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Discussion: Classifications of Life-Span Development

When did you become an adult? Was it the day you graduated from high school? Or, was it the day you moved out of your parents’ or caregivers’ home? Your description of what it means to be an adult and how and when an adolescent transitions into adulthood may differ from that of your colleagues.

The authors of your course text, Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman, use the term young and middle adulthood to identify the life-span time period between age 18 and 65. This classification distinguishes this time in the life of an individual from childhood and adolescence and from the later years of adulthood.

Is the authors’ young and middle adulthood classification a useful one? What is especially useful and not useful about the classification? What changes would you make to the authors’ classification to make it more applicable to your role as a social worker?

For this Discussion, you analyze the author’s life-span classification and suggest ways to improve it.

By Day 3

Post:

A new classification (or possibly multiple classifications) to replace the authors’ young and middle adulthood classification

A definition of your new classification(s)

Support for your new classification(s). for example, this support may include references to theory and empirical research findings and should reflect the current understanding of biological, psychological, and social development

An implication your new classification might have regarding social work practice

Required Readings

Zastrow, C. H., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2016). Understanding human behavior and the social environment (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Chapter 10, “Biological Aspects of Young and Middle Adulthood” (pp. 469-497)

Optional Resources

Use the link below to access the MSW home page, which provides resources for your social work program.

MSW home page

Magnusson, C., & Trost, K. (2006). Girls experiencing sexual intercourse early: Could it play a part in reproductive health in middle adulthood? Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, 27(4), 237–244.

Temcheff, C. E., Serbin, L. A., Martin-Storey, A., Stack, D. M., Ledingham, J., & Schwartzman, A. E. (2011). Predicting adult physical health outcomes from childhood aggression, social withdrawal and likeability: A 30-Year prospective, longitudinal study. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 18(1), 5–12.

Wilson, H. W., & Widom, C. S. (2011). Pathways from childhood abuse and neglect to HIV-risk sexual behavior in middle adulthood. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 79(2), 236–246.

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