The Three Generations Project

Human development has been researched for many years, with the majority of study focusing on childhood and adulthood (Belsky, 2009). The major purpose of the interview was to evaluate Erikson and Piaget's developmental stages. The interview will look at the developmental stages of adulthood in the middle and late stages. I went to Mr. Michael's house and interviewed him verbally for this interview. Mr. Michael is 73 years old and nearing the end of his adult life. He is experiencing both psychological and physical issues as he ages. The elderly man was interviewed outside his home, beneath a tree, and told his life story with me. The questions were targeting his cognitive, physical and psycho-social development. Adulthood development has been neglected by many researchers and is characterized with numerous development challenges. Development theories have elaborated various stages of human development. Human beings have unique identity and personality traits which may be attributed by the environment they lived in. Human development theories explain the behavior of an individual and how they relate to others and the environment (Lerner, 2008). There are numerous theories of development such as Freud’s psychosexual, learning theories, Erikson’s psychosocial theory, and Maslow theory of needs, cognitive development and Piaget’s theory (Lerner, 2008).The stages of adulthood development includes early adulthood, middle and late adulthood.

Mr. Michael is experiencing physical challenges which has affected his senescence and musculoskeletal. He is experiencing degeneration which has negatively affected his muscles and joints leading to physical ailments. He is suffering from sarcopenia and arthritis. Similarly, his sensory level has been affected and has problems with hearing and vision. He cannot see close and far objects. He is suffering from cataracts and glaucoma due to muscular degeneration. Michael has been complaining that there is no taste in any food he is served. He has problems with taste and is suffering from olfaction as well which has impaired the quality of his life causing deficits and illness. Osteoarthritis and Cardiovascular disease has affected Mr. Michael and he cannot move easily. The old man is undergoing a lot of stress and depression which has been contributed by social exclusion. The old man is under antiretroviral therapy and taking the antiretroviral drugs. He contacted the diseases during his middle adulthood when he was 47 years old and was alcoholic.

Social exclusion has affected Mr. Michael and he has been left alone in his big homestead without caregivers except his grandson who is addicted with drugs and away from home most time. The old man lost his wife to HIV/AIDS causing the depression. He also lost all his daughters and sons to the disease and is only left with one grandson. His medical history indicates that he has been suffering from hypertension and high blood pressure. He was also diagnosed with throat cancer due to smoking for many years. According to Erikson’s psychosocial theory, Mr. Michael is in the eighth stage of psychosocial development which is Integrity versus Despair. He is regretting a lot and feels wasted and dissatisfied with life. He is not successful and is waiting for his death due to desperation and disappointment with life.

The potential impacts of the challenges facing Mr. Michael have caused high anxiety and depression in his life. The old man is depressed and need evidence-based intervention such as cognitive base therapy. The challenges have negatively affected the old man and are regretting a lot. He feels wasted and dissatisfied with life due to inability to achieve the intended goals. Mr. Michael was experiencing depression and anxiety due to frustrations and illness. Erikson’s psychosocial theory last stage Integrity versus despair affected Mr. Michael negatively leading to regrets and desperation. He lost hope in life and was just waiting for his death. Evidence-based intervention or practices such as clinical and medical interventions should be used to cure the illness. Cognitive behavioral therapy is effective in treating depression and anxiety experienced by the old man.

Piaget’s theory is a cognitive development philosophy that is based on human intelligence development (Brainerd, 2008). The theory is so comprehensive and deals with how knowledge is gradually acquired from one stage to the other. The developmental stage theory reorganizes mental processes occasioning from biological maturation and environmental experiences. Theories of human development are imperative and affect individual’s life during the stages. Erik Erikson developed psychoanalytic theory which explains psychosocial development and has eight stages that affects personality of a person either positively or negatively. Erickson’s psychosocial development has been regarded as a psychoanalytic theory which identifies eight stages that human beings must pass through right from infancy stage to late adulthood (Taubenheim, 2011).

Integrity versus despair stage elaborated by Eric Erickson is the last phase before death at old age. This is the last stage and occurs during old age. People reflect back into their lives to determine whether life was successful or not (Taubenheim, 2011). Those who wasted their time and unsuccessful will regret so much while the successful ones feel great and satisfied with life. Individuals who did not accomplish their goals will feel dissatisfied and develop despair leading to stress and depression (Taubenheim, 2011). They are also hopeless and await their death. Death approaches accompanied with terminal diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and cardiovascular diseases.

Second interview

The second interview involved the interaction of a man in his middle adulthood. The gentleman’s name was Mr. Antonio Klin. The aim of the interview was to establish the physical, cognitive and psycho-social development. The interview aims at examining developmental stages and was done in person through verbal communication. The study adopted psychodynamic theory by Erik Erikson. The developmental stages identified by Erikson will be assessed during the interview schedule. Mr. Antonio is 48 years old and very busy in his office. Due to his busy schedule, the interview had to take place in his office for just twenty minutes. Mr. Antonio Klin accepted to allow us interview him and discuss his life experience with us. We assured him privacy and confidentially. The main goal of the interview was to investigate the developmental theories in relation to physical, cognitive and psychosocial development.

Mr. Antonio Klin graduated twenty four years ago from university. Immediately after graduating, he was employed as an intern in a local bank where he operated as a teller. Mr. Klin worked in the bank as an intern for three years and later got the approval as a permanent employee. He too his work so serious and at thirty years organized a wedding. The man wedded a beautiful woman at 35 years old. He began to invest and create more wealth for his family. Antonio was very much focused with his career development. He could work hard leaving his house very early in the morning and coming late in the evening. Life was so busy that for him that he rarely creates time for his family. In his early adulthood, Mr. Antonio Klin had already bought a nice car that was trending those days.

His career development was much occupied and the man had goals and objective to me. He tells us how his hard work inspired his boss and was promoted as one of the mangers at the local bank. At 40 years old, he bought himself a nice home after taking a loan for a mortgage. Mr. Antonio Klin continued working hard and creating more wealth his family. He believed that old age was approaching and he would be old soon. The gentleman tells us that family life was good and is the most pleasure things in human life stage. He could have time with his family during the weekends. His wife was working as well and was a doctor. The family had one daughter and a son. The two kids were schooling in a local day school and could meet their parents in the evening. Mr. Klin is taking his family out frequently especially during holidays and weekends. He loves his wife so much and would buy him presents every time and then.

Before we could leave the office, we just realized that Mr. Antonio Klin was being waited outside for a meeting where he was supposed to head. He was the executive director at the bank. Antonio Klin was promoted to higher level at 48 years and serves one of the highest positions in the bank’s headquartering in the city. Life is so good for the gentleman and his physical appearance has totally changed. We had visited his house the day before and saw some of his photos. Mr. Antonio Klin used to be slim before he got a permanent job. Today, he has a tummy and looks healthier. We left his office and thanked him for allowing use to interview him.

Third interview

The third interview involved a young lady in her early adulthood. Jane looks pretty but indeed she has undergoing a lot of stress and depression. The main aim of the interview was to assess developmental theories in her life span. Jane is 28 years old and leaves a lone as a single parent. She has daughter who is three years old. The interview took about twenty five minutes at her place and she allowed us to interview her. The interview was kept private and confidential. The assessment of human developmental stages is relative and people through different life style. The interview was verbally and privately without any interruption. Jane was very welcoming; she received us happily and allowed me in. She gave me a glass of wine and the interviewed proceeded.

At 28 years old, Jane is not married and has one kid. The kid is three years old and a baby girl. Jane started by telling us her childhood life. She was brought up by a single mother in the slums. She lived with her mother in the Ghetto and life was so difficult that she could not afford to go to school continuously without being chased for school fee. Her mother used to brew local alcohol and sell it to slum dwellers. Most of the time, the mother could be caught by police and Jane was left alone with her two siblings. She was older than his brother by three years old and had a little sister.

Jane’s life was so complicated due to lack of parental love and care. She was not being taken care off and her mother left the parental hood for her. Jane’s mother used to leave her in the house and goes to her business place to brew the local beer. Her mother could sleep out working throughout the night just to get some small amount of money. There was no food and her needs could not be met by the mother’s little earning.

At fourteen years old, Jane was lucky enough to join high school. Her high school life was so challenging. She was in her adolescence stage and puberty was disturbing her so much. She tells us how she started having sex and taking drugs with other teen agers from the Ghetto. Jane was expelled from school due to so many issues including lack of manners. She was selling drugs to students and having sex with teachers, fellow male students and even the drunkards who used to buy the local brew from her mother. She was spelled and a year later her mother died of HIV/IDS. Just six months after the death of her mother, her younger sister passed away as well. Life was so frustrating and Jane decided to continue with mother’s business at age 25. She too became pregnant with one of the policemen who used to protect her from the legal system. Her brother died as well after being shot by a policeman during bank robbery. The policeman who impregnated Jane denied the responsibility and she was left alone. Jane has been diagnosed with stomach cancer and she is living a stressful life.

Discussion and conclusion

There are various development challenges that affect individual’s personality and behavior. The challenges affect biological, psychological and the social development of a person (Belsky, 2009). Development theories have three dimensions namely; cognitive, physical and socio-emotional development. The three dimensions consider all forms of human development including moral understanding, personality, social change, motor skills and language acquisition (Taubenheim, 2011). Besides, development psychology incorporates identity, emotional and social change among others. Human development theories are imperative and understand how people develop, adapt and mature throughout their lives. Cognitive challenge has been well elaborated by Piaget theory of social development. According to Piaget, people develop cognitively during childhood and continue to adulthood period. The Cognitive development enables them to develop ideas and acquire certain skills (Rothbaum, Meadows, Resick, & Foy, 2000).

Adult hood is manifested with numerous challenges especially during middle and late adulthood stages. Adulthood stages experience both physical and psychological changes. Sensory changes occur during aging which affects brain and the central nervous system, muscles and bones are also affected (Scannapieco, Connell-Carrick & Painter, 2007). The respiratory systems of old people are affected by cardiovascular diseases. Elderly people have hearing problems. They are unable to hear well and sometimes have tastes problems. Visions of the elderly people are also affected by the sensory system which leads to impaired visions Belsky,2010). They are unable to see close and far objects due to poor visions caused by aging. The size of the pupil of the eye grows smaller and smaller forcing them to rely of spectacles. Consequently, elderly people have difficulties with sensing or touch. They cannot hold and touch items very well due to weak bones. There is loss of elasticity which affects connectivity tissues leading to pain and mobility impairment (Scannapieco, Connell-Carrick & Painter, 2007).

All the stages begin at birth and are influenced by the ecological factors that are determined by culture, beliefs and economic status. According to Erikson, the stages are not permanent but characterized with psychosocial crisis. For instance, infants will adopt trust through the stage of trust vs. mistrust. The virtue of the trust affects the individual’s life from an infant stage to adulthood (Taubenheim, 2011). Middle adulthood is characterized with various challenges as well as seen in Jane’s life.

The interviewed inspired me so much and I learned so much. Human beings undergo through numerous developmental stages. The childhood of an individual determines how they will be in the future. Life experience is faced with various challenges and people may either celebrate their old age or regret just like Mr. Michael. Lack of taste has been experienced in adults in their latest adulthood stage. The elderly complains for tasteless food and insist on special diet. Besides, diseases such as arthritis and other cardiovascular disease affect the elderly. They have high blood pressure and hypertension which results to depression. Diseases such as osteoporosis, dementia, stroke and diabetes and others are common in elderly people. Arthritis, COPD, Alzheimer, cancer, heart attack, glaucoma, delirium and Cataracts are some the leading illness affecting the elderly. Lastly, cognitive functioning is experienced in late adulthood (Scannapieco, Connell-Carrick & Painter, 2007).


Belsky, J. (2009). Experiencing the lifespan. Macmillan.

Belsky, J. (2010). Experiencing the lifespan. New York: Worth.

Brainerd, C. J. (2008). Piaget's theory of intelligence. Prentice Hall.

GranvolD, D. K. (2014). Cognitive-behavioral therapy with adults. Essentials of Clinical Social Work, 186.

Lerner, R. M. (2008). Theories of human development. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly of Behavior and Development, 16, 238-245.

Meichenbaum, D., Carlson, J., & Kjos, D. (2001). Cognitive-behavioral therapy. Allyn and Bacon.

Taubenheim, B. W. (2011). Erikson's psychosocial theory applied to late adulthood stage: Challenges faced in during development stages, 22(6), 517-522.

Wadsworth, B. J. (2012). Piaget's theory of cognitive and affective development. Longman Publishing. Belsky, J. (2010).

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