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Stages Of Life

Stages Of Life

Stages Of Life

Each developmental stage of life comes with a unique set of challenges. As people transition between the settings, they have to face these challenges to overcome them before moving to the next step. Each life stage is associated with everyday difficulties. For example, individuals transitioning to early Adulthood must enter the workforce for the first time.

Individuals entering middle Adulthood may experience a “mid-life crisis.” To take a closer look at these associations, two individuals from varying life stages answered a series of questions about their life stages, including the challenges they face because of their age and the way societal expectations have shaped their lives.


For this assignment, two separate interviews were conducted. The interviews were conducted in person and face-to-face. The interviewees were from two different developmental life stages to analyze the differences and challenges associated with each stage of life. Below, the interview questions and interviewees’ responses are included.

Interview #1

Sex: Male          Age: 23

Life Stage: Emerging/Early Adulthood (20 – 40)

Marital Status: Single

Employment Status: Full-time

What major goals have you accomplished so far in life?

One of the primary goals I have accomplished so far in my lifetime is moving into my place. While I am currently renting an apartment and do not technically own a home, it had been a goal of mine to move out of my parent’s house early. I also started my first full-time job, which has provided me with financial stability. For the first time, I am relying on my income solely to take care of myself. While it is a big responsibility, it is another goal of mine that I am proud to have accomplished.

What goals do you still hope to accomplish in life? 

As I previously mentioned, I am currently renting an apartment. I hope to buy my own house; that is one goal I hope to accomplish sooner rather than later.

What are some of the challenges associated with your current stage of life?

One of the biggest challenges associated with my current stage of life is having the sole responsibility to take care of myself. For example, if a bill needs to be paid, I not only have to worry about having the money to pay for it, but I am solely responsible for remembering to spend it on time. Before I moved out on my own, my mom spent a lot of my bills, including my phone bill. I would pay her directly for the amount I owed when she reminded me. Now that I live on my own, I have not only to work to have that money to pay my bills, but I have to remember to pay my bills before their deadlines.

How do you feel that societal expectations have shaped your life right now?

I feel like societal expectations have pushed me to find a full-time job, move out of my parent’s house into my place, and take care of and provide for myself. I jumped into my full-time career at such an early age (I started working my first full-time job at 19), and part of that was because of the societal expectations that I feel have been placed on me. I have some regrets about starting a full-time job so young because I feel like I skipped the stage of life when most young people figure out their identities. I missed out on many of the typical experiences of a young twenty-something; instead of traveling, partying, and going to traditional college, I went to a trade school and jumped right into a full-time career after graduating. I did not get to really figure myself out like most people do during early Adulthood.


 After analyzing the responses from the first interviewee, it is evident they experience many of the challenges commonly associated with the emerging/early adulthood stage.

According to Messersmith, Garret, and Eccles, emerging Adulthood is the age “during which previous socialization combines with current experiences to shape career choices and long-term goals” (2008). During this stage, individuals are engaging in identity exploration. As they enter the workforce, they begin exploring their occupational identity (Messersmith, Garret, & Eccles, 2008). Because the interviewee feels they did not have a chance to explore their identity, it has probably been difficult for them to discover their work identity. Despite their regrets for jumping into a full-time career so early, it seems the individual is developing typically based on their current stage of life.

Interview #2

Sex: Female         Age: 51

Life Stage: Middle Adulthood (40 – 65)

Marital Status: Single (Divorced)

Employment Status: Full-Time

What major goals have you accomplished so far in life? 

I graduated high school, raised two children, bought a home on my own after my divorce, and established a successful career that has provided me with financial stability.

What goals do you still hope to accomplish in life?

 One of my biggest goals that I hope to accomplish still is being able to retire. I would also like to find peace and happiness within myself.

What are some of the challenges associated with your current stage of life? 

The biggest challenge associated with my current stage of life is caring for both my daughters and my parents. My daughters are in their early twenties, so while they are older, they are still living under my roof and are still my responsibility. My parents are in their eighties and are both in lousy health and utterly dependent on others for their care. I feel as though I can not have a life of my own because I am too worried about my parents and their well-being. At the same time, I am concerned about my daughters. I want them to have a good foundation, a good education, items they need, etc. I find it challenging to balance my parents’ needs, my daughter’s needs, and my needs. I have a boyfriend, friends, hobbies, and activities I enjoy, but I feel guilty spending my time outside of caring for my family. It is overwhelming to be in a state of worry constantly. I often wish I could get in my car and drive away from it all.

Another major challenge associated with my current stage of life is health – physical, emotional, social, and mental. When one is declining, it seems as though the others begin to fall as well. My physical health has deteriorated, partially due to age and partially due to my lifestyle. As a result, I have a poor self-image, and my mental health declines. Since my time is consumed by caring for my parents, I often neglect my own needs simply because I feel like I do not have the time to care for myself correctly.

How do you feel that societal expectations have shaped your life right now? 

I feel as though societal expectations have made me perceive myself and where I am now in a very negative way. Throughout my entire life, I have had expectations screamed in my face. We hear things like, “you have to go to college,” “you have to drive this kind of car,” “and you need to have a big house,” and you feel like less of a person if you have not had these experiences or owned these luxury items. I try to be happy with what I have, and I know I am very fortunate compared to others, but I still feel pressure to live and be a certain way.


After analyzing the responses from the second interviewee, it is evident the individual fits the description of someone from the “Sandwich Generation.” The individual still has children at home to care for but must care for her aging parents now that they can no longer care for themselves. According to the American Psychological Association, adults considered part of the “Sandwich Generation” feel more stress than other age groups, as they are required to balance the demanding acts of caring for their children and parents (2008). It can be challenging to find a balance between caring for one’s children and parents, but additionally, the individual must find time to care for themselves. According to psychologist Katherine Nordal, Ph., it is no surprise that so many from the “Sandwich Generation” are experiencing stress because of “the worry of your parents’ health and your children’s wellbeing as well as the financial concern of putting kids through college and saving for your own retirement is a lot to handle” (American.

Psychological Association, 2008). Being a member of the “Sandwich Generation” presents many unique challenges on top of the stressors that come with entering middle Adulthood.

According to psychologist Erik Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development, the social “task” of middle Adulthood is generativity vs. stagnation. Erikson coined the term generativity, defining it as the process of “finding your life’s work and contributing to the development of others through activities such as volunteering, mentoring, and raising children” (McLeod, 2018). Middle-aged adults who do not feel they are contributing enough or doing something meaningful may experience feelings of stagnation. Based on the interviewee’s responses, it seems as though they are contributing in a meaningful way by caring for both their children and their parents.

Though the individual is experiencing some stress because of their life stage, a majority of their focus seems to stem from behaviors and situations that are commonly encountered during middle Adulthood; therefore, it looks as though they are developing typically.


After analyzing the responses of the interviews, it is evident that the associations among each developmental stage of life are commonly experienced. The individual in the emerging/early adulthood stage struggles to find their identity due to a lack of self-exploration, which is common for people in this stage. The individual in the middle adulthood stage is part of the “Sandwich Generation,” as they are caring for both their children and their parents simultaneously. While it is evident these common associations for each developmental age can bring on added stress for the individual, these experiences are very typical for people in these particular stages. With healthy, specific development in life, it is more likely for an individual to overcome these challenges they face as they transition between scenes.


American Psychological Association. (2008). Sandwich-generation moms are feeling the squeeze. Retrieved from

McLeod, S. (2018). Erik Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development. Retrieved from

Messersmith, E. E., Garret, J. L., and Eccles, J. S. (2008). Career development from adolescence through emerging adulthood insights from information technology occupations. Retrieved from


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Interview two individuals who are in different stages of Adulthood. You may choose from the following steps: Emerging/Early Adulthood (20-40), Middle  Adulthood (40-65), Late Adulthood (65+).Interview Requirements:  Interviews can be conducted via phone, video conferencing, email, or in person. You can select your questions to be included in the interview. However, the following core questions must be addressed:

Stages Of Life

Stages Of Life

  • Basic Demographic Information (age, gender, marital status, employment status)
  • What significant goals has the person accomplished so far in life?
  • What are some of the challenges associated with their current stage of life?
  • How does the person feel societal expectations shape their life right now?


  • Identify the stage of life that your selected person fits into (Early, Middle, and Late Adulthood).
  • What are some of the associations common to each interviewee’s stage of life? For example, are they emerging adult starting their first  full-time job at the age in which a mid-life crisis might occur, or are they stuck in the “Sandwich Generation?” If so, does your interviewee currently fit into any of these common associations? Why or why not?
  • Does it seem any prejudicial or stereotypical behavior is experienced in this person’s stage of life (e.g., based upon their age/gender/sexuality)?
  • Do you believe that this person is developing typically or atypically based on what you know so far about their current stage of life?
  • Apply three specific theories from the course readings that apply to both individuals interviewed.

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