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Individuals re-evaluate the life structures that they formed in their early twenties to determine whether they are living out their dreams.
Klaus Riegel's Interpretation of Development
American psychologist Klaus Riegel suggest that development in adulthood occurs not in predictable stages but as individuals adjust in response to the interaction of both internal and external changes. His theory accepts an internal biological clock and a changing external social clock. He identified 4 interrelated internal and external dimensions of development :
1. The INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGICAL DIMENSION describes emotional maturity and independance, and the maturity of mental processes.
2. The INDIVIDUAL BIOLOGICAL DIMENSION describes physical and sexual maturity.
3. The CULTURAL-SOCIOLOGICAL DIMENSIONS describes the expectations and opportunities that each society defines for individuals.
4. The ENVIROMENTAL DIMENSION describes the physical, economic, and political environment in which the individual lives. ( Kimmel,1990)
Since Riegel's theory integrates internal physical and psychological dimensions with external social and environmental dimensions, it explains how the pace of adult development reflects the changing social clock.
Leonard Pearlin's Theory of Psychological Distress
He disagreed with stage theories, suggesting that adulthood is not a series of transitions from one period of stability to another , but rather a lifetime of continuous change in which individuals might experience occasional periods of stability. According to Pearlin, 4 elements determine the path that individual lives will take :
1. Individual characteristics ,such as gender, race, intelligence, family background, personality, and education
2. The range of skills individuals have for coping with stress or change
3. The availability of social support networks
4. The nature and timing of stress that requires response ( bee, 1987)
He agreed that early adulthood might be the time for acting on the dreams of adolescence. However , he believed that people are able to change the life structure at any time ( Smesler & Erikson, 1980).
Pearlin is suggesting that the patterns that Erikson, Levinson ,and other developmental theorists have observed are a COHORT EFFECTS, that the changes in behavior result from socialized responses to a common social clock rather than from age-linked inner changes.
Zdroje: Individuals and Families in a diverse society