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Charting the LifeCourse for families topics:

Life stages

Life is a journey. Each stage of life impacts the other, while different life experiences bring us closer to our vision of a good life — or move us further away. Charting the LifeCourse frames life in six life stages that intersect with six life domains. Here, understand the life stages.

Life stages
Life stages are the ages and stages we go through as we learn and grow, from infancy to adulthood. The life experiences in each stage build upon one another and prepare a person for future life stages.

The six Charting the LifeCourse life stages are: 

  • Prenatal/infancy. From conception through the earliest years of life or babyhood. For helpful resources geared to this life stage, check out the pregnancy and infancy section under For Families
  • Early childhood. The time in a child's life before they begin school full-time. Download the early childhood guide (PDF).
  • School age. The years from kindergarten through middle school. Download the school age guide (PDF).
  • Transition to adulthood. Moving from childhood to young adulthood and from school to adult life. Download the transition to adulthood guide (PDF).
  • Adulthood. The period of time after we transition from school years through the time we begin entering our golden years. Download the adulthood guide (PDF).
  • Aging. The golden years are when we begin to slow down and experience many age-related changes. Download the aging guide (PDF).

Together, the life stages impact and influence what LifeCourse calls the life trajectory — the path a person's life journey takes. Framing life as a trajectory can help you think about what has helped or hindered in the past and what might work or get in the way moving forward. The higher a person's and family's expectations, the more opportunities and experiences a person will have and the closer they'll get to achieving their goals. 

Learn more about life stages from Charting the LifeCourse.


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