Last Updated 13 Mar 2020

Developmental Competencies And Challenges For Late Adulthood

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Late adulthood is the term describing the period in an individual’s life beginning at ages sixty or seventy and ending in death. This life period is one of continuing change and adjustment in physical and psychological realms.

Major concepts and distinctive features of various social roles

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The family is the first social institution for the children. They are taught how to fit into the community and the various social institutions. The children learn the society’s social values and culture. This in the long run helps in creating a cultural identity for the children (Russell, 2004).


Children start their education the moment they are born. This includes both formal and informal. They are taught basic survival skills such as speech, interaction and hygiene. They later proceed to formal schools where they expand their knowledge on a wide variety of areas which later ends up in career specialization.


The child is taught respect, and performing of household chores. This helps them to grow into mature and responsible adults. Discipline should be taught with compassion, reason and patience without argument, yelling and pking. The parents should learn to respect the children’s growing independence in order to build self esteem.


The family offers protection and security to the children. They should be made to feel safe both within the home and without. They should be protected from any form of physical or psychological abuse.


Clothing is one of the basic needs that the family provides alongside food and shelter. Children should be provided with adequate and the right clothing depending on the environment.

Nutrition and food security

It is the responsibility of the family to provide nutritional requirements for the children. They should always ensure that the meals are balanced and meet the various needs of the children.


The family provides a warm and secure place for the children’s development. It should protect the children from any harsh environmental conditions that may affect their development.

Emotional stability

The family should satisfy the child’s emotional needs thus enhancing their emotional stability. The parents and children should become friends. The parents should create an atmosphere where the children can confide in them.


The family should ensure the children are healthy through proper nutrition and medication.

Contribution and influence of social roles and how they influence individuals and families in the situation

In our case study, the social roles above are not adequately met due to various inadequacies on the part of the grandparents.

The grandchildren’s socialization needs were not fully met. The grandparents generally had little interest in developing the children into a whole person. There was distance between them mainly due to the generation gap.

There grandchildren’s education was also inhibited. This is because the grandparents did not value formal education so much since they did not have any of it themselves. They had limited resources since they are not working. They were therefore unable to give their grandchildren good quality education.

The grandparents were found to be lax in terms of instilling discipline in their grandchildren. They did not have the necessary energy to follow up on their grandchildren’s activities.

The grandparents were frail and sickly and could not offer enough protection to their grandchildren. There were various cases of attacks on their homestead.

Clothing is one of the basic needs that the family provides alongside food and shelter. This was mainly due to financial constraints since the grandparents we

Food and nutrition needs of the grandchildren were not adequately taken care of due to limited resources of the grandchildren. They were also not very keen to ensure a balanced diet.

The grandchildren’s medical needs were not given to their due seriousness since the grandparents had to take care of their own.

The large age difference made it hard for the grandchildren and the grandparents to form a bond necessary in a normal family setting. The grandchildren could therefore not confide in their grandparents and share their emotional needs (Gilbert and Kristin, 2005)


Russell, R. (2004). Social Networks Among Elderly Men Caregivers; Journal of Men’s     Studies 13(1): 121

Gilbert, R. & Kristin C. (2005): When Strength Can’t Last a Lifetime: Vocational Challenges of Male Workers in Early and Middle Adulthood. Men and Masculinities, 7(4), April, pp. 424-433.

Spector-Mersel, G. (2006). Never-aging Stories: Western Hegemonic Masculinity Scripts. Journal of Gender Studies, Volume 15, Number 1, March, pp. 67-82.

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