Lifespan Human Development, Social and Emotional Analysis of an Adult

Case Study: 

Josh is a 27-year-old male who recently moved back in with his parents after his fiancée was killed by a drunk driver. His fiancée, a beautiful young woman he’d been dating for the past 4 years, was walking across a busy intersection to meet him for lunch one day. No matter how hard he tries to forget, he frequently finds himself reliving the entire incident as if it was happening all over.

Since the accident, Josh has been plagued with nightmares almost every night. He has difficulty sleeping and frequently wakes up tired. He winds up skipping breakfast and drinks about 24 oz of coffee to stay awake in the mornings. Around noon, he grabs a burger or fried chicken sandwich from the fast-food restaurant next door to the office. He works until late and then comes home to eat dinner, which his mother has left for him. He drinks a six-pack and falls into bed.

Josh used to enjoy his job as a lawyer. He has always been a high achiever and graduated with top honors in both college and law school. He always found work stressful but had been excited to earn a promotion at the firm, on his way to becoming a partner. Recently, he has called in sick to work on several occasions, which was not like him. When he does go to work, he often keeps to himself and doesn’t socialize with anyone else.

Normally an outgoing, fun-loving guy, Josh has become increasingly withdrawn and irritable since his fiancé’s death. His parents worry about how detached and emotionally flat he’s become. He’s stopped working out, playing his guitar, or playing basketball with his friends – all activities he once really enjoyed. He doesn’t talk about dating or women and refuses any plans that might involve being set up. He spends most of his time alone.


Please answer all questions below in a comprehensive essay of 2-3 pages. Full points will be awarded for a well-written assignment that uses evidence from the textbook to support your arguments. DO NOT use direct quotes. Learn to PARAPHRASE! This paper requires an APA title page and in-text citations. No reference page is needed as all citations should come from the textbook.

  • State and describe the developmental stage of adulthood that Josh is in. (Refer to his chronological age here and throughout the assignment).
  • Choose one theory of socioemotional development and use it to describe Josh’s current social life and concerns.
  • What stage would you place Josh in this theory?
  • What are some of the things Josh is doing or feeling that support the conclusion that he is at this stage? Support your decision with the evidence provided in the description above as well as information learned from the class and the textbook.
  • Discuss an alternative explanation for Josh’s behavior and emotional state. (Do Not pick another stage in the same theory!)
  • If Josh continues to face the challenges in his job and his relationships, what is the likely outcome for him in this stage of development? What impact will this have on his future development? What are some possible negative consequences for him?

What suggestions would you give to Josh to help him live a balanced, fulfilling life?