about Peck's theory (psychosocial tasks)


This is a question and I have the answer,

but I am wondering about why some of the other

choices are not also correct:

The question is:

Which of the following statements reflects a developmental task of the elderly according to Peck?

(a) taking a holiday to visit friends in England after death of a spouse

(b) joining a bird watching club after retirement

© feeling that one's life was well lived

(d) happy to have to use a wheelchair rather than walking if it means a reduction in pain

I think that it could be (a) because this person could be adjusting by shifting attachment. It could be (b) because this person could be reinvesting in a pursuit other than work activities. It could be (d) because the person could be maintaining self-esteem by using a new solution.

Peck says that with a decline of physical functioning there can be a decline of self-esteem. Peck suggests to use one's "head". Peck says that to maintain self-esteem, a person can shift attachments, can reinvest in other pursuits, and new solutions. I think that there are 3 possible correct answers. But there is only one indicated as the right answer.


250 Posts


According to this article:


I think that d) is the best answer.

"Pecks three developmental tasks for older adults are (1) differentiation versus role preoccupation, (2) body transcendence verses preoccupation, and (3) ego transcendence versus ego preoccupation."

An example of (1) would be my redefinition of myself after retirement as an eccentric recluse ;) , rather than as a water / wastewater laboratory technician.

An example of (2) would be an acceptance of my physical limitations due to aging. This is what d) is describing.

An example of (3) would be accepting that death is inevitable, and looking at your life's accomplishments in a positive manner. The article gives the example of raising children who love you, and are productive citizens. Based on this, c) seems to be incomplete.

So what is the correct answer?


1,842 Posts

Has 20 years experience.

the manual says that the correct answer is - (b)

I also considered transcendence, and read the

description of Peck's ideas of middle age and old age.

This question would be about old age (so I set aside

the description of wisdom, socializing, emotional flexibility,

and mental flexibility).

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