Journal of Adult Development

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 71–78 | Cite as

Lifespan Development Revisited: African-Centered Spirituality Throughout the Life Cycle

  • Evangeline A. Wheeler
  • Lena M. Ampadu
  • Esther Wangari


Traditionally in the field of psychology, most theories were developed from the perspective of scholars from Western culture. Because of this, the generality of such theories is usually limited, especially when applying them to people of African descent who have experienced different realities of life as a function of worldwide racial oppression. Especially lacking in the theories is a consideration of the role of spirituality in the development and psychological well-being of people of African descent. The authors discuss the problems of Western theories using Erikson's model of life-span development as an example. They present the definition of spirituality using an African-centered lens, and then propose a synthesis between Western and non-Western developmental theories with the issue of spirituality placed in the center of analysis.

African psychology African American spirituality African spirituality psychological oppression spiritual psychology 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evangeline A. Wheeler
    • 1
  • Lena M. Ampadu
    • 1
  • Esther Wangari
    • 1
  1. 1.Towson UniversityBaltimore

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