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Cultural-Historical Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1816-5435

ISSN (online): 2224-8935


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2005

Published quarterly

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Open Access Journal

Affiliated ISCAR


Definitions of the structure of psychological developmental periods: explanatory and descriptive potential in application to old age 1615


Belorusets A.S.
Ph.D. Student, Center of Fundamental and Counseling Personology, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

Frolov Y.I.
PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

The paper analyses different Russian theoretical approaches describing the structure of psychological develop¬mental periods (ages) by L. S. Vygotsky, A. N. Leontiev, D. B. Elkonin, and a scheme based on the concept of «devel¬opmental task» proposed by R. Havighurst. The strong and weak points of these approaches are analysed. The criteria of a universal scheme for all ages are formulated (exhaustiveness, consistency, methodological novelty). The authors conclude that no such scheme has been created to date and propose an original scheme of age structure, constructed in accordance with the proposed principles. The components of the age structure include developmental situation (the reasons for abandoning its social characteristic are discussed in detail), developmental tasks (the idea to develop an hierarchy of those tasks is proposed), leading activity, and new formations associated with each age period. Also con¬sidered is the place of the subject that develops within the proposed scheme. The scheme is applied to a specific devel¬opmental period of old age. Three different life paths in old age (involution, adaptation, and development) are differ¬entiated based on relationship between the subject and the different elements of the psychological age period struc¬ture. Based on the example provided by these three paths, the psychological aging dynamics is analysed.

Keywords: psychological age, age structure, leading activity, developmental situation, new formation, developmental tasks, age dynamics, old age, developmental paths in old age.

For Reference

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