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Daniel Levinson's Theory of the Seasons of Life

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Samantha Sdao

on 3 December 2014

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Transcript of Daniel Levinson's Theory of the Seasons of Life

How it can be used to study Individuals and Families

"Individuals live in Families"
Help society understand how a person can remove themselves from their family (not permanently) and begin to live a life of their own
Emphasizes how young adults will soon find themselves transitioning into the adult world
These seasons can be used to study how an individual grows and becomes an adult

There comes a point when individuals begin the transition of becoming a mentally stable adult and by doing that individuals evaluate their...
long term decisions
drastic changes like divorce
possible future
Fun Facts!
Game Instructions
1. Pick a category and a point value
2. Students must give the answer in the form of a question
3. If the student or team is correct, they are awarded the point value of the question
Daniel Levinson's Theory of the Seasons of Life
What comes to your mind when you hear the phrase "Seasons of Life"?
Each season lasts about 25 years
The "Dream" is the core of the life structure
Each stage comes with its own challenges
Each Stage can relate to individuals and families:

“Emerging Adult”
Emerging Adult:
“The transition from adolescence into adulthood, from about 18 to 34 years of age”
Jeffrey Arnett
: "A key feature of emerging adulthood is that it is the period of life that offers the most opportunity for identity explorations in the areas of love, work, and worldviews" (Arnett, 2000)
Preparing an adult life structure & begin to separate from the family unit
Person breaking away from the family
Education, Job, Independence
Maintaining the responsibilities and relationships they have with their family
It involves creating a family of one’s own but also understanding the role they still have within their own family

1. Early Adult Transition & 2. Entering the Adult World
Involves re-evaluating the relationships within one’s life.
Identity (personal or within the family)
Settling down: children and setting life goals
Growing one’s family = new responsibilities
"A basic and universal action or purpose, such as reproduction or the provision of food, that enables individuals and families to survive"
Different family units may come about
Families learned in class

3. Age 30 Transitions & 4. Settling Down
Born in New York on May 28, 1920
Went to UC Berkeley, then Harvard Psychological Clinic
Best known during his time at Yale University, 1966-1990
Focused on the adult life cycle as well as the midlife crisis
Seasons of a Man’s Life
Season’s of a Woman’s Life
Died in 1994 in New Haven, Connecticut

Levinson proposed that the life course evolves through seasons
Considered a developmental theory because it deals with the psychological, social & cultural factors that influence development
Describes patterns or “seasons of growth” throughout the human life span
In each stage, an individual changes in predictable ways

There are two key concepts that always occur during the "seasons of change"

The stable period:
a time of consistency without much change in one's life
The transitional period:

this is the end of one period and the beginning of the next. One's life during these transitions can vary - rocky, smooth etc.
One exits the adolescence stage and starts to think about the future
A person must leave behind the adolescence stage and begin to form a
life structure
Relationships during adolescence begin to transform to suit the needs of a new period of life
Begin to complete education and start work

Life Structure
: the pattern or design of life, a meshing of self and world, according to psychologist David Levinson
Early Adult Transition (Age 17-22)

Stage. 5 Mid-Life Transition( Age 40-45)
and Stage 6. Entering Middle Adulthood(Age 45-50)

The individual begins to evaluate their life
Values and perspectives may change due to society
Drastic life changes may occur
The thought of death
Long-Term decisions-usually about retirement and the well being of their family
Begin new tasks
Stage 7. Late Adulthood (Age 60+)
Characters of Daniel Levinson Theory Seasons of Life
Individuals reflect on...
This is a period in life that is a reflection of one's life course in most cases. Due to the fact that the individual's life line may be limited, many decisions the he/she will make usually benefit their family in the long run.
Entering the Adult World (Age 22-28)
A time to build a life structure
It is a time of concrete decision making

4 major tasks must be attained in this phase
Forming a
and giving it a place in the life structure
Forming an occupation
Forming mentor relationships
Forming love relationships - i.e. marriage, and family
is the individuals sense of self in the adult world and is the core of the life structure.
Age 30 Transitions (Age 28-33)
An individual begins to re-evaluate the relationship's formed in their 20's
This re-evaluation is used to determine whether or not they are living out their dream
Changes in this transition can be severe or mild i.e. having children or changing occupations
"If I am to change my life if there are things in it that I want to modify or exclude, or there are things missing I want to add I must now make a start, for soon it will be too late"

-Daniel Levinson
Settling Down (Age 33-40)
Must establish a place within society
A routine of daily life starts to be established i.e. going to work, picking up kids, etc.
Progression in long term goals continue to be worked towards
Individuals in this stage are usually parents and/or have more responsibilities
Mid-Life Transition (Age 40-45)
Can be a difficult period
A person deeply evaluates their life
How society views these individuals may change
Values and what they regard as important can evolve
A new life structure can be created within this period
Individuals begin to think about later life and leaving a legacy
Entering Middle Adulthood (Age 45-50)
Choices must be made about one's future
Retirement is a possible choice for many once they transition into the last stage
People begin to commit to new tasks
Continue to think about the legacy they want to leave behind
Late Adulthood (Age 60+)

Individuals begin to permanently settle down
They do not have as many responsibilities than before
Begin to reflect on their life and the decisions they've made
Full transcript