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Late Stages of Adult Development: One Linear Sequence or Several Parallel Branches?

Magazine article
Authors Thomas Jordan
Published in Integral Review
Volume 14
Issue 1
Pages 288-299
ISSN 1553-3069
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Sociology and Work Science
Pages 288-299
Language en
Keywords adult development, cognitive complexity, ego development, spiritual awakening, meta-awareness, complexity awareness, perspective-awareness, self-awareness, construct awareness, enlightenment
Subject categories Psychology


This paper is intended to serve as a starting point for a discussion about the nature of late forms of adult development. It is primarily of interest for readers who are familiar with one or several stage models, such as ego development stages and hierarchical complexity levels. The basic proposition is that frameworks that describe adult development as a linear sequence of stages defined by one core variable (such as hierachical complexity or ego structures) do not accurately represent the diversity of the "higher" or "late" forms of adult development.

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