Select Page
Your Perfect Assignment is Just a Click Away
We Write Custom Academic Papers

100% Original, Plagiarism Free, Customized to your instructions!




Life Span and Resiliency Theory: A Critical Review

Alexa Smith-Osborne

Abstract: Theories of life span development describe human growth and changeover the life cycle (Robbins, Chatterjee, & Canda, 2006). Major types of develop-mental theories include biological, psychodynamic, behavioral, and social learn-ing, cognitive, moral, and spiritual, and those influenced by systems, empower-ment, and conflict theory. Life span development theories commonly focus on onto-genesis and sequential mastery of skills, tasks, and abilities. Social work scholarshave pointed out that a limitation of life span and other developmental theory islack of attention to resilience (Greene, 2007; Robbins et al., 1998).

The concept of resilience was developed to “describe relative resistance to psy-chosocial risk experiences” (Rutter, 1999b, p. 119). Longitudinal studies focused ontypical and atypical child development informed theory formulation in develop-mental psychopathology (Garmezy & Rutter, 1983; Luthar, Cichetti, & Becker, 2000)and in an evolving resilience model (Richardson, 2002; Werner & Smith, 1992).Research on resilience has found a positive relationship between a number of indi-vidual traits and contextual variables and resistance to a variety of risk factorsamong children and adolescents. More recently, resilience research has examinedthe operation of these same factors in the young adult, middle-age, and elder lifestages.

This article examines the historical and conceptual progression of the two devel-opmental theories—life span and resiliency—and discusses their application tosocial work practice and education in human behavior in the social environment.

Keywords: Life span, resiliency theory, life cycle, critique

Theories of life span development describe human growth and change overthe life cycle (Robbins, Chatterjee, & Canda, 2006). Major types of develop-mental theories include biological, psychodynamic, behavioral and social

learning, cognitive, moral and spiritual, and those influenced by systems,empowerment, and conflict theory. Life span development theories commonlyfocus on ontogenesis and the sequential mastery of skills, tasks, and abilities.


Alexa Smith-Osborne, Ph.D. is assistant professor at The University of Texas at Arlington School of SocialWork, Arlington, TX 76019.

Copyright© 2007 Advances in Social Work Vol. 8 No. 1 (Spring 2007) 152-168.Indiana University School of Social Work.

The major theories address the entire life cycle, from prenatal or birth to death,but they often focus in-depth on particular age periods, referred to as life stages.Some theorists within this field have focused more exclusively on a single lifestage (Vaillant, 1993) or on a macro-level view of developmental traits that char-acterize an age cohort with defined ranges of birth dates or historical/culturalperiods of primary influence on development (Strauss & Howe, 1991). For pur-poses of this paper, only a segment of life span theory can be addressed.Therefore, this paper focuses on personality and psychosocial theories, whichform the historical foundation for much of the other life span theories.

Resiliency theory is an emerging theoretical perspective that has been devel-oped within developmental psychopathology and ecosystems perspectives and isinfluenced by stress and coping theories. Although this theory has not beenexplicitly developed as an outgrowth of life span theory, it is developmental infocus, and theory-driven research typically examines a specific chronological lifestage as a starting point. This theoretical framework addresses health develop-ment of at-risk populations, and overcoming stress and adversity to achieve func-tional outcomes either during a life stage, a specific trajectory (e.g., educationalor deviancy), or throughout the life span. The initial focus of theory developmenthas been on childhood and adolescence and associations of traits and events atthese life stages with outcomes later in life. Some recent research in this field hasapplied resiliency constructs to adults at risk (Daining, 2005; Smith, 2003; Smith-Osborne, 2006).

Historical Context

The notion that life can be understood as a series of significant and sequentialstages can be traced to the earliest human civilizations and has appeared consis-tently in literary, religious, and philosophical writings throughout history(Erikson, 1968; Robbins et al., 1998). The scientific approach to human develop-ment throughout the life cycle was stimulated by the emergence of evolutionarytheory at the turn of the century (Darwin, 1872), which led to the development ofbiologically focused maturational and psychosexual perspectives, such as thoseof G. Stanley Hall in 1904, Sigmund Freud in 1905, and Arnold Gesell in 1925.These seminal theories challenged the Victorian (and earlier) conception of chil-dren as little adults, and childhood as a time of relative stability, while the chil-dren were simply waiting to grow physically (Colby, 1970; Karl, 1964).

These theories also established the conceptualization of human development asoccurring in a series of essentially stable stages, with periods of instability duringtransitions between stages and the mastery of stage-specific skills or conflicts asthe foundation for progress to the next stage (Hoffman, Paris, Hall, & Schell, 1988).

Freudian theory came to dominate much of human development theory andclinical practice in the early 20th century, with several of Freud’s students, notablyJung and Erikson, expanding on his concepts on the basis of their own clinicaland cross-cultural experiences. These amplifications of Freudian theory occurredagainst the backdrop of the rise of fascism, the Holocaust, and World War II. Theoriginator of what is now called the life span approach to human psychologicaldevelopment, Erik Erikson, had been a student of Freud’s and trained as a psy-


choanalyst in Germany. Erickson fled Nazi Germany in 1939 to immigrate toAmerica, where he expanded Freud’s stages to apply to the entire life span,emphasizing psychosocial, rather than biological drive theory.

Resiliency theory, in contrast, originated on the basis of prospective longitudinalresearch on cohorts of children at risk (Garmezy, 1993; Rutter, Quinton, & Hill,1990; Werner & Smith, 1982, 1992), rather than on the basis of individual clini-cians’ observations and case studies. Such studies were informed by preventionscience (Greene, 2007) and the application of the epidemiological concepts ofimmunity and resistance to disease to human development and psychopatholo-gy (Thoits, 1983). In particular, Werner and Smith’s longitudinal study of 698infants, many of Hawaiian and Asian descent, provided a major empirical basisfor the inception of resiliency constructs and hypotheses for further testing, asdid Rutter’s work with early onset mental disorders and with institutionalizedRomanian children (e.g., Rutter, 1983; Rutter et al., 1990). Resiliency theory’s salu-togenic orientation has been heavily influenced by the Hawaiian study’s focus onthose in childhood adversity who overcome the odds by the time they reachadulthood. The initial formulation of theoretical concepts and constructs basedon this research proceeded within the developmental psychopathology frame-work in psychiatry (e.g., Rutter, 1987) and developmental psychology (e.g.,Garmezy, Masten, & Tellegen, 1984) and within family stress and adjustment the-ory (e.g., McCubbin & Dahl, 1976; McCubbin & Patterson, 1983) in social work.Much of the seminal research in this field was begun in the late 1950s (e.g., Werner& Smith began their study in 1955) and initial findings were reported in the 1980s.Thus, this early theoretical development was situated historically in the post-Vietnam War and the post-colonial era of globalization, and it often focused onidentifying factors in overcoming trauma and adverse events, such as war-induced family separations. Later, as social work educators and researchers gavemore attention to salutogenic, strengths-based (Saleebey, 1997) theoretical mod-els for practice, resiliency constructs were further developed within the ecologi-cal perspective (e.g., Fraser & Galinsky, 1997; Gilgun, 1996) in social work theory,rather than in life span theory. Social workers have continued to draw on resilien-cy theory constructs and empirical findings in research (e.g., Herrenkohl, Hill,Chung, Guo, Abbott, & Hawkins, 2003) and in human behavior and practice texts(e.g., Haight & Taylor, 2007; Johnson, 2004; Thomlison, 2007), either within theecological perspective (e.g., Haight & Taylor) or, more commonly, outside a spec-ified theoretical frame of reference. Furthermore, some social workers haveexplicitly identified and used resiliency theory as a theoretical framework, inde-pendent of other perspectives, for education (Greene, 2007) and research (Smith-Osborne, 2005a, 2006; Ungar, 2004).


Life Span Theory

Life span theory utilizes the central concept of ontogenesis, the chronologicalunfolding of human development (Gunnar & Thelen, 1989; Thelen & Smith,1994), which includes both change in size and change in the complexity and dif-ferentiation of function (e.g., the change in motor reflexes at various stages in


life). Some theorists include deterioration or diminishment in size and function,particularly if the focus is on aging and the adult life cycle, as well as accretion oraugmentation ( Jung, 1965; Newman & Newman, 1975; Santrock, 1989).

Erikson (1950) proposed the concept of “epigenesis” to convey that humandevelopment unfolds from part to whole, with elements of the chronologicallyappropriate ability or personality feature gradually emerging in a prescribedsequence until the functional whole was achieved. The term has since been usedwithin the developmental psychopathology theoretical perspective to also applyto the chronological unfolding over the life span of the disease process, such asschizophrenia (e.g., Cannon, Rosso, Bearden, Sanchez, & Hadley, 1999). He sawthis emergence as occurring within an interactional and adaptive framework,within which the individual develops through interaction and adaptation to theimmediate social environment as well as to the larger society, culture, and histor-ical context. Thus, Erikson postulated that mutual responsiveness on the part ofboth the individual and society was necessary for optimal development.

Another key life span concept associated with the work of Freud and Erikson isthe life stage. The life stage is seen as an age-related period of life characterized bypredictable features, tensions, and changes and leads into a subsequent stage.Erikson formulated the notion of the psychosocial crisis, a period of tension anddisorganization centered on a stage-specific theme, the resolution of which wasthe goal of the transition phase from one stage to the next. Freud and Eriksonconceptualized stages as prescriptive, in that their sequence was unvarying anddefined optimal mature development, was associated with specific tensions/con-flicts, and was prerequisite, in that each stage must be worked through and theassociated conflicts resolved before successful transition to the next stage couldbe accomplished. Freud’s and Erikson’s life stage models are presented inHoffman et al. (1988, pp. 30 and 32).

Erikson (1950) moved beyond Freud’s life stage constructs in proposing that egodevelopment in childhood is a process of identification, which he defined asinternalization of another person’s values and standards in an attempt to becomelike that person or parts of that person. It was in adolescence that Eriksonobserved (1968) the identity was formed through a process of:

repudiation and mutual assimilation of childhood identifications andtheir absorption in a new configuration, which in turn, is dependenton the process by which a society (often through subsocieties) identi-fies the young individual, recognizing him as somebody who had tobecome the way he is and who, being the way he is, is taken for grant-ed. (p. 159)

In Erikson’s theory, then, the concept of the mature ego identity as a complexsense of self, comprising societally-defined life roles as well as aspects of person-ality, is crucial. The “identity crisis” in adolescence is normative and revolvesaround issues of personal sameness and historical continuity, which serve as alink between the individual and the larger society. Prolonged adolescence, inErikson’s schema, provides a psychosocial moratorium in which the sexuallymature individual engages in free role experimentation, sanctioned by society, in


order to find a defined niche in society, while postponing adult sexual roles.Erickson saw this as a second period of delay in the life cycle, with the first beingFreud’s psychosexual moratorium of the latency life stage, which permits theyoung to learn the basics of society’s work situations before embarking on maturesexual roles, such as spouse and parent. Erikson used the term identity diffusion,and later the term identity confusion (1968), to describe the state of mild confu-sion commonly experienced by adolescents in the process of identity formation.James Marcia (1980) developed this concept further to apply to adolescents whoare not in an identity crisis, because they are not committing themselves to occu-pational or ideological goals and are not concerned about the situation.

Based on the mature and socially acceptable ego identity, the young adult, inErikson’s schema, could then take up the mature sexual role in seeking a spouseor intimate partner. In the middle adult stage, the individual was seen as transi-tioning to the ego strength made up of procreativity, productivity, and creativity,such as in forming a family and mentoring future generations on a personal, soci-etal or even global level. The last stage of life was that of ego integrity, whichinvolves the older adult’s acceptance of his/her own live as meaningful andcoherent, and the perspective that one has handled life’s tasks in the best waypossible under given circumstances.

Contemporary theorists have proposed expanded models, particularly in theadolescent and adult stages. Two such models, proposed by Vaillant (1993, p. 145)and Newman and Newman (1988, p. 45).

Erikson (1982, 1986, 1988) built on his earlier work in the last life stage, as he andhis wife reflected on their own adult development in later life, conceptualizingaging in terms of revisitation of earlier stages of development within his Stage 8 ofIntegrity vs. Despair.

Erikson and other psychodynamic theorists, such as Vaillant (1993), acknowl-edge developmental influences such as culture, race, and gender, but tend to viewintrapsychic and biological factors, including IQ, as being more important todevelopment.

Other theorists conceptualize human development as being more fluidthroughout the life span, rather than the product of invariant and chronological-ly sequential stages, and as being more heavily influenced by social roles(Goffman, 1959; Neugarten, 1985), demographic variables, such as gender, race,or socioeconomic status, culture and historical “moment,” and even the recipro-cal, interactive effects of the immediate physical/social environment (Gunnar &Thelen, 1989).

Resiliency Theory

The concept of resilience was developed to “describe relative resistance to psy-chosocial risk experiences” (Rutter, 1999b, p. 119). It has been further defined as“a dynamic process encompassing positive adaptation within the context of sig-nificant adversity” (Luthar, Cicchetti, & Becker, 2000) and “the process of copingwith adversity, change, or opportunity in a manner that results in the identifica-tion, fortification, and enrichment of resilient qualities or protective factors”


(Richardson, 2002, p. 308). Research on stress reactions and recovery from stress,with implications for education, has also informed this theory (Benotsch et al.,2000; D’Imperio, Dubow, & Ippolito, 2000; Dubow, Schmidt, McBride, Edwards, &Merk, 1993; Dubow, Tisak, Causey, Hryshko, & Reid, 1991; Fontana, Schwartz, &Rosenheck, 1997; Garmezy & Rutter, 1983; Golding, 1989; Keenan & Newton,1984; Lazarus, 1993; Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). Thus, resilience is conceptualizedas relative resistance to psychosocial stressors or adversity. Although varyingmodels of resiliency have been tested, researchers and theorists agree that theconstruct is salient in the context of stress and adversity and is not operative inthe absence of environmental stressors ( Jew, Green, & Kroger, 1999; Rutter, 1999).

The central constructs of the theory include risk factors/mechanisms, vulnera-bility factors, and protective factors/mechanisms. Risk factors and mechanismshave been conceptualized in alternate ways in the literature: either as 1) theevents or conditions of adversity (for example, poverty) themselves for whichthere is empirical evidence of association with psychopathology, illness, or dys-functional developmental outcomes or as 2) factors that operate to reduce resist-ance to stressors/adversity. Vulnerability factors are traits, genetic predisposi-tions, or environmental and biological deficits (such as cognitive impairments)for which there is empirical evidence of heightened response, sensitivity, or reac-tion to stressors or risk factors. The constructs of vulnerability factors and risk fac-tors are sometimes used interchangeably in the literature. Protective factors andmechanisms are traits, contextual characteristics, and interventions that operateto enhance or promote resistance, or which may moderate the effect of risk fac-tors, and for which there is empirical evidence of association with health andfunctional developmental outcomes. Rutter (1987) suggests that protectivemechanisms may operate in one of four ways to allow overcoming odds in theface of adversity: by reducing risk impact, by reducing negative chain reactions torisk factors, by promoting resiliency traits (i.e., the opposite of vulnerability fac-tors, such as self-efficacy and optimism), and by setting up new opportunities forsuccess. Reducing risk impact can occur not only by way of buffering events andsocial networks, but also by inoculation due to successful coping with earlier,milder stressful events. Protective and risk mechanisms have been found to varyaccording to the type of adversity, type of resilient outcome, and life stage underanalysis; risk factors in one context may be protective in another (Rutter, 1999;Smith-Osborne, 2006; Ungar, 2004).

Research on resilience among children, adolescents, and young adults hasfound a positive relationship between spirituality, social support, social capital,income, and personal/family traits (e.g., hardiness, coherence, social compe-tence and self-efficacy, normal attachment, healthy attributions, active stressappraisal, and coping), and resistance to a variety of risk factors, including psy-chiatric disorders and school failure/drop-out (Daining, 2005; Garmezy, 1991;Luthar et al., 2000; Masten & Coatsworth, 1998; Richardson, 2002; Rutter, 1999a;Smith & Carson, 1997; Werner, 1992). Research on military families dealing withwar-induced separation and trauma has found associations between resilienceand similar protective mechanisms (Benotsch et al., 2000; Lavee et al., 1985;McCubbin & Dahl, 1976; McCubbin, Dahl, Lester, Benson, & Robertson, 1976;


McCubbin, Hunter, & Dahl, 1975; McCubbin et al., 1980; McCubbin & McCubbin,1996; Patterson, 2002; Sutker et al., 1995; Thoits, 1983).

Units of Analysis

Life span theory is most commonly applied to the individual and family as theunits of analysis (McCubbin et al., 1980). However, Erikson (1962, 1968, 1969) pro-posed that this theory could apply to humanity as an entity, thus not being limit-ed to one’s interactions with individuals, groups, or specific environments/insti-tutions.

Subsequent theorists, such as Coles (1990, 1991, 1997) and Strauss and Howe(1991), have focused on the more macro-level implications of Erikson’s concepts,for example, in investigating human development within generations and reli-gious reference groups.

Like life span theory, resiliency theory has been most commonly applied toindividuals and family units that are consistent with these theories’ shared devel-opmental focus. More recent investigations of specific risk and protective factors,however, have shown a trend toward the examination of macro-level or contextu-al variables (Herrenkohl et al., 2003; Schafft, 2006; Smith-Osborne, 2005, 2006;Ungar, 2004), such as neighborhoods (e.g., disorganized, residentially unstable)and institutional policies.

Aspects of Human Development

Rapid advances in the knowledge base about the biological underpinnings ofhuman development tend to lend support to conceptualizations of the life stagesthat are more fluid throughout the life span, rather than invariant or even neces-sarily sequential (Robbins et al., 1998; Thelen & Smith, 1994). Incorporation ofthis new knowledge is seen most clearly in researchers who focus on adult devel-opment and aging. George Vaillant (1993), for example, pointed out that:

If adult development is to be conceived as a psychobiological processthen it must conform to biology, and neither to social mores nor tochronological age. This means that, as with shaving and menstruation,not everybody will reach a given stage at the same chronological age (p.166).

Similarly, Sharon McQuaide, in her research on “Women at Midlife” (1998),examined biological and cohort variables to add to life span theory. She foundthat “The generation of women now entering midlife differs from previous gener-ations” (p. 21), and that women who were “’blocked from being in the world’(through disability, poor health, involuntary unemployment, limited spendingpower)” (p. 29) were less likely to achieve well-being and other indicators of gen-erativity, Erikson’s designation for the midlife stage issue. Life span theory, then,has the flexibility to address various aspects of human development throughoutits stages.

Resiliency theory has, from its inception, been remarkable for encompassingthe broad biopsychosocial aspects of human development, as well as for cross-referencing empirical findings on normative or healthy human development withfindings on pathological development (Cichetti & Cannon, 1999). Early develop-


ment of the theory gave more attention to individual characteristics and to fac-tors present in childhood, which were associated with adult outcomes, thus priv-ileging enduring traits from earlier life stages. Although recent cross-sectionalstudies have begun to offer more possibilities for developing an understanding ofresiliency in middle and later adulthood, this theory’s current utility is, in itsapplication to the broad aspects of human development, from infancy throughearly adulthood.

Philosophical Underpinnings

The life span theory philosophical underpinnings, most of which have beennoted previously in this paper, include: a health and adaptation orientation,rather than a medical illness-oriented orientation; a special interest in the earlierstages of life; an ontogenetic perspective with emphasis on predictable and dis-continuous life stages; a transition period between stages, which may be charac-terized by increased tension and disorganization (Erikson’s “psychosocial crises”);an intrapsychic focus and an interactive focus; and lifelong development. Asnoted previously, the life span theorists who built on Erikson’s work have gone farin addressing the limitations of many of these philosophical underpinnings, aswell as the biases built into the original theory. Resiliency theory is characterizedas similarly salutogenic, but with a philosophical orientation toward the linear,cumulative connections between earlier life stages and adulthood for those atrisk. Resiliency research to date has been largely conducted by Western scientistsand has had a linear, positivistic paradigm. Thus, it has been criticized as hege-monic and, thereby, limited in its scope in accounting for diverse resiliency expe-riences. Philosophically, resiliency theory is more heavily focused than life spantheory on interactions between the environment and person in terms of environ-mental adversity and personal protective traits. As with life span theory, morerecent work in resiliency theory has tipped the balance philosophically more inthe direction of contextual protective variables, often operationalized as socialgroups and community and institutional characteristics.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The evident strengths of life span theory include its expansion of understandingof personality development through the life span, its utility across a variety ofhuman service settings and functions, and its “generativity,” to borrow Erikson’sterm and reapply it to theory-building. Life span theory gave rise to a rich pletho-ra of human development models, not only to increase understanding of specificlife stages or the entire life cycle, but also to address intermediate and macro-levelentities, such as families, family-run businesses, social movements led by “great”personalities, faith communities and religious reference groups, and entire gen-erational cohorts. In so doing, this theory has been applied to disciplines beyondthe human service domain. For example, the sociological concept of the bour-geois bohemian (Brooks, 2001), the theological concept of Gen X religiosity(Beaudoin, 2000), and the economic concept of style as a form of self-expression(Postrel, 2003), all owe their origins ultimately to life span theory.

Several of the most cogent points of criticism of life span theory weaknesseshave been noted above: the Euro-American, middle class, male bias; the rigidity


of the life stage concept; and the notable lack of empirical support. Another, lessfrequently discussed weakness is the theory’s failure to address or adequatelyexplain the sources of the stage shifts (Haroutunian, 1983; Oyama, 1985) and theapplication of those stage shifts across domains (Thelen, 1987). Concomitantly,the theory has been targeted by critics for failure to account for the emergence ofnew forms in each stage (e.g., why do immobilized Hopi babies start walking atthe same age as mobile WASP babies) in the context of the nature versus nurturedichotomy.

Resiliency theory shows promise as an emerging theory, which extends life spantheory in offering predictive and explanatory constructs relevant to healthydevelopment in the face of adversity. Its constructs and models have been usedflexibly by social workers in concert with other theoretical perspectives, such asthe ecosystems perspective (Fraser, 1997; Gilgun, 1997), systems theory (Ungar,2004), the differential resiliency model (Palmer, 1997), and the social develop-ment model (Herrenkohl et al., 2003). Furthermore, this theory has demonstrat-ed that it offers both a viable platform for developmental research and a concep-tual framework capable of elegant and parsimonious evolution based on thatresearch. Resiliency theory has the advantage of being empirically based from itsinception and of thereby incorporating ongoing findings and constructs frombiology and neuroscience, such as neuroplasticity (Rutter, 1999b). It has begun todemonstrate utility in application across human service settings and practicemodels and across life stages and trajectories (Greene, 2007).

One important limitation of resiliency theory is its restriction to applicationonly to populations in adversity or populations experiencing trauma or highstress levels. Theoretical constructs may be misapplied in research or practice tonormative life cycle issues or moderately stressful events. The constructs them-selves have been criticized as tautological and are inconsistently defined acrossstudies, thus limiting validity and reliability of the research. Considerable efforthas been made by leading resiliency theorists, particularly in the last decade, toclarifying and standardize these definitions. This theory has also been criticizedfor its positivist research paradigm to date, with consequential bias towards lin-ear explanatory models based on predictable, hierarchical relationships betweenprotective and risk factors (Ungar, 2004). This tendency may limit its utility inapplication to diverse cultures and populations. On the other hand, the originalempirical basis for the development of the theory consisted heavily of studies ofcross-cultural and ethnic minority populations, which may be evidence to count-er this criticism.

Empirical Support

Life span theory has been criticized as lacking an empirical base of support, muchlike psychodynamic theory in general has been criticized. It is true that many the-orists in this perspective use clinical case and cross-cultural observation (Erikson,1968; Coles, 1990; Greenspan, 1992) and, in some instances, examination of thelives of great men and women, as their primary methodology for generating thetheory. For example, Erikson studied the lives of Luther and Gandhi (1962, 1969),while Vaillant looked at Florence Nightingale’s life in his analysis of women’s adultdevelopment (Vaillant, 1993). Coles is robust in his defense of these clinically ori-


ented methodologies in generating rich, contextually-based theoretical con-structs, and is critical of the biases and limitations he finds inherent in empirical,quantitative methodologies (1990, pp. 22-39).

However, Vaillant’s longitudinal study of adult men (1977), his follow-up studyof male adults from a different socioeconomic group (1993), and recent quantita-tive studies of adult development (McQuaide, 1998; Norman, McCluskey-Fawcett, & Ashcraft, 2002) have provided empirical support both for the life spanconcepts derived from ego defense theory and for life stage concepts.

In general, the life span theory has maximal utility when used to describe andexplain the human development of individuals and, at a probabilistic rather thanprescriptive level (Robbins et al., 1998). Erikson indicated his general concur-rence with this summation in his discussion of the misapplication of his conceptof the psychosocial crisis (1968, pp. 15-43).

As previously described in this paper, resiliency theory has been conceived onan empirical basis, with two examples being Werner and Smith’s study of infantsin Hawaii and the English and Romanian Adoptees Study Team’s investigation ofinstitutionalized children who were later adopted (Rutter, Quinton, & Hill, 1990;Rutter & ERA, 1998). Resiliency theory-based empirical findings have been usefulin refining important practice modalities used in social work. For example, suchfindings suggested a shift in the focus on family therapy to include assessment ofthe differential impact of family communication patterns on different familymembers, depending on individual vulnerability factors and peer group influ-ences (Rutter, 1999b; Greene, 2007). Richardson (2002) has suggested that therehave been three waves of resiliency research: the first wave focused on identifyingresilient qualities in person and environment, the second wave focused on spec-ifying resilient processes effective in overcoming the odds, and the third and cur-rent wave in identifying innate transformational processes. Empirical testing ofresiliency constructs and models is ongoing in several disciplines, includingsocial work (e.g., Finkelstein et al., 2005; Hrabowski, Freeman, Maton, & Greif,1998, 2002; Kennedy, 2005; Wright, Fopma-Loy, & Fischer, 2005).


Consistency with Social Work Values

Despite its lack of empirical evidence, life span theory has enjoyed widespreadacceptance, not only among social workers, but among the wide range of humanservice disciplines, particularly those with a psychodynamic theoretical perspec-tive regardless of discipline. Thus, part of its appeal has come from its expansionof Freudian theory and its correction of some of the limitations and biases of thattheory. Its optimistic, strengths-oriented perspective, and its applicability tosome domains other than the individual (McCubbin et al., 1980) have shown con-sistency with social work values. The utility of its concepts and theoretical con-structs has been amply demonstrated by the variety and magnitude of applica-tions that have been made to practice issues (e.g., Streever & Wodarski, 1984;Snow, 2003; Smith-Osborne, 2005b), to theory building (e.g., Elder, 1998; George,1993; Ingersoll-Dayton, Krause, & Morgan, 2002; Vaillant, 1993), and to popular


understanding of the nature of human life (e.g., Sheehy, 1976). The psychody-namic life span theorists deemphasized the biological determinism of strictFreudian theory, and their theoretical concepts focus on successful negotiation ofthe life stage transitions as a normative, not as pathological process. These factorsare seen as consistent with social work values, such as client self-determinationand strengths-based practice.

Contemporary social workers are cautioned to be mindful that the originatorsof this theory base operated almost exclusively within a Euro-American middleclass framework, which limits the utility of the theory for application to diversecultures and classes. The male bias inherent in the original theory base has beenpartially addressed through research and additional theory formulation on thedevelopment of women through the life span (Gilligan, 1978, 1982, 1991; Friedan,1963, 1977; and 1993; McQuaide, 1998).

The social work emphasis on person-in-environment is a good fit with life spantheory’s perspective of human development as proceeding interactively. The lim-itations of the theory in taking macro-level influences into account, and theexpansion work in this area by Strauss and Howe and others, is noted above.

Resiliency theory shares with life span theory the excellent fit with social workvalues detailed above, while avoiding the cultural, class and gender biases thathave been noted in life span theory. Its focus on vulnerability and populations atrisk makes it particularly useful to the social work mission. This theory has beencriticized as being less consistent with social work values than it could be, due tothe hegemonic tendencies inherent in its positivistic philosophical underpin-nings; however, new qualitative and mixed methods research, undertaken withina constructivist paradigm, may develop this theory so as to correct these tenden-cies.

Next Steps for Theory Progression

The current status of life span theory within social work remains that of wide-spread, even uncritical acceptance in its application, in a variety of human serv-ice settings, from child welfare agencies to parent education classes. Social work-ers who practice or conduct research with specific age groups are informed bythis theory in understanding the unique aspects of that age group or birth cohort(e.g., McQuaide, 1998; Norman et al., 2002). In social work education, it is taughtin theory and human behavior classes at all levels of social work preparation. Theconcept of developmental stages has been applied to student developmentthrough the field instruction process in social work, as well as in counseling andpsychology (Deal, 2000, 2002). The utility of this theoretical perspective and itsvalue-fit with the social work profession are likely to ensure its continued placewithin the discipline. In order to enhance its viability as a foundation for bestpractices, life span theory must take the next steps in theory progression bystrengthening empirical support for both its micro and macro levels across lifestages, including the incorporation of recent advances in human neuroscienceevidence. Further development of models for middle and older adult life stages,differentiated by gender and ethnicity, is also needed. Continued attention mustbe paid to the dissemination of updated life span theory development by socialwork educators, text writers, and researchers.


The current status of resiliency theory in social work is that of an emerging the-ory; its main constructs are used more often than the entire, articulated theoreti-cal framework, both in social work research and education, while frequency ofpractitioners’ use of this theory and its evidence base is unclear. Since it repre-sents an extension of more well-established life span theory and shares many ofthat theory’s strengths and acceptability for the profession, it is likely that resilien-cy theory will become more widely used in social work education the near future,as indicated by its use in at least two recently published texts in the HumanBehavior in the Social Environment curriculum (Greene, 2007; Haight & Taylor,2007). The next steps for progression of this theory should include cross-section-al studies to elucidate applicability of the known protective mechanisms to youngadult, middle adult, and older adult life stages, and to generational cohorts.Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies are needed to examine the operation ofprotective and risk mechanisms for particular resilient outcomes, such as educa-tional attainment, health disparities and perceived level of wellness, quality oflife, and vocational achievement, to build on results of the most common, previ-ously studied outcome of psychopathology versus mental wellness. Qualitativeand mixed methods research designs must be applied to extend theory develop-ment to diverse cultures and perceived operationalizations of resiliency withinthe lived experience of persons across the life span and across conditions ofadversity. Further discussion is needed in the literature to refine the operational-ization of this theory’s constructs and models and to promote common usage ofthe same in research. Articulation of practice applications of the theory, followedby empirical testing of related interventions, is necessary to integrate this theoryinto our understanding of human behavior in the social environment and to addto the evidence base for practice with populations in adversity.

Resiliency theory offers a rich opportunity for social work to refine evidence-based developmental theory for the vulnerable populations it is our unique priv-ilege to serve.


Beaudoin, T. (1998). Virtual faith: The irreverent spiritual quest of Generation X. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Brooks, D. (2001). Bobos in paradise. New York: Touchstone.

Cannon, T.D., Rosso, I.M., Bearden, C.E., Sanchez, L.E., & Hadley, T. (1999). A prospective cohort study ofneurodevelopmental processes in the genesis and epigenesist of schizophrenia. Development andPsychopathology, 11(1), 467-485.

Cichetti, D., & Cannon, T.D. (1999). Neurodevelopmental processes in the ontogenesis and epigenesis ofpsychopathology. Development and Psychopathology, 11, 375-393.

Colby, V. (1970). The singular anomaly. New York: New York University Press.

Coles, R. (1990). The spiritual life of children. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Coles, R. (1991). The moral life of children. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Coles, R. (1997). The moral intelligence of children. New York: Random House.


Daining, C. (2005). Resilience of youth in transition from out-of-home care to adulthood. Unpublisheddissertation, University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Darwin, C. (1872). The expression of emotions in man and animal. New York: Philosophical Library.

Deal, K.H. (2000). The usefulness of developmental stage models for clinical social work students: Anexploratory study. The Clinical Supervisor, 19(1), 1-19.

Deal, K.H. (2002). Modifying field instructors’ supervisory approach using stage models of student devel-opment. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 22(3/4), 121-137.

DeForge, B., Belcher, J., O’Rourke, M., & Lindsey, M. (2005). Personal resources and homelessness in earlylife: Predictors for depression in consumers of homeless multi-serviced centers. Manuscript submit-ted for publication.

D’Imperio, R.L., Dubow, E.F., & Ippolito, M.F. (2000). Resilient and stress-affected adolescents in an urbansetting. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 29, 129-142.

Dubow, E.F., Schmidt, D., McBride, J., Edwards, S., & Merk, F.L. (1993). Teaching children to cope withstressful experiences: Initial implementation and evaluation of a primary prevention program. Journalof Clinical Child Psychology, 22, 428-440.

Dubow, E.F., Tisak, J., Causey, D., Hryshko, A., & Reid, G. (1991). A two-year longitudinal study of stress-ful life events, social support, and social problem-solving skills: Contributions to children’s behavioraland academic adjustment. Child Development, 62, 583-599.

Elder, G.H. (1998). The life course and human development. In W. Damon & R.M. Lerner (Eds.),Handbook of Child Psychology (5th ed., pp. 939-983). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Erikson, E. (1962). Young man Luther: A study in psychoanalysis and history. New York: Norton.

Erikson, E.H. (1963). Childhood and society (2nd ed., Rev.). New York: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc.

Erikson, E.H. (1968). Identity: Youth and crisis. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc.

Erikson, E.H. (1980). Identity and the life cycle. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc.

Erikson, E.H. (1969). Gandhi’s truth: On the origins of militant nonviolence. New York: Norton.

Freud, S. (1905). Three essays on the theory of sexuality. In (Ed.), The Standard Edition of the CompletePsychological Works of Sigmund Freud (vol. 7 ed., pp. 125-145). London: Hogarth.

Friedan, B. (1963). The feminine mystique. New York: Dell.

Friedan, B. (1977). It changed my life. New York: Dell.

Friedan, B. (1993). The fountain of age. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Garmezy, N. (1991). Resiliency and vulnerability to adverse developmental outcomes associated withpoverty. American Behavioral Scientist, 34, 416-430.

Garmezy, N., & Rutter, M. (Eds.). (1983). Stress, coping, and development in children. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company.

George, L.K. (1993). Sociological perspectives on life transitions. Annual Review of Sociology, 19, 353-373.

Gesell, A.L. (1925). The mental growth of the preschool child. New York: Macmillan.

Gilligan, C. (1978). Woman’s place in man’s life cycle. Harvard Educational Review, 49, 481-517.

Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women’s development. Cambridge, MA:Harvard University Press.

Gilligan, C., Rogers, A.G., & Tolman, D.L. (Eds.). (1991). Women, girls and psychotherapy: Reframing resist-ance. New York: The Haworth Press, Inc.

Goffman, E. (1959). The presentation of self in everyday life. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.

Greene, R.R. (2007). Social work practice: A risk and resilience perspective. Belmont, CA: ThomsonBrooks/Cole.

Greenspan, S.I. (1992). Infancy and early childhood: The practice of clinical assessment and interventionwith emotional and developmental challenges. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, Inc.


Gunnar, M.R., & Thelen, E. (Eds.). (1989). Systems and development: The Minnesota symposia on childpsychology, vol. 22. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Haight, E.H., & Taylor, M. (Eds.). (2007). The life and letters of James Monroe Taylor: The biography of aneducator. (Sixth edition). New York: The Columbia Encyclopedia, E.P. Dutton and Co.

Hall, G.H. (1904). Adolescence: Its psychology and its relations to physiology, anthropology, sociology, sexcrime, religion, and education. New York: Appleton & Co.

Haroutunian, S. (1983). Equilibrium in the balance: A study of psychological explanation. New York:Springer-Verlag.

Herrenkohl, T.I., Hill, K.G., Chung, I., Guo, J., Abbott, R.D., & Hawkins J.D. (2003). Protective factorsagainst serious violent behavior in adolescence: A prospective study of aggressive children. Social WorkResearch, 27, 179-191.

Hoffman, L., Paris, S., Hall, E., & Schell, R. (1988). Developmental psychology today (5th ed.). New York:McGraw-Hill, Inc.

Holleran, L.K., Kim, Y., & Dixon, K. (2004). Innovative approaches to risk assessment within alcohol pre-vention programming. In A.R. Roberts & K.R. Yeager (Eds.), Evidence-based practice manual: Researchand outcome measures in health and human services (pp. 677-684). New York: Oxford University Press.

Hrabowski, I., Freeman A., Maton, K.I., Greene, M.L., & Greif, G.L. (2002). Overcoming the odds: Raisingacademically successful African-American young women. New York: Oxford University Press.

Hrabowski, I., Freeman A., Maton, K.I., & Greif, G. L. (1998). Beating the odds: Raising academically suc-cessful African American males. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ingersoll-Dayton, B., Krause, N., & Morgan, D. (2002). Religious trajectories and transitions over the lifecourse. International Journal on Aging and Human Development, 55(1), 51-70.

Jackson, Y., & Warren, J.S. (2000). Appraisal, social support, and life events: Predicting outcome behaviorin school-age children. Child Development, 71, 1441-1457.

Jew, C.L., Green, K.E., & Kroger, J. (1999). Development and validation of a measure of resiliency.Measurement & Evaluation in Counseling & Development, 32, 1-15.

Jung, C.G. (1965). Memories, dreams, and reflections. New York: Vintage Books.

Karl, F.R. (1964). A reader’s guide to the nineteenth century novel. New York: H. Woolff.

Knox, D., Langehough, S.O., Walters, C., & Rowley, M. (1999). Religiosity and spirituality among collegestudents. College Student Journal, 33, 430-432.

Lam, D. (1999). Parenting stress and anger: The Hong Kong experience. Child and Family Social Work, 4,337-346.

Lavee, Y., McCubbin, H.I., & Patterson, J. (1985). The double ABCX model of family stress and adaptation:An empirical test by analysis of structural equations with latent variables. Journal of Marriage and theFamily, 47, 811-825.

Lazarus, R.S. (1993). From psychological stress to the emotions: A history of changing outlooks. AnnualReview of Psychology, 44, 1-21.

Lazarus, R.S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York: Springer.

LeCuyer-Maus, E.A. (2003). Stress and coping in high-risk mothers: Difficult life circumstances, psychi-atric-mental health symptoms, education, and experiences in their families of origin. Public HealthNursing, 20, 132-145.

Longo, D.A., & Peterson, S.M. (2002). The role of spirituality in psychosocial rehabilitation. PsychosocialRehabilitation Journal, 25, 333-340.

Luthar, S., Cicchetti, D., & Becker, B. (2000). The construct of resilience: A critical evaluation and guide-lines for future work. Child Development, 71, 543-562.

Macias, M.M., Clifford, S.C., Saylor, C.F., & Kreh, S.M. (2001). Predictors of parenting stress in families ofchildren with spina bifida. Children’s Health Care, 30, 57-65.

Marcia, J.E. (1980). Identity in adolescence. In J. Adelson (Ed.), Handbook of adolescent psychology (pp.159-187). New York: Wiley-Interscience.


Masten, A.S., & Coatsworth, J.D. (1998). The development of competence in favorable and unfavorableenvironments: Lessons from research on successful children. American Psychologist, 53, 205-220.

McCubbin, H.I., & Dahl, B.B. (1976). Prolonged family separation in the military: A longitudinal study. InH.I. McCubbin, B.B. Dahl & E.J. Hunter (Eds.), Families in the military system. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

McCubbin, H.I., Dahl, B.B., Lester, G.R., Benson, D., & Robertson, M.L. (1976). Coping repertoires of fam-ilies adapting to prolonged war-induced separations. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 38, 461-471.

McCubbin, H.I., Hunter, E.J., & Dahl, B.B. (1975). Residuals of war: Families of prisoners of war and ser-vicemen missing in action. Journal of Social Issues, 31, 95-109.

McCubbin, H.I., Joy, C.B., Cauble, A.E., Comeau, J.K., Patterson, J.M., & Needle, R.H. (1980). Family stressand coping: A decade review. Journal of Marriage & the Family, 42(4), 855-871.

McCubbin, M.A., & McCubbin, H.I. (1996). Resiliency in families: A conceptual model of family adjust-ment and adaptation in response to stress and crises. In H.I. McCubbin, A.I. Thompson, & M.A.McCubbin (Eds.), Family assessment: Resiliency, coping, and adaptation—Inventories for research andpractice (pp. 1-64). Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin System.

McGee, M., Nagel, L., & Moore, M.K. (2003). A study of university classroom strategies aimed at increas-ing spiritual health. College Student Journal, 37, 583-594.

McQuaide, S. (1998). Women at midlife. Social Work, 43(1), 21-30.

Morrison, G.M., Robertson, L., Laurie, B., & Kelly, J. (2002). Protective factors related to antisocial behav-ior trajectories. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58, 277-290.

Murray, C. (2003). Risk factors, protective factors, vulnerability, and resilience: A framework for under-standing and supporting the adult transitions of youth with high-incidence disabilities. Remedial andSpecial Education, 24, 16-26.

Musil, C.M. (2000). Health of grandmothers as caregivers: A ten-month follow-up. Journal of Women &Aging, 12, 129-145.

Naerde, A., Tambs, K., & Mathiesen, K.S. (2002). Child-related strain and maternal mental health: A lon-gitudinal study. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 105, 301-309.

Neugarten, B.L. (1985). Interpretive social science and research on aging. In A.S. Rossi (Ed.), Gender andthe life course (pp. 291-300). New York: Aldine.

Newman, B.M., & Newman, P.R. (1975). Development through life: A psychosocial approach. Homewood,IL.: The Dorsey Press.

Norman, S.M., McCluskey-Fawcett, K., & Ashcraft, L. (2002). Older women’s development: A comparisonof women in their 60s and 80s on a measure of Erikson’s developmental tasks. International Journal onAging and Human Development, 54, 31-41.

Norman, W.H., & Scaramella, T.J. (Eds.). (1980). Mid-life: Developmental and clinical issues. New York:Brunner/Mazel.

Oyama, S. (1985). The Ontogeny of information: Developmental systems and evolution. Cambridge,England: Cambridge University Press.

Patterson, G.T. (2003). Examining the effects of coping and social support on work and life stress amongpolice officers. Journal of Criminal Justice, 31, 215-226.

Patterson, J.M. (2002). Integrating family resilience and family stress theory. Journal of Marriage andFamily, 64, 349-360.

Postrel, V. (2003). The substance of style. New York: Harper Collins.

Quamma, J.P., & Greenberg, M.T. (1994). Children’s experience of life stress: The role of family social sup-port and social problem-solving skills as protective factors. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 23,295-305.

Richardson, G.E. (2002). The metatheory of resilience and resiliency. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58,307-321.

Robbins, S.P., Chatterjee, P., & Canda, E.R. (1998). Contemporary human behavior theory. NeedhamHeights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.


Rolf, J., Masten, A.S., Cicchetti, D., Nuechterlein, H.H., & Weintraub, S. (Eds.). (1990). Risk and protectivefactors in the development of psychopathology. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Rutter, M. (1983). Cognitive deficits in the pathogenesis of autism. Journal of Child Psychology andPsychiatry, 24, 513-531.

Rutter, M. (1987). Psychosocial resilience and protective mechanisms. American Journal ofOrthopsychiatry, 57, 316-331.

Rutter, M. (1993). Resilience: Some conceptual considerations. Journal of Adolescent Health, 14, 626-631.

Rutter, M. (1999a). Psychosocial adversity and child psychopathology. The British Journal of Psychiatry,174, 480-493.

Rutter, M. (1999b). Resilience concepts and findings: Implications for family therapy. Journal of FamilyTherapy, 21, 119-144.

Rutter, M., & the English & Romanian Adoptees (ERA) Study Team. (1998). Developmental catch-up, anddeficit, following adoption after severe global early privation. Journal of Child Psychology andPsychiatry, 39, 465-476.

Rutter, M., Quinton, D., & Hill, J. (1990). Adult outcomes of institution-reared children: Males and femalescompared. In L.N. Robins & M. Rutter (Eds.). Straight and devious pathways from childhood to adult-hood (pp. 135-157). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Saltman, J.E. (2002). Theory and practice in social work: Two perspectives on reality. Arete, 26, 84-99.

Saltman, J.E.E., & Greene, R.R. (1993). Social workers’ perceived knowledge and use of human behaviortheory. Journal of Social Work Education, 29, 88-98.

Santrock, J.W. (1989). Life span development (3rd ed.). Dubuque, IA: W.C. Brown.

Schafft, K.A. (2006). Poverty, residential mobility, and student transiency within a rural New York schooldistrict. Rural Sociology, 71, 212-231.

Shanahan, M.J. (2000). Pathways to adulthood in changing societies: Variability and mechanisms in lifecourse perspective. Annual Review of Sociology, 26, 667-692.

Sheehy, G. (1976). Passages. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc.

Smith, C., & Carson, B.E. (1997). Stress, coping, and resilience in children and youth. Social ServiceReview, 6, 231-256.

Smith, P.L. (2003). Adaptive coping strategies of other mothers: An examination of social support, spiri-tuality, stress, and depression. University of Maryland Baltimore: Unpublished doctoral dissertation.

Smith-Osborne, A. (2005a). Antecedents to postsecondary educational attainment for individuals withpsychiatric disorders: A meta-analysis. Best Practices in Mental Health: An International Journal, 1, 15-30.

Smith-Osborne, A. (2005b). Comparative theoretical perspectives on a social problem: Psychopathologyand middle-class teen female shoplifters. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 2, 73-84.

Smith-Osborne, A. (2006). Mental health risk factors and protective mechanisms for post-secondary edu-cational attainment among young adult veterans. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University ofMaryland at Baltimore.

Smith-Osborne, A. (in press). Use of meta-analysis to study resilience factors: An exemplar. In M. Unger& L. Liebenberg (Eds.), Researching youth across cultures and contexts. Toronto, CA.: University ofToronto Press.

Stanton-Salazar, R.D., & Spina, S.U. (2000). The network orientations of highly resilient urban minorityyouth: A network-analytic account of minority socialization and its educational implications. TheUrban Review, 32, 227-261.

Strauss, W., & Howe, N. (1991). Generations: The history of America’s future, 1584-2069. New York: WilliamMorrow.

Streever, K.L., & Wodarski, J.S. (1984). Life span developmental approach: Implications for practice. SocialCasework: The Journal of Contemporary Social Work, 267-278.

Sutker, P.B., Davis, J.M., Uddo, M., & Ditta, S.R. (1995). War zone stress, personal resources, and PTSD inPersian Gulf War returnees. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 104, 444-452.


Thelen, E. (1987). We think, therefore we move. Current Psychology of Cognition, 7, 195-198.

Thelen, E., & Smith, L.B. (1994). A dynamic systems approach to the development of cognition and action.Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Thoits, P.A. (1983). Life stress, social support, and psychological vulnerability: Epidemiological consider-ations. Journal of Community Psychology, 10, 341-362.

Unger, Michael. (2004). A constructionist discourse on resilience: Multiple contexts, multiple realitiesamong at-risk children and youth. Youth & Society, 35, 341-365.

Vaillant, G.E. (1977). Adaption to life. Boston: Little, Brown, & Co.

Vaillant, G.E. (1993). The wisdom of the ego. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Werner, E.E., & Smith, R.S. (1992). Overcoming the odds: High risk children from birth to adulthood.Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

West, L., Mercer, S.O., & Altheimer, E. (1993). Operation Desert Storm: The response of a social work out-reach team. Social Work in Health Care, 19, 81-98.

Winterowd, C.L., Street, V.L., & Boswell, D.L. (1998). Perceived social support, disability status, and affectin college students. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 13, 53-70.

Author’s Note:

Address correspondence to: Alexa Smith-Osborne, Ph.D., assistant professor, The University of Texas atArlington School of Social Work, 211 S. Cooper, Box 19129, Arlington, TX 76019, USA.


How it Works

  1. Clіck оn the “Place оrder tab at the tоp menu оr “Order Nоw” іcоn at the bоttоm, and a new page wіll appear wіth an оrder fоrm tо be fіlled.
  2. Fіll іn yоur paper’s іnfоrmatіоn and clіck “PRІCE CALCULATІОN” at the bоttоm tо calculate yоur оrder prіce.
  3. Fіll іn yоur paper’s academіc level, deadlіne and the requіred number оf pages frоm the drоp-dоwn menus.
  4. Clіck “FІNAL STEP” tо enter yоur regіstratіоn detaіls and get an accоunt wіth us fоr recоrd keepіng.
  5. Clіck оn “PRОCEED TО CHECKОUT” at the bоttоm оf the page.
  6. Frоm there, the payment sectіоns wіll shоw, fоllоw the guіded payment prоcess, and yоur оrder wіll be avaіlable fоr оur wrіtіng team tо wоrk оn іt.

Nоte, оnce lоgged іntо yоur accоunt; yоu can clіck оn the “Pendіng” buttоn at the left sіdebar tо navіgate, make changes, make payments, add іnstructіоns оr uplоad fіles fоr the оrder created. e.g., оnce lоgged іn, clіck оn “Pendіng” and a “pay” оptіоn wіll appear оn the far rіght оf the оrder yоu created, clіck оn pay then clіck оn the “Checkоut” оptіоn at the next page that appears, and yоu wіll be able tо cоmplete the payment.

Meanwhіle, іn case yоu need tо uplоad an attachment accоmpanyіng yоur оrder, clіck оn the “Pendіng” buttоn at the left sіdebar menu оf yоur page, then clіck оn the “Vіew” buttоn agaіnst yоur Order ID and clіck “Fіles” and then the “add fіle” оptіоn tо uplоad the fіle.

Basіcally, іf lоst when navіgatіng thrоugh the sіte, оnce lоgged іn, just clіck оn the “Pendіng” buttоn then fоllоw the abоve guіdelіnes. оtherwіse, cоntact suppоrt thrоugh оur chat at the bоttоm rіght cоrner


Payment Prоcess

By clіckіng ‘PRОCEED TО CHECKОUT’ yоu wіll be lоgged іn tо yоur accоunt autоmatіcally where yоu can vіew yоur оrder detaіls. At the bоttоm оf yоur оrder detaіls, yоu wіll see the ‘Checkоut” buttоn and a checkоut іmage that hіghlіght pоssіble mоdes оf payment. Clіck the checkоut buttоn, and іt wіll redіrect yоu tо a PayPal page frоm where yоu can chооse yоur payment оptіоn frоm the fоllоwіng;

  1. Pay wіth my PayPal accоunt‘– select thіs оptіоn іf yоu have a PayPal accоunt.
  2. Pay wіth a debіt оr credіt card’ or ‘Guest Checkout’ – select thіs оptіоn tо pay usіng yоur debіt оr credіt card іf yоu dоn’t have a PayPal accоunt.
  3. Dо nоt fоrget tо make payment sо that the оrder can be vіsіble tо оur experts/tutоrs/wrіters.


Custоmer Suppоrt

Order Solution Now