Schaie's stages of life span development

Part 2

Reintegration Stage

This is the cognitive stage, which a person reaches on attaining the age of 70 years. At this age,  there is little need for acquisition of knowledge as in earlier stages or active utilisation of such knowledge. There is also no necessity of making decisions with long term consequences. Since the individual, by that age would retire from public life, there would not be any executive monitoring also. The elders, in this age, do not like to waste their time on issues, which do not concern them. Also, they will be less inclined to solve problems unless those problems are similar to those which they might have faced in their earlier stages or the problems are such that they require only one time solutions. The lifestyle of the people in this stage is moulded by reintegration of knowledge, values, interests and attitudes to an extent more than any time of their earlier stages.


Legacy creating stage

Legacy creating stage can be considered the last stage of cognitive development. This stage often starts with the individual making an effort to conduct a review of his life (Butler, Lewis, & Sunderland, 1998). Women, who in their early stages of cognitive development passionately and assiduously collected some prized possessions and took pride in owning them, now lose interest in them. People, get interested in leaving their earthly interests. They now try to put those things in order and distribute them among their friends and relatives. They also finalize plans for distribution of things, which, they cannot, themselves, distribute. Literate people and those, who distinguished themselves with success in professional and public lives have a lot to ruminate about their past achievements. They may indulge in writing their autobiographies or revising their old ones. One can find many of those very old people trying to narrate their younger times to youngsters and children.. It is not uncommon to find people making arrangements for their own funerals. Donation of their limbs and bodies to hospitals for medical research and revision of their ‘wills’ are some of the things that take place during this stage.


It should be noted that Schaie’s stages of cognitive development need not be gone through by every individual in his/her life. Some persons may not experience some stages while in case of some persons, there may be overlapping of the stages.

Part 1 of the Schaie's stages of life span development with Acquisition Stage, Young adult stage, Achieving Stage, Responsible stage, Executive stage, Reorganizational stage available at