RE: SOCW6210 Student Responses : Classifications of Life-Span Development

Respond to at least two colleagues whose classifications differ from your own by critiquing their classifications. In addition, suggest one way you might apply each colleague’s life-span classification to your social work practice.

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Be sure to support your responses with specific references to the resources. If you are using additional articles, be sure to provide full APA-formatted citations for your references.

Response 1: Response to Alecia,

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

Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman, use the term young and middle adulthood to identify the life-span time between age 18 and 65 (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2016, p. 47) A new classification for authors’ young adulthood classification for me would be emerging adults ages 18 to 35 and middle adulthood 36 to 60 classification midlife adults.

A definition of your new classification(s)

Emerging adults-young adults who freed of the parent- and society-directed routines, are just trying to decide who they are and what they want out of life, work, and love

Midlife adults-is an age where adults are more settled it is essentially positive and has the precise goal of simplifying the process of becoming a complete person for the most part.

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

Social work practice that may have to deal with either group will need to understand where their client is psychological, mentally, physically and emotionally. Eric Erikson’s theory involves eight stages that everyone will go through over the course of their life (David, 2014). At this point in their life, they are expanding their personal and social involvements. They are more settled in their careers and consider moving less and reassessing life’s priorities. But in either group at this point in their life, they will face some type of age discrimination. They will be view as too old or too your biologically or psychologically to make certain decisions. Past studies have proven to show that while females mature earlier than males early intimate activity is related to the various problems for young emerging females later in life (Magnusson & Trost, 2006, p. 238).

An implication your new classification might have regarding social work practice

The implication of this new class regarding social work practice will depend on understanding what stage the client is in to intervene or advocate. An example would be to determine if the client is at the intimacy versus isolation stage or if it’s generatively versus stagnation.


David L, “Erikson’s Stages of Development,” in Learning Theories, July 23, 2014,

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 And Gynaecology, 27(4), 237-244.

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

Response 2: Response to Tabitha

The authors Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman’s term of young and middle adulthood lifespan is not clear. There are differences across states and countries as to when a young adult is considered legally to vote and drink. It is my perception that life-spans vary greatly across different cultures. For example, in Hispanic cultures, a young girl is considered a woman the day she gets her menstruation for the first time. I remember the day I got mine, I was on vacation visiting my adult sister. My sister called home and told my mother, my mother told my father, he then told my grandmother and she told my aunt. For some reason, to them, this was great news that needed to be shared with our family. I felt quite weird and embarrassed by all the attention. According to Moscovici (1988) views of aging held within a given culture are a form of shared cultural representation. Members of such cultures constitute systems of ideas, values, systems, and customs as established reality. According to Digiovanna (2000), this then causes an extent that aging perceptions reflect systematic age and biological differences.

Though I was 11 years of age when I got my menstruation, I clearly had the body of a woman but not the mentality. I could produce a child if I wanted to but clearly in this millennium that would be taboo and absurd. However, a young mother hundreds of years ago would not have been taboo or unnatural. It has been said that the Virgin Mary was a young girl who birthed Jesus, at the age of possibly 13. The usual age for marriage for Jewish law is aged 12 for boys and age 13 for girls. The changes I would make to the classification to make it more useful in my social work practice is to include the differences in cultures throughout lifespans. In working with an immigrant, their perception of what a young adult should be doing can clearly be different from America’s perception. For example, a 17-year-old might be applying to colleges, and focus on their studies and future career. But when working with an immigrant mother who does not know the English language, she relies on her 17-year-old son, to be a translator and help support the family. He may have been working since a young age, and college has not even been presented as an option for him. Examples such as these, remind me to continue to be culturally competent which is one of the outlines and guidelines for working with racial and ethnic groups in the social work practice (Zastrow-Kirst & Ashman, 2013). The United States is increasingly becoming much more diverse, and it is us social workers who will be working and serving these diverse populations.


Kuwabara, M., & Smith, L. B. (2012). Cross-cultural differences in cognitive development: Attention to relations and objects. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 113(1), 20–35.

Löckenhoff, C. E., De Fruyt, F., Terracciano, A., McCrae, R. R., De Bolle, M., Costa, P. T., … Yik, M. (2009). Perceptions of Aging across 26 Cultures and their Culture-Level Associates. Psychology and Aging, 24(4), 941–954.

Zastrow, C. (2016). Empowerment Series: Understanding Human Behavior and the Social Environment, 10th Edition. [Chegg]. Retrieved from