David Levinson: Seasons' of a Man's Life

3107 Words Oct 24th, 1999 13 Pages
David Levinson: Seasons' of A Man's Life

Introduction

Background

In May of 1977, Daniel Levinson constructed a model of the season's of a mans life. His developmental theory consists of universal stages or phases that extends from the infancy state to the elderly state. Most development theories, such as Freud's psychosexual development theory or Piaget's cognitive development theory, end in the adolescent stage of life. Levinson's stage theory is important because it goes beyond most theories assuming that development continues throughout adult life. Levinson based his model on biographical interviews of 40 American men.
These 40 men were between 35 to 45 years in age and they worked as either biology professors,
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The fourth phase of Levinson's model is called Becoming One's Own Man or
BOOM phase. In this stage, the man feels constrained by the authority figures in their world. The individual wants more independence, authority and to be true to their own voice. With this larger amount of authority, there comes a greater amount of responsibility and burden. This is also a time of conflict as the person struggles with the notion of becoming an established adult and leaving behind the flaws of the early adult they once were. Levinson uses the phrase "breaking out" to describe the adult's radical change in life structure.
The conflict in this stage is the beginning of the major transitional period in life called the mid-life transition. In the Mid-life transition, which Levinson believes to last from age 40 to 45, the adult faces a crucial point in their development. Much soul searching and reflecting is done during this phase. The adults question their past life structures and accomplishments and reevaluate their goals. There are very few adults, according to Levinson, that find this mid-life stage difficult.
The painful process of the mid-life transition stage results in a drastically different life structure with new goals within it. Even if an adult chooses not to change their life structure, they must

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