Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice

ISSN: 2630-5984

Individuals’ Life Structures in the Early Adulthood Period based on Levinson’s Theory

Yahya Aktu
Department of Social Services and Counseling, Siirt University, Eruh, Siirt Turkey
Tahsin İlhan
Department of Educational Sciences, Faculty of Education, Gaziosmanpaşa University, Tokat Turkey


Early adulthood is one of the important milestones considered within lifelong development in the relevant literature. Adulthood is examined through various theories; however, universality of many of these is still being discussed. One of these theories is Levinson’s theory of life structure. Thus, the current research aims to examine the extent to which Levinson’s theory of individual life structure is valid in Turkish society. The current study, with a qualitative design, was based on phenomenology approach. Participants were selected through maximum variation sampling among purposive sampling methods. Participants included 28 young adults living in seven geographically different regions. Data collection was conducted with The Form of Individual Life Structure Evaluation developed by researchers. Data were analyzed through content analysis in NVivo8.0 software. Through content analysis, self-representation and social relationships themes were obtained based on life structure category. Current research results showed that participants accomplished the tasks of modifying their life structures in a transitional period (ages 28-33 and 40-45) of their lives and the tasks of preserving their life structures in a building period (ages 34-39) of their lives. The findings indicated that participants in a transitional period built change-oriented metaphors and those in a building period built stability-oriented metaphors.

Levinson’s theory of life structure, Life structure, Self-Representation, Social relationships, Early adulthood, Phenomenology approach.