Life Span Interview

A chronological history of the individual’s significant life experiences

The individual has had several considerable life experiences given their age; they have been able to witness and experience events that may have even changed the course of history (De Dreu, 2008). In order, the first significant experience was losing their mother, who died of an unknown illness at the time; this occurred when he was only nine years old. His enrolment then followed this in the military where he served until they entered the World War in 1941; this war was one of his major turning points in life. He was able to help in the pacific and Europe for two years each, and he managed to survive the war. After the war, he went back home and married where he was able to sire a son, and this was another major event in his life. This was around 1961, and soon after in 1965 they had another child a daughter this time.

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Another major part of his life was his wife passing away after a motoring accident, this affected him psychologically, and he was able to seek help, which was significant. This individual was able to move past this ordeal, and he was able to re-marry. This was another vital part of his life, and he was able to find happiness once more, and his children were able to live in peace once they saw that their father was happy and content once more.

The specific biological, psychological and sociological influences that shaped the individual’s experience

The natural forces that shaped the individual’s life were mostly genetic, and they are passed down to him from other generation in his family, such as his arthritis (Moreland, 2006). However, this has not been able to influence his behavior as much as compared to the psychological and sociological factors. The psychological factors that influenced this individual’s life are such as the war and losing his first wife (Perlovsky, 2013). Serving in the war led to him being strict to his children and having them being disciplined, but he was never physical with them, meaning he did not beat them. The sociological factors are growing up in an era of chivalry and kindness, and this was showcased once we approached the individual to interview him (Perlovsky, 2013).

The individual’s experiences by applying theory and concepts learned throughout both HBSE courses

In this interviewee’s case, we were able to deduce that the best way to ideally analyze his life experiences was through the use of the Paradox theory. This theory can indicate that things typically work out in a strange way or manner, and at times, one can experience this paradox (Chaiklin, 2011). In joy there is grief, and in despair, there is joy, for this individual they were able to feel this situation, and when the individual lost his mother at an early age, he was able to become a different person afterward. The death of his mother made him more sympathetic and understanding, and if his mother did not pass away, he might not have become the man that he is this very day (Chaiklin, 2011). This concept has been used to explain such cases, and this one by this interviewee is not as different from the others.

A reflection of the experience, both in interviewing the individual and analyzing their narrative

This issue has been able to give me as the interviewer some perspective, and it has enabled me to learn several things from the interviewee’s past experiences. This is a classic case of the paradox concept, and it was my first time as an interviewer to experience such a situation because at first, I could only experience this through the theory side of the course (De Dreu, 2008). The interviewee’s experience in the war mostly captivated me because it gave me some perspective on survival and patience. His marriage to his first wife was a common point of reference, and he was able to provide me with some insight on how to handle marriage and life.

The individual’s life gives one a conflicting approach to life because it has both the sad and happy moments, and this is life. Both these elements have their impact on an individual’s life, and they are necessary for all human beings (Moreland, 2006) This individual’s life is probably a reflection of how my life may turn out to be in years to come except joining the war and experiencing war.

What I have learned and how I will apply this to future social work practice

In this case, I have been able to determine that life is filled with different challenges and hurdles. However, one has to be able to encourage themselves and the people around them to strive toward the positive. In social work practice, it will enable me as a practitioner to be able to understand the various backgrounds of people and how their upbringing has influenced their lives (Moreland, 2006). Most people are victims of their education, and as a social worker, this is a concept that I must be willing to accept and relate to because it will enable me to address better specific problems that most people might have within their personalities and their lives (Perlovsky, 2013). 


It is inherent that most people in social work conduct such interviews and try to engage with persons who can help them shed light on the life and their experiences. This will enable these crop of people to be able to analyze their own lives and to be able to give advice or help to persons who need it in the best way that they can be able to so. This aspect of life usually is an excellent experience once someone has been able to feel that they have helped and changed another individual’s life for the better.


Chaiklin, H (2011). Attitudes, Behavior, and Social Practice. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare.

De Dreu, C. K. W., Baas, M., & Nijstad, B. A. (2008). Hedonic tone and activation level in the mood-creativity link: Toward a dual pathway to creativity model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94(5), 739–756.

Moreland, R. L., & Levine, J. M. (Eds.). (2006). Socialization in organizations and work groups. New York, NY: Psychology Press.Perlovsky, L. (2013) A challenge to human evolution—cognitive dissonance. Frontiers in Psychology. 2013

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