Although adult development recently has begun to receive increased attention from researchers, current studies have been limited mainly to specific aspects of adult development and have not provided a clear view of the meaning of the whole of adult life. Broadening this focus, and at the same time concentrating on a specific occupational group, Jeffrey A. McNally presents the results of his three-year study of successful career Army officers. His inquiry, which draws on Daniel Levinson's theory of adult development, provides an analysis of the sequential patterns that characterize the development of the adult lives of successful career Army officers. After reviewing Levinson's theory of how lives develop during adulthood, McNally looks at the developmental and transitional periods experienced by the Army officers he studied from pre-adulthood to their early forties. The study examines the impact of living and working within a highly ordered, systematic organizational structure such as the military upon the way in which these adult lives unfold. The author finds that, despite the unique aspects of a career in the military, his subjects experienced similar patterns and sequences to those predicted by Levinson's theory of adult development. Based on frequent, wide-ranging interviews over a three-year period of time--interviews which covered aspects of each subject's life from career to marriage, children, friends, religion, etc.--this work is the first to provide an in-depth picture of the military officer's life. A unique resource for the study of adult development and the profession of the military, this book will be of special interest to military officers and those interested in adult development and developmental psychology.
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