Most people do not think of development as occurring after one has reached adulthood, in part because these topics are rarely given their due attention in popular culture. After all, it is not terribly exciting to go see a movie or a show about people who want to go out less and prefer to spend their weekend nights on the couch with their partners and/or pets, instead of having one night stands and meeting new and fabulous people. While some stages of adulthood may not be as commercially thrilling as those encountered in late adolescence, adulthood is defined by many interesting and fulfilling stages that when left unacknowledged can lead to disappointment, frustration and stagnation.
Dr. Erik Erikson described this very idea in his 8 stages of psychosocial development. According Dr. Erikson, humans pass through various stages from infancy to late adulthood and interface and hopefully master new challenges. The theory posits that if these age-approprate challenges are mastered successfully at the appropriate times, they are less likely to appear as problems in the future. As the saying goes, "every age has its beauty". However, accepting that the beauty we seek today, may be quite different from the beauty we seek tomorrow will surely contribute to a more fulfilling psychological and social development.