progress of lifespan

Week 5 Assignment Outline



1979: I was born into a family where both parents worked and siblings were much older than me.

1987: My brother got custody of my nephew because he was being abused with his mother but he came to stay with us and I was like a big sister.


1995: Realized that I am attracted more to the same sex.

1997: Start of my first same-sex relationship.


2004: First granddaughter in my family to graduate from college

2017: Experienced the death of my stepson, maternal grandmother, and my father in less than 6 months.



Major life events can differ depending on one’s feelings, experiences, and values. According to Erikson, the progress of lifespan is a lifelong development starting at birth through death and includes the configuration of identity (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Biological, environmental, and social influences can help shape a person’s identity. According to Erikson’s Psychosocial Developmental Theory, people are looking for a sense of identity throughout their lifespan, especially during their adolescent years (Kraus, 2008). The lifespan development theory identifies the way toward adjusting to continually changing impacts in our lives by development, support or flexibility, and the control of misfortune (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). I will describe how the identified life events helped shaped me into the person I am today.

Life Event I: Birth by older parents with older siblings (1979)

Born to older parents with older siblings who were more like my parents

Age-graded event

Influence on attachment

Attachment style was ambivalent (Bowlby, 1988)

Influence of absent parenting on development

Trust vs. Mistrust (Erikson) because my older siblings really took care of me

Life Event II: Nephew comes to stay with us (1987)

Non-normative event

Experienced jealousy, lack of attention, and new role as “auntie/big sister”

Impact on cognitive and emotional functioning

Influence on development

Industry versus Inferiority (Erikson) believe the responsibility help shape me

Influence on social interaction

People expected me to be more girlie but I was still like a “tomboy”

Changed perception of how society treats people who are “different”

Life Event III: Realize I am more attracted to the same-sex (1995)

Non-normative event

Experienced confusion, abandonment by peers, and insecurities

Impact on cognitive and emotional functioning

Influence of being attracted to the same-sex on my development

Identity vs. Role Confusion (Erikson) I want to be myself but I can’t

Influence of insecurities on my development

Life Event IV: First same-sex relationship (1997)

Left home at age 18 instead staying there and focus on school

Non-normative event

Reasons for this decision and subsequent life changes

I felt I couldn’t be myself at home

I wanted to be closer to the person I loved

Impact on identity (Erikson)

Life Event V: First granddaughter to graduate college (2004)

Graduated from Baylor University with BA in Psychology

Age-graded event

Influence on my life

Became more respected in my family

Long- and short-term impacts

Prioritizing family and work

Family life cycle theory

Career theory

Life Event VI: Death of important people (2017)

Lost my stepson, my maternal grandmother, and my father

Non-normative event


Being angry more angry

Having to move and plan funeral

Family not as close to each other

Not being able to focus like before and forgetting more


Major life events, such as birth, starting school, graduating high school, starting a relationship, ending a relationship, and the death those you love dearly, have an impact on one’s thoughts, feelings, societal, and mental development. Major life events include predicted and unpredicted, as well as, regular changes, major changes, and significant new experiences (Specht, Egloff, & Schmukle, 2011). The life events depicted thus far have impacted my character by being significant learning encounters for me. Because of my encounters I trust I have formed into a respectable and mindful grown-up that proceeds to add to my character. Identity is a person’s gathering of individual convictions, mentalities and wants (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). For us as counselors, it is important to understand that these types of events can happen to at any time and it doesn’t discriminate. Counselors must keep in mind the mentality level of clients in order to help them to be successfully to everything that life tosses at them.


Bowlby, J. (1988). A secure base : parent-child attachment and healthy human development. New York: Basic Books.

Broderick, P. C., & Blewitt, P. (2015). The life span: Human development for helping professionals (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Kraus, K. (2008). Lenses : applying lifespan development theories in counseling. Boston, MA: Lahaska Press.

Specht, J., Egloff, B., & Schmukle, S. C. (2011). Stability and change of personality across the life course: The impact of age and major life events on mean-level and rank-order stability of the Big Five. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101(4), 862–882.

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