Growth and Development Assessment Case Study

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The observation and interview covered a 30-year-old female named Nicki. Nicki is the last born in a family of 8 but lives 200 miles away from her parents’ home. She has never been married but has a 2-year-old son with whom she lives. The single mother is currently not dating but has the desire to fall in love. Nicki stays in a one-bedroom house and works from home as an author. She specializes in novel writing and although she has not yet made it to the top of the industry, Nicki lives by the earnings from the sales of her books. In general, Nicki is in the right developmental growth but still needs romance in her life.

Summary of Theoretical Development

Erik Erikson’s psychosocial theory classifies Nicki to the 6th developmental stage known as intimacy versus isolation. The stage occurs in young adulthood for people between 20 and 40 years (Cavanaugh & Blanchard-Fields, 2018). According to the theorist, the major conflict of this stage centers on creating intimate and loving relationships with others. In this stage, success leads to fulfilled relationships while struggling brings isolation and loneliness. Furthermore, the most important event in intimacy versus isolation is a romantic relationship.

Erickson believed that it was essential for people in this stage to have close and committed relationships with others. According to Spielman et al. (2020), for people entering adulthood, intimate relationships help in attaining emotional well-being. The intimate aspects of these relationships are characterized by love, honesty, and closeness. Although sexual and romantic relationships are critical in this stage, friendship with people outside the family is also vital. Therefore, people with successful intimacy in this stage have close romantic relationships, strong relationships, and deep, meaningful connections. They also have enduring connections with others and positive relationships with family and friends. The success factors play the role of forming supportive social networks that are crucial for mental and physical health in life.

Comparison: Physical, Cognitive, and Psychosocial Development

Physical Development

At the entry of adulthood, individuals are expected to have complete physical maturation but weight and height might increase slightly. Physical abilities are supposed to be at their peak including sensory abilities, muscle strength, reaction time, and cardiac functioning (Spielman et al., 2020). Nicki is physically mature and has all her physical organs intact. Due to giving birth, Nicki has gained at least 10 pounds and her breasts are bigger than before. Her belly pooch is still protruding two years after birth. Nicki is currently working out so her muscles are strong. Nicki can hear, see, and taste among other sensory functioning abilities. The mother of one is currently suffering from hypothyroidism that causes her increased heart rate, especially when doing physical exercises. Finally, the novelist as expected has a high reaction time to stimulus.

Cognitive Development

The cognitive development of an adult is expected to have multiple changes compared to that of a younger person. Unlike physical abilities which peak in the early 20s and start to decline in the early 30s, cognitive abilities remain steady throughout early and middle adulthood (Orenstein & Lewis, 2020). At her age, Nicki is expected to score high scores in intelligence tests. Without deviation, Nicki’s intelligence score is above average depending on various testing factors. Piaget’s cognitive theory mentions that adults tend to think deeply in terms of work, politics, and relationships before solving problems. Nicki shows the ability to think deeply based on her capability to raise a son alone.

Nicki is highly creative in terms of skills, information, and strategies. It is through her imaginative skills that Nicki’s novels sell beyond expectations. Furthermore, Nicki’s fluid intelligence including memory, reasoning, and information processing ability is high. Her fictional novel shows reasoning, use of memories, and creative processing of information. According to Spielman et al. (2020), an adult who engages in mental and physically stimulating activities has a sharper cognitive and low probability of its decline even in late adulthood. At 30, Nicki exploits her mental state in novel writing and doing physical exercises hence has a high potential of keeping her cognitive development intact for a long time.

Psychosocial Development

The psychosocial aspects of development look at emotional and social factors of aging. Erickson names this early adulthood stage generativity and intimacy (Orenstein & Lewis, 2020). People are expected to define themselves through their careers or occupations. At this stage, earnings are to be at their peaks while job satisfaction is more important than salary. Here, job satisfaction is based on an interesting career, independence, and the opportunity to advance (Spielman et al., 2020). Nicki identifies herself as an author and has attained job satisfaction. Although her earnings are not at their peak, the authorship gives her independence to work at home while caring for her son and has opportunities to expand her career.

This stage of development also requires adults to have positive relationships that contribute to their well-being. The relationships are established through parents, spouses, and children. Having a romantic relationship or stable marriage improves the general wellness of individuals. Kohlberg’s theory of moral development provides that only a few people fully attain the post-conventional moral reasoning state (Lerner, 2018). Nicki has deficiencies in this particular factor of development whereby she has not fully reasoned about her romantic life. She has a son but is yet to have a romantic relationship. Nicki also has few friends and is less connected socially. Social connectedness helps individuals with socioeconomic growth hence Nicki is socioeconomically stagnant.

Achieved and Unmet Tasks

Nicki has achieved most developmental milestones as described by Erickson. She has attained physical maturation in terms of muscle strength, sensory abilities, and reaction time. She has however unmet task of balancing her thyroid hormones that affect her cardiac abilities. Study shows that having unattained physical development aspects in adulthood may barely affect the functioning of an individual (Lerner, 2018). Thus, Nicki still functions well besides her inadequate physical development. The novelist has achieved sufficient cognitive development and partly psychosocial. Psychosocially, Nicki is shot of romantic relationship and social connectedness. Lack of romance in Nicki’s life causes mental imbalance thus negatively affecting her well-being.

The solution to Unmet Tasks

Nicki needs to seek health assistance for her hypothyroid and find positive relationships. The hypothyroid which affects her work out can be resolved by taking hormone-balancing medication. Nicki should also consume food that helps with enough thyroid production. The author should also find or allow romantic love in her life to attain the required well-being (Spielman et al., 2020). Single parenthood can be stressful thus without someone to lean onto, Nicki finds it double stressful. She also has to extend her social connectedness by making new friends. Her limited socioeconomic exposure will be boosted by new friends who will help her achieve positive well-being.


Cavanaugh, J. C., & Blanchard-Fields, F. (2018). Adult development and aging. Cengage Learning.

Lerner, R. M. (2018). Concepts and theories of human development. Routledge.

Orenstein, G. A., & Lewis, L. (2020). Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development. National Library of Medicine.1-6. Web.

Spielman, R. M, Jenkins, W. J., & Lovett, M. D. (2020). Psychology 2e [eBook]. OpenStax. Web.

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