Psychosocial development during the adult years: Age and cohort comparisons

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E. H. Erickson's (1963) theory of psychosocial development throughout the life cycle has been called into question by previous research in which substantial evidence of ontogenetic change during the adult years has not been found. A partial sequential design was used to study personality development over a 10-yr period. Data on the Inventory of Psychosocial Development were collected from 292 college students in 1966 and again in 1976, when this same sample had become college alumni. Data from 224 undergraduates were also collected in 1976. The results of the longitudinal and cross-sectional analyses are consistent with the existence of age-related changes. An interaction effect obtained in the time-lag analysis suggested that the increase in psychosocial maturity among males involved a process of ontogenetic development whereas that for females may have been a function of a historical trend. (11 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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