Developmental figures: an attempt at conceptualization and classification
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Faculty of Psychology and Cognitive Sciences, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland
Submission date: 2022-06-28
Final revision date: 2023-01-23
Acceptance date: 2023-01-24
Online publication date: 2023-04-14
Corresponding author
Lucyna T. Bakiera   

Faculty of Psychology and Cognitive Sciences, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2023;11(2):121–129
The subject of this paper deals with the theoretical area of personality psychology and life-span psychology. This paper presents a novel approach to the social context of personal development, as a certain terminological gap regarding the cate-gory of the developmental figure has been observed. I propose that the developmental figure be defined, analogically to the attachment figure or the transition figure, as an individual who has significant meaning to another person’s psychosocial development. Developmental figures can be categorized on the basis of various criteria; for example, based on the type of implications for development we can identify progressive and regressive figures; based on the strength of the influence we identify primary and secondary figures; based on the type of social relation we can identify direct and indirect figures; and based on the duration of the influence we can identify sporadic and frequent interactions.
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