Timeline of Psychological Development in 6 Year Stages

(NOTE: This is just for FUN! Of course these are not definite stages of psychological development, especially not that would apply to all individuals across all cultures. While I believe there’s at least some degree of general truth to this timeline (I bet most people’s psychological-developmental experience in modern America would be mostly in line with the basic structure), this is obviously just a loose attempt at categorization based on my own subjective analysis and limited academic influence.)


Tier 1: YOUTH (1 — 18)

(You’re just a kid.)

1 — 6: Early Childhood

7 — 12: Later Childhood

13 — 18: Adolescence

Tier 1.5: Transitional Tier (19 — 24)

19 — 24: Emerging Adulthood (Post-Adolescence / Pre-Adulthood, aka Developmental Purgatory:  still partially identifying with Adolescence and partially identifying with Early Adulthood Stage 1)

AKA the “Freedom Years”
AKA the “Experimental Years”

Tier 2: YOUNG ADULTHOOD (25 — 42)

(You’re now technically an adult, psychologically. Or at least you have developed enough psychological capacity thru life experience to assume the role of a psychological adult, despite still resisting traditional adulthood in some ways.])

25 — 30: Early Adulthood Stage 1

31 — 36: Early Adulthood Stage 2

37 — 42: Early Adulthood Stage 3

Tier 3: Mid-Adulthood [aka Middle Age] (43 — 60)

(Psycho-socio-culturally, you are now a full-on “grown-up”, whether you like it or not.)

43 — 48: Middle Adulthood Stage 1 (Note: You might indulge in a few adolescent tendencies here, but the indulgences will ultimately serve as reminders that you’re definitely over that crap and it’s to grow up. Thus in this stage you’re likely to completely phase out all significant adolescent tendencies.)

49 — 54: Middle Adulthood Stage 2 (see Note in the next stage)

55 — 60: Middle Adulthood Stage 3 (Note:  at some point during either this stage or the previous stage, you are most likely to revisit and explore some of the characteristics and tendencies you had during adolescence or emerging adulthood – OR – you are likely to experiment with various things (characteristics, tendencies, activities, etc.) that you did not experience during adolescence or emerging adulthood but wish you did… aka “Mid Life Crisis“)

Tier 3.5: Transitional Tier

61 — 66: Later Adulthood Stage 1
The “Approaching/Retirement Years”
(Partially identifying with Middle Adulthood and partially identifying with Later Adulthood)

Tier 4: Older Adulthood (67 — )

67 — 72: Later Adulthood Stage 2

73 — 78: Later Adulthood Stage 3

79 — 84: Elder-hood Stage 1 (You really start to feel old AF at some point in this stage!)

85 — 90: Elder-hood Stage 2

91 — 96: Elder-hood Stage 3

97 — : Elder-hood Stage 4


– Generally, while in Early Adulthood, the best ages to review/examine for gaining self-awareness and determining “How You Really Are” or for discovering “The Real You” (aka the most reliable version of yourself) are:

* 10 & 11 years old (Especially Good)
* 16 & 17 years old
* 28 & 29 years old
* 34 & 35 years old

When you reflect on yourself and your experiences at these ages and examine your personal characteristics — including your values, beliefs, personality & behavior traits, emotional tendencies, functional tendencies, likes & dislikes — as well as examine yourself in a social context — including your relative strengths & weaknesses, your talents, skills, or other capabilities along with any deficiencies or shortcomings — you will notice many consistencies (comparatively, across these ages. Look at the greatest, most pronounced consistencies about yourself across these ages, and these consistencies will help determine “the real you” and will help identify which aspects of yourself are likely or unlikely to change. Also, this exercise will help you see that “who you were” at other ages, such as more transitional ages such as 13, 14, 18, 19, 24, 25 (These years were likely really fun & enjoyable & memorable in many ways, but also in other ways they were the most challenging, uncomfortable, & uncertain years, thus they’re essentially too erratic to be considered definitive of your character… ie they are generally not the most “defining years” as far as your personality and your core/stable traits.

END NOTE: Again, this is all just for fun! Psychological development is obviously going to be different for everybody, and there are obviously tons of experiential exceptions and nuances that would take forever to address here, so this is all just a very general and simplistic conceptualization of psychological development as it pertains to age.