Super’s Theory of Life Stages

Super’s theory of late adolescent and adult career development is based on two major elements: Life Role and Life Stages. Some important roles are studying and working, community service, home and family, leisure activities, and personal development. Through these roles, a person begins recognizing personal values so inherent in making a career choice. In addition, Super described certain universal life stages that people go through during a life span. Though ages and chronology are listed in his model, an important concept is that these stages are not necessarily age-related. People may recycle through stages, or they may go through some stages mutiple times.

Overview of Life Stages

Late Adolescence ( 16-22 ): Characterized by establishment of independence, openness to new ideas, uncertainty about abilities.

Provisional Adulthood ( 22-28 ): During this stage, people are still proving
their competence, especially to parents and themselves, and gaining
independence with own relationships, perhaps starting a family.

Thirties Transition ( 28-32 ): This is a time of questioning commitments to
jobs and family. Some individuals choose to change, leaving initial career
choices and relationships.

Time of Rooting ( 32-39 ): A consciousness of time sets in at this time of life; people hear the biological clock ticking. People beging settling down, sometimes with a sense of resignation.

Turning Point Years ( 39-43 ): Some people become tired of what they are
“supposed to be”. It represents a time of crisis for some. They may
ask, “Is this all there is to life?” Second round of questioning one’s
inititial commitments.

Restabilizaton/Time of Bearing Fruit ( 43-50 ): This is a time for inner development. One may mentor others, if one is established in a career. People at this stage seem to feel more settled.

Renewal ( 50-65 ): This is a period of calm, even boredom. People at this stage may begin disengaging...

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