This article had four goals. First, the authors identified a set of general challenges and questions that a life-span theory of development should address. Second, they presented a comprehensive account of their Motivational Theory of Life-Span Development. They integrated the model of optimization in primary and secondary control and the action-phase model of developmental regulation with their original life-span theory of control to present a comprehensive theory of development. Third, they reviewed the relevant empirical literature testing key propositions of the Motivational Theory of Life-Span Development. Finally, because the conceptual reach of their theory goes far beyond the current empirical base, they pointed out areas that deserve further and more focused empirical inquiry.