EARLY ADULT DEVELOPMENT IN THE LIVES OF PROFESSIONAL RELIGIOUS MEN
Central to the issue of adult development is the question of the existence of a meaningful order to the progression of adulthood over the life span. The present investigation sought to address this question within the life span developmental perspective of Daniel Levinson.^ For Levinson the pattern of adult development during the era of Early Adulthood (17-40 years old) revolves about the choices and commitments a man makes regarding central components within the life structure. According to Levinson these choices are made around essential relationships characteristic of adult development: clarifying a sense of direction of one's life, forming a Dream; gaining competency in realization of one's Dream through the "direction" of a mentor; forming love relationships (family and marriage); and committing oneself to occupational structures, ethnicity, and religion.^ The present investigation examined the developmental characteristics of the Early Adulthood era when the life structure was centered about commitment to a professional religious life style rather than career or family commitments. Such a life style does not include the typical career advancement disposition found in Levinson men; in addition, such a life style excludes marriage. Hence this population of men was significantly different than those men studied by Levinson.^ The study employed the retrospective biographical methodology of Levinson; in addition a questionnaire was utilized to study the social relationships of the men throughout the Early Adulthood era.^ Results of the study supported the major assumptions of Levinson that development over the life course of early adulthood occurs within an intrinsic context of an underlying order and sequence of specific periods. These periods consitute a developmental life pattern normative of adult development in men.^ The results also confirmed the assertion that issues of intimacy and friendship would be dominant during the Early Adulthood era. Indeed, the men committed to a religious life had significantly more relationships of intimacy with both men and women than did the Levinson.^ The normative status of the constructs of mentor and special women were challenged by the results of the study. ^
MISERANDINO, ANTHONY DOMINICK, "EARLY ADULT DEVELOPMENT IN THE LIVES OF PROFESSIONAL RELIGIOUS MEN" (1984). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8423127.