Theories of Erikson, Levinsons, Vaillant, Labouvie-Vief, Sternberg,and Piaget

Theories of Erikson, Levinsons, Vaillant, Labouvie-Vief, Sternberg,and Piaget

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Emerging adulthood which is between the ages of eighteen and twenty two, is a phase or rather a transitional period between late adolescence and a full pledged adult. It is a stage that defines independence and life possibilities. This phase has been analysed by theorists. By observing the development that occurs during this stage mentally, physically and emotionally. This essay will discuss three domains cognitive, physical and social emotional and use theories from Erikson, Levinsons, Vaillant, Labouvie-Vief, Sternberg,and Piaget. An interview has been conducted on a person in this age span to collect data and to provide real life examples. For the purpose of this assignment the interviewee will be known as Nigel.
Nigel was born in Auckland, on the 11th of February 1995 and is 19years of age. He is of Fijian, Indian, and Tongan descent. Nigel has recently finished high school and is currently completing a certificate in healthcare disability at New Zealand Careers College, and will be progressing to level four healthcare support. Sports has been a big influence in Nigel’s life, but certain circumstances have affected his decision towards his future and therefore he is planning to further his career in sports Physiotherapy at the Auckland University of Technology. Nigel stated that he lived at home with his parents, and heavily depended on them financially. This is because he had never been employed or worked for money in any settings. He has a small group of friends that he keeps in touch with from high school and is well interacted with his class at college. Nigel has one sibling that is ten years older than him, he considers her as his friend as well as his sister. He described that he could go to her for advice and talk ab...

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... and knows what is right and wrong, he also mentioned that he does no feel intimidated as he is strong physically and mentally. This example shows how all three domains interrelate and how each aspect of the domains creates a structure of a person’s personality.

Through real life examples this essay explored the three domains cognitive, physical and social/emotional. It is evident that people in their early adulthood portrays the structure set out in these domains and proofs that the theories explored are close to accurate. Nigel’s interview showed that all domains interrelated and that his experiences matched most theories. His journey as an emerging adult is only the beginning.


Berk, E. L. (2004). Development through the lifespan. (3rd ed.). Boston: Pearson
Berk, E.L. (2014). Development through the lifespan. (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson

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