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According to varied studies every human being undergoes various stages of development as they grow up. There are main stages that almost all people have to grow through and in this paper we focus on three main stages. The discussion of this paper will have a spotlight on the adolescence, young adulthood, and late adulthood stages of development. The adolescence stage covers people of the age from 11 to 18 and with this stage comes physical growth, cognitive development, moral development, and self-concept, psychological and emotional traits. Adolescents are still under going substantial physical growth, which changes their bodily features, for instance, adolescents develop in the areas, where they gain adult size and shape, growth of pubic hair, and change in their voices. As for the girls, there starts a development of breast buds, growth of pubic hair, onset of menstrual periods, and increase in height. In the cognitive aspect, there is a change in the logical thinking of the adolescents as they try to gain the adult thinking. Adolescents broaden their thinking scope that includes increased understanding and concern for others together with interest in societal issues.
Young adulthood is the stage immediately after adolescent, and it has an emphasis on people who have become adults. Young adulthood stage covers people of the age 18 to 24 and it is at this stage that people become independent. The main development in this stage concerns the cognitive area as it is the necessary aspect in people taking definitive steps to achieve measures of financial, emotional, and residential independence. Young adulthood comprises individual attaining more adult responsibilities as citizen, parent, spouse, and a worker. Young adulthood is a period of growth and accomplishment especially when youth has the resources to navigate this process, such as stable family and community connections that can provide guidance and financial assistance. On the other hand, late adulthood majorly comprises changes in the cognitive development of a person. For late adulthood, the intellectual capacity of individuals declines in all the five primary abilities and these are: verbal meaning, number ability, spatial orientation, word fluency, and inductive reasoning. People, who are of the age of 60 years and above, can be considered to be in the late adulthood domain and mostly possess a quality of wisdom having several life experiences.
TV Shows or Movies with the above Stages
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There are several movies, which clearly bring out the different stages of development of a human being. Under the category of adolescent stage, we have two popular movies, which tell the stories of adolescents and the tribulations they undergo during this stage of development. The first movie is “True Adolescents”, which stares Mark Duplass and Melissa Leo as the compassionate aunt. The adolescent in the movie crashes at the aunt’s place since he is jobless and has no apartment. While at the aunt’s place, Sam (Duplass) gets the responsibility of a camping-trip chaperone to Melissa’s teenage son and his friend and it is here that he needs to play all the features of an adolescent. Sam represents the adolescent stage in the movie as he is faced with situations when he needs to make decisions as the leader of the camping trip. Another notable TV show, which has the theme of adolescents, is “One Tree Hill”, which stars two main actors - Lucas and Nathan. The two actors are half-brothers, play superb basketball, and they attend the same high school. The initial seasons of the TV show deal with five adolescent characters during their high school junior years including their life tribulations as teenagers. The five main characters in the TV show are adolescents who struggle through this stage trying to find themselves and a sense of belonging.
“Young Adult” is a movie, which explores the tribulations and lives of people trying to make it as young adults. In this movie, the director focuses on a young woman, who returns to her home after divorce in a small town in Minnesota. This return aims at exploring her fiction writing talent and looking to renew a romance with her former boyfriend who, unfortunately, is happily married and has a new-born daughter. Mavis Gary plays the role of the young adult trying to find her steps emotionally and financially. Another movie in this section is the “Burning Plain”, which explores the stories of several people separated by space and time. The main focus is on Sylvia, a lady in Oregon, who must undertake an emotional trip to try to forget her past in order to have a healthy relationship with the daughter. This is what most young adults go through as they leave the phase of adolescence and try to be responsible adults. The “Bucket List” is a movie, which takes the viewers through the journey of late adulthood, and it explores the varied ways in which people experience this stage. Many accounts of the movie bring out the late adulthood elements as it features two characters - Edward Cole and Carter Chambers, who have less than a year to live because of cancer (Hoare, 2002). “Sanford and Son” is another movie that explores the life of the late adulthood character and indicates his tribulations. Starring Redd Foxx as a 65 year old Fred Sanford, father with a 30 year old son, “Sanford and Son” takes us through the journey of the old man, who tries to make his ends to meet in his old age. Sanford owns a garage where he is the boss, and this brings out the whole story of the life of an elderly man, who lost his spouse a long time ago.
Erickson's’s Stages of Development
Erik Erikson explores the subject of development outlining the various stages an individual undergoes and the psycho analysis of the various stages. In relation to the above subjects of development, the first stage we focus on is the adolescence stage. According to Erikson, adolescence is a stage characterized by identity, role confusion with the main questions being who I am and where I am heading. Sam in the “True Adolescent” movie brings out this explanation as he struggles to find his identity considering he is jobless and has no place of his own. The job of camping chaperone gives him a chance to find his identity as he comes out the winner in the movie. On the other hand, Lucas and Nathan seek their identity in the TV series “One Tree Hill”. Both characters strive to have the groups in the school basketball team as it helps in identifying their company. For both a girl he goes out with exposes one to better standards of life, and this is their day to day life.
Young adulthood is a phase of life, which majorly deals with intimacy vs. isolation. Erikson explains that it is at this phase that young adults still seek to fit in the society and in so doing get isolated because of the intimacy. The movie ”Young Adult” explores this reasoning as we have a character (Sylvia), who tries to rekindle her romance with a former boyfriend, who is already settled down. The mother in the “Burning Plain” movie equally has to change her ways so that she can have an intimate relationship with the daughter. The age of 65 years and above is what Erikson describes as the phase of ego integrity vs. despair. At this stage individuals question their past lives and wonder whether they lived a full life (Salkind, 2006). The characters in the movie “Bucket List” are at this stage where they question their lives and what they did or did not do. Sanford seems to have wasted his life and tries to make it up by owning a garage where he is the boss.
In all the above movies and TV series, the characters play their responsibilities in such a way to bring out the subject of the different stages of development. Since they are movie and TV series’ characters, some of them tend to be exaggerated and this does not mean that their lives are a true representation of every adolescent, young adult, or late adult hood stage.
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