (22–28) This is a period of establishing one’s competence at being independent along one’s chosen path of development.
3 Age 30 transition (28–33) Around this age, one is likely to settle down with a job and develop one’s career. However, one may sometimes question one’s own commitment to one’s organization or to the relationship one is engaged in ( i s this what i really want to do, to become? Whom do i want to be with?). o ne has choices: to leave the job and change one’s circumstances; or to end a relationship.
4 Settling down (33–40) This is the time to grow roots and reap the fruit of earlier efforts.
5 Mid-life transition (40–45) Around the age of 40, one may recognize one’s own unfulfilled ambitions (lost hopes or broken dreams). o ne may feel tired of what one is doing and begin to question one’s own commitment again, asking deeper questions (What is the meaning of life? What is it all about?) This critical moment is often called mid-life crisis.
6 Restabilization (45–50) At this stage, one is likely to settle down with an established career. i t is the time to bear fruit, develop still further and mentor others.
7 Age 50 transition (50–55) This is another critical moment for self-reflection (perhaps the result of another lost hope or broken dream); at the same time one feels somewhat out of touch with what is going on out there in relation to the younger generation; one has a sense of loss and regret for opportunities missed in the past (What have i achieved? What do i really value?).
8 Middle adulthood (55–60) o ne’s inner calm is restored. o ne may realize one’s limit, experience uncertainty about one’s own longevity and realign one’s priorities, in life and in relationships. o ne can afford to make choices in accordance with one’s own value and sense of identity. o ne may develop still further and make one’s assets grow; alternatively, one may choose to disengage from work or re-engage in new work or in a new enterprise.
9 Late adult transition (age 60–65) This probably represents the final stage of transition, during which one may need to plan ahead for the remaining years. Further reflection may take place, and hopefully one can enjoy the rest of life. Later on, Levinson (1997) interviewed 45 women aged 35 to 45 and found that, although women may go through similar life stages, the rhythm of change tends to be different and they tend to be more concerned with the family and social aspects of life. Again, we need to be cautious about applying the life stages theory presented above too rigidly when we assess one’s development. The theory was developed on the basis of a study of a small number of people within the American culture.