An Attempt of Explanatory Classification of Human Developmental Stages
Keywords:principles of age classification, functional approach, developmental problems, developmental stages
In recent decades, interest in stages of human development sufficiently decreased. The existing stage theories were hardly criticised for methodological issues, insufficient empirical validity, but rare attempts have been made to solve these issues. As a result, contemporary developmental psychology is constructed on the basis of worldly division of ages (infancy, childhood, adolescence, etc.), but not a scientific classification. We offer an explanatory life-span developmental theory based on the functional approach. According to this theory, the function of each developmental stage is to achieve a specific goal by solving a certain developmental problem through a special developmental program. There are four developmental problems and, accordingly, four stages identified. The first problem/stage is the formation of the subject of species activity (0–7 years); the second stage is aimed at developing the subject of sexual activity (8–20, 22 years). During the third stage, a subject of family and work activity forms (20, 22–40, 45 years), and the meaning of the last stage is self-exhaustion (from age 40, 45 until the end of life).
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