Individual and Family Life Development
In a bid to fully understand the concept of individual and family life development, I personally interviewed two random people from my area. On 3rd December 2016, I interviewed Mathew who belongs to the adolescent or an emerging/young adulthood group. Also, I interviewed Stacy, belonging to the middle\late adulthood stage, on 4th December 2016. I talked with them face-to-face in a secluded area since I wanted to get their direct responses to the questions without them feeling intimidated by any external factors.
ADOLESCENCE OR EMERGING/YOUNG ADULTHOOD INTERVIEWEE
- I interviewed a student called Mathew, who lives with his parents in a house not far away from ours; thus, I consider him a neighbor.
- He is a 16-year-old male born in 2000.
- He is in his second year in high school and has often participated in some community outreach programs organized by particular organizations within the community.
- Mathew is the first born in a two-parent household with five siblings.
- Mathew has lived most of his young life in the community area; however, his father often takes them out to the city where he works for leisure.
- Additionally, both his parents are from a common cultural background and have raised their kids knowing and appreciating their cultural roots.
- According to Mathew, his parents have been his main support. They have supported him and his siblings through school and have always provided for their needs. Often, they find time in their busy schedules and take them out for fun. They offer candid advice or guidance whenever needed. At the same time, Mathew’s parents are very strict and set out rules to be followed by all.
- Mathew claims to be impatient, competitive, and highly concerned with time management. He is an achievement-oriented, outgoing, and aggressive person. He says his personality has been impacted by the strict nature of his parents, who always keep a keen and close look on his actions. This personality type has made him excel in his studies since he is always alert and aggressive.
- One of the most significant events in Mathew’s life is the time when he received an invitation to make a speech during a prize-giving day in their school. This greatly boosted his self-esteem and made him aware that he had an extraordinary talent to deliver a speech that had to be nurtured. The event made him believe in his capabilities and has helped him grow academic wise.
- Mathew’s most significant relationship is that with his family. He highly respects his parents and always seeks for their guidance whenever he feels lost. In fact, he considers them to be his primary support. He also loves his siblings very much. His other significant relationship is that between him and a few of his classmates. They work together and help each other academically. They together take part in community service programs with the intention of giving back to the society.
- Mathew believes that the modern day world is fast-changing due to technological advancements. The use of cell phones, emails, and social media cannot be eradicated. Instead, he advocates for young adults like him to receive more training on their use. It has a positive impact on both Mathew and the family as it makes communication easier. Nevertheless, he believes that too much of cell phones and social chatting can take away the integrative nature of a family.
- Mathew has great plans laid down for the next two-five years. He wants to nurture his speech-giving talent. In the next three years, he will finish high school and wishes to join the university to further his studies. His always dreamt to become a financial expert. Spiritually, Mathew is a staunch Christian who adores performing acts of charity.
- What are your strengths?
He believes that he is a highly sociable person who easily integrates into a new environment. He has many friends of all ages and genders, making him feel proud of his nature.
- What are you weaknesses?
Mathew easily gets irritated. It is an aspect he has been struggling with for a while, and is receiving guidance and counseling lessons on how to cope with anger.
- How far are you willing to study?
Mathew is ready to study to the highest level he can possibly get to as long as he pursues his dream career in financial expertise.
Connection to the Course
- Mathew’s age puts him into the bracket of those at the adolescent stage. He is 16 years old, meaning he is still in his puberty. At this stage, the individual is usually aware of his sexual reproduction and the changes taking place in him (334). Physically, his body composition is still changing, and his primary and secondary sex characteristics have developed. It is evident from the deepening of his voice when talking and the emergence of muscles making him look more masculine.
- According to Erickson’s psychosocial developmental stages, Mathew belongs to the adolescence stage characterized by fidelity virtues (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2015). This stage belongs to the psychosocial crises of identity versus role confusion. At this stage, the person gets concerned about how they appear to others. This is evident on Mathew who already is focused on studying to become a finance engineer.
- According to Baumrind’s parenting styles, Mathew’s parents belong to the authoritative class (Chitayasothorn, 2009). This is because they are characterized by high demandingness which has to receive a huge responsiveness. The parents encourage independence in children while giving limits to their behavior. It is evident from the many rules Mathew’s parents have put in place which have to be followed to the letter.
- Mathew belongs to a type A personality. He is extremely sensitive to minor issues, always time conscious, ambitious, and outgoing (Steinberg, 2011). These characteristics are those of a type A individual. Despite research showing that such individuals easily get heart disease, it has made Mathew work harder and aim high.
MIDDLE OR LATE ADULTHOOD INTERVIEWEE
- For this particular section, I interviewed Stacy, who is a managing director in one of the local manufacturing industries in my home town. She is a great family friend.
- Stacy is a female of 42 years of age born in 1966.
- She currently works in a chemical manufacturing company as a managing director but has previously been through a series of jobs in her career. She was a human resource manager, a sales person, and a marketing manager.
- Stacy lives in a two-parent household with three adult children. She is also happily married.
- Stacy travels a lot. Her different job positions have enabled her to travel to various parts of the world where she has interacted and learnt of new kinds of cultures. Nonetheless, she has never forgotten her cultural identity and shows it wherever she goes.
- Stacy was born in a period when industrialization had started. Her parents hardly knew anything about education; nonetheless, they saw her study through college to become a human resource manager. Her parents were not strict and often gave her the freedom to decide on what she wanted to do at a particular time.
- Stacy is a person who enjoys working with stringent workaholic conditions. She is keen on time management, often rude, high status anxious, proactive, and highly ambitious. Her personality has enabled her to raise on the ladders of success to become a managing director, which is a positive impact.
- Stacy’s most significant event is when she got ranked as the best performing manager among the chain of businesses in the industry. This was a great milestone in her career and has seen her rise in ranks to become a celebrated heroine. She has learnt from this event that hard work does not go unrewarded and thus always encourages others to work as hard as they can.
- Her most significant relationship is that with her family. She deeply loves her family and always ensures that they do not lack anything. She is always there for her kids and often takes them out as a way to retain the unity. The second important relationship is the professional one – with her employees and business partners. She derives her livelihood from her job, and thus has to retain a clean reputation at all costs.
- Stacy is already at the pick of her career, and this makes her feel accomplished. Her children are now her major concern as she hopes they will all be done with university in three – four year time. Spiritually, she has brought up her family in a Christian family and has never relented faith.
- Stacy wishes that she began self-employment early in life when the responsibilities had not piled up. She feels it is quite hectic for her now to establish business since her body is already aging fast.
- She always advices the young generation to be keen to identify opportunities availed to them and take them. Success is a journey and she believes it is achieved only by those who persevere and work hard.
- What are your strengths?
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Stacy believes that her zeal and passion for her work has made her become the person she is today. She is a hard-working and determined woman, with goals set in place to guide her on the person she wishes to become.
- What are your weaknesses?
At times, Stacy finds it hard to balance between her job and her duties as a wife and a mother. She believes that this is her greatest challenge.
- What will you do upon retiring?
Stacy wishes to start her own company which will keep her busy especially now when her children are all grown-ups.
Connection to the Course
- Stacy is presently in the middle-to-late adulthood. It is evident from her age, which is 42 years, and also from the fact that all her children are already adult. Her major goal in life now is providing guidance to the younger generation giving them a sense of direction in life. For example, she has enrolled in a mentorship organization, whose role is to visit various schools offering mentorship lectures to the students.
- According to Erikson’s psychosocial development, Stacy belongs to a group referred to as care characterized by generativity versus stagnation. Generativity is used to refer to the ability to guide younger generations (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2015). The individual engages in activity aimed at proving socially valued work to the community. It is evident from Stacy’s latest engagements of mentorship.
- According to Baumrind’s parenting skills, Stacy’s parents exhibit permissive parenting approach. The permissive parents seek low demandingness but always expect high responsiveness (Chitayasothorn, 2009). The parent is often responsive to the child’s demands sometimes leading to the “spoiled” child. They hardly follow Stacy around to know what she is up to, but believe in her capabilities to be the best.
- Stacy belongs to type A personality. It is evident from her time consciousness, anxiety, extremely ambitious nature, and her ability to remain highly competitive (Steinberg, 2011). These qualities have seen her become a role model for many especially the young generation.