Development in Middle Adulthood

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore and connect Psychosocial, Cognitive, and Psychosexual Development
  • Explore and connect another Theory, Approach, or Perspective to work in critical thinking skills for client assessments
  • Exploring important aspects of a person’s experience and ability to justify why they are important


Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Seth is a 44 y/o Caucasian male. He grew up in a small town with six siblings and his parents worked hard in a factory their whole lives. His parents had little education but had high hopes for their children and always said “if you work hard, you can achieve anything” and he believed this. Seth started working when he was 15 y/o, graduated high school at 18 y/o, and then joined the Air Force. He went to college after serving his term but had to work during this time to afford school and pay his bills. It took 6 years, but he was able to earn a degree in Accounting, and he was very proud of his accomplishment.

Seth got married a couple of years after graduating college but divorced after 8 years. They did not have any children. He then began to experience some health issues which caused him to miss so much work that he was eventually laid off. Seth struggled to find work with another accounting firm and then suffered a stroke. He had saved up some money and had hoped this would help him remain some financial stability while looking for another job but lost this sense of security after paying for the hospital bills. He then realized he had no other choice but to apply for benefits and financial assistance from the government.

Seth decides to seek some support through the VA. He is connected with a Social Worker who helps him apply for the needed resources. He states “I can’t believe it’s come to this. I never thought I’d have to get help like this. It’s just been so hard since I lost my job last year”. The Social Worker recognizes Seth has faced some stressors over the past few years and explores to see if he feels there may be some benefit in seeing a therapist at the VA. Seth states “You know, I’d never thought I’d be asking for financial help like this and it’s been tough. I could probably use some help to figure out how this has all been affecting me”. 

Critical Thinking:

  1. What stage of Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development are they currently in? Are they meeting the goals of this stage? Examples? Are they demonstrating any struggles with their goals in this stage? Examples?
  2. What theory, approach, or perspective from previous Dimensions (PIE, Biopsychosocial, Sociocultural, or Social Change) would you use to assess this client? Why?
  3. What do you feel are the most important aspects (physical development, attachment, sexual development, etc) to consider for this client? Why?


Hutchinson, E. D. (2019). Dimensions of human behavior (Sixth edition). Sage Publications, Inc.



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Human Behavior and the Social Environment I Copyright © 2020 by Susan Tyler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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