Identify one person or a caregiver (as in the case of an infant) to represent a stage of the life span—ideally, one who does not identify with your own current stage of life span development—and set up an brief 15–20 minute interview with them for this assignment. For example, select an adolescent or a senior in late adulthood or the parent of a newborn.
Conversationally interview this person in order to compare what you have learned here in class, through the textbook, lectures, and videos, with his or her perception of what it is actually like to be in their stage of life.
Interviews may be done in person or via phone, Skype, email, etc. Take notes or record (with permission) your interview.
Below are some suggestions for your conversation. You do not need to cover all of these topics in your paper, but they will help you shape your discussion. Be sure to note which topics you discuss.
- Which life span period do they think they belong to (offer them the names, not the ages, of the life span). For example, ask, “Would you consider yourself to be a part of young adulthood or middle adulthood?” Ask them to explain why.
- Tell them a little bit chronologically about the life span they belong to and ask them if they can relate to the characteristics associated with that period. Why or why not?
- Point out specific facts or studies you learned about for their specific stage of the life span and ask them their thoughts. Do they agree or disagree? Do they have a similar experience they can share?
- Explain nature versus nurture and ask them which one they feel influenced them most.
- If appropriate to the life stage, ask if they ever experienced: midlife crisis, ageism, gender bias.
- Show one of the videos related to their life span stage and ask your interviewee what their thoughts are. Do they agree or disagree?
- Ask them what advice they would give to someone entering their stage of the life span and explain why.
- What challenges do they face at their life stage? Do they feel these challenges are common among others within the same life stage, or do they feel unique in these challenges?
In your write up, tell us the gender, age, identified life stage of development, and cultural identification(s) of the individual you interviewed. Be sure to maintain the individual’s privacy and confidentiality when asked to do so. Summarize the topics you discussed and share your interviewee’s response (you may paraphrase and quote).
In your paper, after you have shared what the interviewee discussed, share your thoughts on the process of talking with someone about their place in the life span. Did you learn anything from your conversation that you did not learn in the academic materials? How accurate do you think psychologists have been in identifying and classifying the different life stages? Explain.
- Your paper should be 1.5–3 pages long not including the title and reference pages.
- Be sure to include a brief introduction and a conclusion to your paper.
- Use APA throughout, include a title page, cite your interviews parenthetically within the paper, and include a reference page for any other resources you use, such as your text or course materials. How to cite an interview in APA.