A major theme in the contemporary study of human development across the life span is that people have the capacity for personal agency. Innumerable writers emphasize that individuals can exert intentional influence over their experiences and actions, the circumstances they encounter, the skills they acquire, and thus ultimately the course of their development.

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publisher Statement

Copyright © Oxford University Press. This chapter first appeared in Handbook of Adult Development and Learning.

Please note that downloads of the book chapter are for private/personal use only.

Purchase online at Oxford University Press.