How are Adolescence and Old Age Connected?

The connection between adolescence and old age is found with the description of a theory in psychosocial development by Erik Erikson, there he explains that from childhood to adulthood, we go through a series of eight changes that are marked by crisis, and our ultimate success in resolving these conflicts determines the way in which our lives turnout. When we are able to methodically overcome each one of these obstacles, we are then ready to progress to the next stage.

The first four stages of Erickson’s theory deal with our childhood, and one of these stages happens during our adolescence. The remaining three stages deal with our lives as adults. The connection lies between step five, which is identity versus role confusion in adolescence, and in step eight, which is the last step, that deals with our development into maturity, called integrity versus despair (Baron 335). I found the connection between these two stages very interesting in that they more or less serve as the overall outlook for one’s life in the beginning, and retrospect of one’s life lived in the end.

According to Erickson, this fifth phase of psychosocial development, identity versus role confusion, is the most important stage because teenagers begin to look at whom they are in respect to their personalities, opinions, and what they are passionate about. They are searching for their own identity and begin to question what they want to do in their lives. Failure to resolve issues associated with this “crisis stage” can result in indecision by the teenager to establish future goals (Baron 336-337).

Ability to complete this step of psychosocial development aids them in planning their adult life and achieving a sense of well-being. Previous success at solving earlier childhood stages of conflict provides a good basis for the teenager when facing this period of self-assessment (Cortland 5). They begin to view themselves as being separate from their parents and capable of decision-making on their own.

The last phase, or eighth stage of human development termed integrity versus despair, is when the person takes a look back at their life questioning whether they accomplished their set goals and achieved their childhood dreams. During this phase, if they are able to say “yes” to these questions, they are fulfilled, and have a sense of integrity. On the other hand, if they come to the conclusion that their lives failed to hit the desired mark, they may become full of despair, experiencing feelings of low self-worth and lack of accomplishment (Baron 344).

These results can even determine the emotional and physical well-being of the individual in the remainder of their lives (Cortland 8). If the elderly person feels satisfied that they have achieved their goals, and lead a full life, they deal better with the inevitable fact that they are going to die. If they come to the conclusion that upon their death they have left nothing for the one’s they will be leaving behind, they may instead become filled with fear and scared of death. As they grow older, an adolescent’s ability to resolve these stages of conflict becomes twofold. They are dealing with biological phases that effect their ability to mature and grow, followed by the demands of society on people of different ages. How they choose to deal with these situations is what determines a favorable or unfavorable outcome to their futures.

List of Works Cited

Baron, Robert A. Psychology. 5th ed. Allyn & Bacon: Massachuesetts, 2001

Critically respond to the characteristics of adolescents and examine the implications both personally and professionally. Adolescence, the period of life between childhood and maturity, may be regarded as one of the most crucial stages through which the human individual passes …

The formation of identity is a key feature of adolescence according to several theories. For example, Erikson’s psychosocial theory of personality development, adolescence involves a ‘crisis’ resulting in either identity formation or role confusion. This concerns the adolescent having to …

Through the course of this essay I will evaluate the different theories of adolescences in order to account for some of the deviant behaviour that is associated with adolescence, it will therefore be necessary to discuss the physical and psychological …

Some would argue that adolescence is a period of stress, such as Smith and Crawford (1960) who found that over 60% of high school students had had suicidal thoughts. Assuming that this is the case, then adolescents need emotional support, …

David from Healtheappointments:

Hi there, would you like to get such a paper? How about receiving a customized one? Check it out