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PSYC FPX 3210 Assessment 4 Developmental Stages of Washington Family Members


Capella University

PSYC FPX 3210 Human Lifespan Development

Prof. Name


Developmental Stages of Washington Family Members

The Washington family encountered a crisis when their pet gerbil, Mercury, went missing, leading to deeper revelations about their familial dynamics. This essay aims to analyze the situation within the framework of various human development theories, shedding light on the intricate interpersonal challenges they faced and how they ultimately found resolution.

The Crisis Unveiled

The disappearance of Mercury unveiled a rift within the family, as it was discovered that their teenage daughter, Sarah, had taken the gerbil. Sarah’s actions were driven by her concerns about Mercury’s well-being and perceived neglect at home. Despite her noble intentions, her decision caused discord within the family unit.

Family Dynamics and Compromise

The Washingtons, consisting of a young couple and teenagers, grappled with the complexities of managing work, family obligations, and teenage issues. Through open dialogue and compromise, they committed to improving Mercury’s care and instituted regular family meetings to enhance communication and understanding among family members.

Insights from Human Development Theories

Gilligan’s theory of moral growth provides insights into Sarah’s behavior, emphasizing her self-focused perspective and concern for Mercury’s welfare. Kohlberg’s theory of moral development further contextualizes Sarah’s actions, indicating her adherence to ethical norms and considerations.

PSYC FPX 3210 Assessment 4 Developmental Stages of Washington Family Members

William Perry’s theory of cognitive development sheds light on the family’s eventual reconciliation, albeit within a dichotomous worldview. Levinson’s concept of the seasons of life underscores the Washingtons’ struggles in reconciling their diverse responsibilities.

Erikson’s theory of human development elucidates the family’s transition from generativity to a focus on career and family, reflecting the typical challenges associated with this life stage. Cohen’s theory of maturation and aging underscores the tensions inherent in balancing competing priorities.


The Washington family’s experience underscores the significance of human development theories in comprehending intricate familial dynamics. By applying these theories, we gain valuable insights into their challenges and eventual reconciliation, underscoring the profound impact of developmental processes on individual and familial behaviors.


Gilligan, C. (1982). In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development. Harvard University Press.

Kohlberg, L. (1981). Essays on Moral Development: Vol. 1. The Philosophy of Moral Development. Harper & Row.

Perry, W. G. (1970). Forms of Intellectual and Ethical Development in the College Years: A Scheme. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

Levinson, D. J. (1978). The Seasons of a Man’s Life. Ballantine Books.

Erikson, E. H. (1994). Identity: Youth and Crisis. Norton & Company.

PSYC FPX 3210 Assessment 4 Developmental Stages of Washington Family Members

Cohen, L. H. (1998). Toward an Integrative Theory of Maturation and Aging. Psychology and Aging, 13(3), 448–465.

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