Fundamentals of Nursing Practice  © Rhodora Cruz


A- Havighurst’s Developmental Task Theory


Robert Havighurst emphasized that learning is basic and that it continues throughout life span. Growth and Development occurs in six stages.

Developmental Tasks of Infancy and Early Childhood:
1. Learning to walk.
2. Learning to take solid foods
3. Learning to talk
4. Learning to control the elimination of body wastes
5. Learning sex differences and sexual modesty
6. Forming concepts and learning language to describe social and physical reality.
7. Getting ready to read

Middle Childhood:
1. Learning physical skills necessary for ordinary games.
2. Building wholesome attitudes toward oneself as a growing organism
3. Learning to get along with age-mates
4. Learning an appropriate masculine or feminine social role
5. Developing fundamental skills in reading, writing, and calculating
6. Developing concepts necessary for everyday living.
7. Developing conscience, morality, and a scale of values
8. Achieving personal independence
9. Developing attitudes toward social groups and institutions

Developmental Tasks of Adolescence:
1. Achieving new and more mature relations with age-mates of both sexes
2. Achieving a masculine or feminine social role
3. Accepting one's physique and using the body effectively
4. Achieving emotional independence of parents and other adults
5. Preparing for marriage and family life Preparing for an economic career
6. Acquiring a set of values and an ethical system as a guide to behavior; developing an ideology
7. Desiring and achieving socially responsible behavior

Developmental Tasks of Early Adulthood

1. Selecting a mate
2. Achieving a masculine or feminine social role
3. Learning to live with a marriage partner
4. Starting a family
5. Rearing children
6. Managing a home
7. Getting started in an occupation
8. Taking on civic responsibility
9. Finding a congenial social group

Developmental Tasks of Middle Age

1. Achieving adult civic and social responsibility
2. Establishing and maintaining an economic standard of living
3. Assisting teenage children to become responsible and happy adults
4. Developing adult leisure-time activities
5. Relating oneself to one’s spouse as a person
6. Accepting and adjusting to the physiologic changes or middle age
7. Adjusting to aging parents.

Developmental Tasks of Later Maturity

1. Adjusting to decreasing physical strength and health
2. Adjusting to retirement and reduced income
3. Adjusting to death of a spouse
4. Establishing an explicit affiliation with one’s age group
5. Meeting social and civil obligations
6. Establishing satisfactory physical living arrangement (


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