A lot of therapists like to make reference to developmental stage theories, or just the concept of "a child that age can't do X," to make their clients feel better about bad choices they made as children, or about things they were not able to fix as children.

I've never gotten any comfort out of these lines, because... well, as a child I was doing plenty of things that I was "not supposed to" be able to do. I'm not sure most of these therapists are familiar with the concept of asynchrony, or that they really think through which aspects of development are relevant in a discussion.

Personally, I would rather appeal to the concept that a child has little to no legal/societal power to leave an abusive situation or to change it, than appeal to the idea that children below a certain age aren't responsible for their behavior because they have no power of abstract reasoning.

What are your thoughts about how developmental stage theories apply to the gifted population? Is there actually any research on this?