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Life course development psychology


There is a rich literature in 'whole of life' psychology in relation to career.

  • The work of Donald Super has been selected as his work encompasses life-span, life-space and self-concept approaches to career and includes an explicitly dynamic aspect via his use of mini-cycles, re-cycling and roles. This online lecture is in two parts. Please now click on the play arrow in the first video below and once viewed move on to the second.
  • The lecture is also available in Powerpoint Super's Life-span & Life-space theory (part one) (Powerpoint Presentation)
    Super's Self-concept theory (part two) (Powerpoint Presentation)
  • Following this, read the journal article by Super (1980) and the summary chapter by Hartung (2013) provided in the core reading.

Super: Part 1

Super: Part 2


Once you have engaged with the core materials, here are some leads for optional further reading:

  • Erikson's (1964/1977) eight stages of human development including: industry versus inferiority, identity versus role confusion and ego integrity versus despair.
  • D.J. Levinson, Darrow, Klein, M.H. Levinson & McKee's (1977) on The seasons of a man's life and D.J. Levinson & J.D. Levinson's (1996) on The seasons of a woman's life. Levinson et al.'s seminal work focuses on structure-making and structure-breaking periods throughout the life course and the importance of the mid-life transition.
  • Sugarman (1986/1990) for an excellent overview of the life course development literature including the work of Super, Erikson, Levinson et al., Gould and Maslow. Available in paperback.