G & D Ch. 12
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G & D Ch. 12



Socioemotional Development in Early Adulthood

Socioemotional Development in Early Adulthood



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G & D Ch. 12 G & D Ch. 12 Presentation Transcript

  • CHAPTER 12 Relationships in Early & Middle Adulthood
  • Love
    • 3 Basic Components :
    • Passion
    • Intense physiological desire for someone
    • Intimacy
    • Feeling you can share all your thoughts & actions with another
    • Commitment
    • Willingness to stay with a person through good & bad times
  • Love Through Adulthood
    • Early on, passion is high
    • Intimacy & commitment are low
    • This is infatuation
    • Intense, physically based relationship in which the 2 people have a high risk of misunderstanding & jealousy
    • As passion fades, relationship either acquires emotional intimacy or will end
    • Trust, honesty, openness, & acceptance must be part of any strong relationship
    • Will make romantic love develop
  • Falling in love
    • Assortative mating explains falling in love
    • People find partners based on their similarity to each other
    • Occurs along many dimensions:
    • e.g. religious beliefs, physical traits, age, socioeconomic status, intelligence, political ideology, values, interests
    • Homogamy
    • Degree to which people are similar
    • People apply 3 filters when meeting someone:
    • 1. Stimulus (i.e. Appearance, social class, manners)
    • 2. Values (i.e. Similar re: sex, religion, politics, etc.)
    • 3. Role (i.e. Ideas about the relationship, communication style, gender roles, etc. match)
  • Falling in love
    • Physical attractiveness important in love relationships
    • Influences the way we fall in love
    • Linked to feelings & thoughts associated with intimacy, passion, commitment & to satisfaction with the relationship
    • Culture shapes mate selection
    • Cultural norms are sometimes resistant to change
  • Cohabitation
    • About 5.5 million are living together
    • Ages have changed
    • In 1970 most were over 45
    • By 2000, most between 25 and 44
  • Cohabitation
    • 3 main reasons for living together:
    • 1. Part-time or limited cohabitation - convenience, sharing expenses, sexual accessibility
    • 2. Premarital cohabitation - a step toward marriage
    • 3. Substitute marriage - long-term commitment without legal marriage
    • Doesn’t make marriages better
    • Marriages less happy with higher risk of divorce
    • Doesn’t lessen depression & getting approval from friends
    • Most cohabiting couples tend to be less conventional, less religious, & come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds all putting them at higher risk for divorce
    • Marriage after living together is less a change in the relationship
    • Lacks newly wedded bliss
  • Cohabitation
    • Negative relation between cohabiting & marital stability seems to be weakening
    • Many more living together now than before
    • More common
    • Many countries giving same rights & benefits to cohabiting couples as married
  • Violence in Relationships
    • Abusive relationship
    • One person being aggressive toward the partner
    • Battered woman syndrome
    • When a woman believes she can’t leave the abusive situation & may even go so far as to kill her abuser
    • A continuum of aggressive behaviors toward a spouse
    • From verbally aggressive to physically aggressive, to severely physically aggressive, to murder
    • Causes of abuse vary with type of abusive behavior being expressed
  • Violence in Relationships
    • Causes of aggressive behavior increases as the level of aggression increases
    • Causes become more complex as level of aggression worsens
    • Situational factors contribute at all levels
    • Alcoholism, job stressors, unemployment
    • Common couple violence:
    • Violence that occurs occasionally & is instigated by either partner
    • Patriarchal terrorism:
    • Women who are victims of systematic violence from men
  • Violence in Relationships
    • Gender differences in some underlying causes
    • Most important 3: need to control, misuse of power, jealousy
    • Some men want to make sure partner knows “who’s the boss” & makes the rules
    • Culture important contextual factor
    • Cultures that emphasize honor & portray females as passive, nurturing supporters of men’s activities, along with beliefs that emphasize loyalty & sacrifice for family can contribute
  • Violence in Relationships
    • Abuse in dating
    • 7% college students physical abuse, 36% emotional abuse
    • Causes: being female, being involved in a love relationship, being over 20 years, having been physically abused by one’s partner, & having abused a partner increase chances
  • Lifestyles
    • Being Single
    • 80% men & 70% women between 20 – 24 unmarried
    • Many focus on establishing careers rather than marriage or relationships
    • Others haven’t met “right person” or prefer being single
    • Pressure for women to marry
    • Women have unresolved or unrecognized ambivalences re: being single
    • Men tend to remain single longer because they tend to marry at a later age than women
    • Fewer men than women remain unmarried throughout adulthood
    • Find partners more easily as they select from a larger age range of unmarried women
    • Men tend to “marry down” in social status
    • Women with higher levels of education overrepresented among unmarried adults compared with men of same level of education
  • Lifestyles
    • Ethnic differences reflect differences in age at marriage & social factors, esp. for African American males
    • Major reasons:
    • Shortage of marriageable males, poor economic opportunities, & lower life expectancy
    • Singlehood among Latinos increasing
    • Average age of Latinos in U.S. lower than other ethnic groups due partly to poor economic opportunities
    • Latino men expect to marry because it indicates achievement
  • Lifestyles
    • 3 distinct groups of never married women in their 30s
    • Some suffer with acute distress about being single & long to be married with children
    • Others describe volatile emotional situation
    • Others say they are quite happy with healthy self-image & high quality of life
    • For most, singlehood is by circumstance rather than choice
    • Pluses & minuses with singlehood
    • Higher mortality rates & rates of alcoholism, suicide, & mental health problems with men
    • Single women tend to be mugged, raped, or burglarized & encounter more problems traveling than married
  • Gay & Lesbian Couples
    • Not much different than heterosexuals
    • Problems w/finances, lack of equality in relationship, possessiveness, personal flaws, dissatisfaction over sex, physical absence due to work or education commitments
    • Support from family
    • The more traditional the ethnic or religious values, the less likely the family will provide support
  • Marriage
    • Age 1st important factor due to psychological development
    • Erikson - intimacy important in young adulthood
    • Must have developed a strong sense of identity in adolescence
    • Similarity of interests 2nd important factor
    • Must share similar values, goals, attitudes, socioeconomic status, & ethnic background
    • Equality in the relationship 3rd important factor
    • Exchange theory: each partner contributes something to the relationship the other would find difficult to provide
  • Marriage
    • Happiness
    • Beliefs brought into marriage influence how satisfied they will be as marriage develops
    • Overall satisfaction ebbs & flows
    • Pattern depends on nature of dependence of each spouse on the other
    • Dependence is about equal bring strength to the marriage & less conflict
  • Marriage
    • Must learn to adjust to different perceptions & expectations they have
    • Less educated couples have greater dissatisfaction than those who pool their resources
    • Couples settle into a routine with decline in satisfaction
    • Primary reason for routine & decline is birth of children
    • With parenthood there’s less time devoted to the marriage
    • Child-free couples also experience decline in satisfaction
    • Seems to be common in all couples over time
    • Disillusionment, a decline in feeling in love, demonstrations of affection, & in the feeling that one’s spouse is responsive, & increase in feelings of ambivalence
  • Marriage
    • Midlife marriage
    • For most, satisfaction improves after children leave
    • Empty nest
    • Gives middle age couple chance to relax & spend more time together
    • For some, satisfaction continues to be low
    • May have grown apart but continue to live together:
    • Referred to as married singles
    • Older couples
    • Marital satisfaction among older couples increases after retirement & decreases with age
    • Level of satisfaction unrelated to amt. of past or present sexual interest or sexual activity
    • Positively related to degree of interaction with friends
    • Many have detached, contented style of marriage
  • Keeping Marriage Happy
    • Must be flexible & adaptable
    • Marrieds over the years demonstrate ability to roll with the punches & adapt to changing circumstances
    • How well couples communicate thoughts, actions, & feelings determines level of conflict & level of happiness
    • Takes love, humor, & perseverance to stay happy
    • 7 key ingredients in happy marriage:
    • 1. Make time for the relationship
    • 2. Express love to your spouse
    • 3. Be there in times of need
    • 4. Communicate constructively & positively about problems in the relationship
    • 5. Be interested in your spouse’s life
    • 6. Confide in your spouse
    • 7. Forgive minor offenses & try to understand major ones
  • Family Life Cycle
    • 2 Types of Families:
    • 1. Nuclear family
    • Consists of only parent(s) & child(ren)
    • 2. Extended family
    • Grandparents & other relatives live with parents & children
    • 1st pregnancy is a milestone event with benefits & costs
    • Important considerations:
    • 1. Relationships with own parents
    • 2. Marital stability
    • 3. Career satisfaction
    • 4. Finances
    • Finances of greatest concern, e.g. children are expensive: $250 K over 17 years for necessities only
  • Family Life Cycle
    • Parental role
    • Have fewer children than past
    • Parenting skills are not natural
    • Must be acquired
    • Ethnic diversity & parenting
    • Ethnic background matters in family structure & parent-child relationship
  • Family Life Cycle
    • Single Parents
    • 70% of births to African American mothers, 40% to Latina mothers, & 20% to European American mother out of wedlock
    • Single parents obstacles
    • Financially
    • Integrating roles of work & parenthood
  • Alternative Forms of Parenting
    • 1/3 of North American couples are stepparents or foster or adoptive parents
    • Big issue: strength of bonding of children
    • Infants less than 1 year will probably bond well
    • Older have probably formed attachments to biological parents
    • Many stepparents & stepchildren develop good relationships
    • Adoptive parents contend with attachment to birth parents in different ways
    • Want to meet them
    • Foster parent have most tenuous relationship
    • Bond can form & be broken
    • Must provide secure homes but won’t have children long enough to establish continuity
    • Children of gay or lesbian couples
    • Parent’s don’t experience any more problems than children of heterosexual
    • Children raised by gay or lesbian couples do not develop sexual identity or any other problems than heterosexual
  • Divorce
    • 90% of all divorces not contested or settled out of court
    • 70% of time mother gets custody
    • Father is occasional parent
    • Women become primary custodial parent
    • Fathers don’t remain active in children’s lives
    • Children’s needs change & anticipating these needs Requires frequent contact
    • Noncustodial fathers find it difficult to develop good relationships with children
    • Often, wives express anger by limiting contact
    • Divorced fathers become peripheral in their children’s lives, often through no fault of their own
  • Effects of Divorce
    • Men shocked by breakup esp. if wife filed
    • Men more likely blamed for problems leading to divorce, to accept the blame, to move out, & have social life disrupted
    • Women affected differently
    • Divorced mothers have fewer prospects for potential remarriage
    • Have to establish new friendships with custody of children
    • Financial disadvantage
  • Divorce & Remarriage
    • Reasons for Divorce
    • U.S. divorce rate higher than many other countries
    • Factors
    • African Americans more likely to divorce
    • Hispanics show variability
    • Ethnically mixed more likely to divorce than homogenous
    • With no fault divorce & changing expectations re: marriage reasons became communication problems, unhappiness, & incompatibility
    • Divorce rate reflects higher expectations of marriage
    • Couples expect partners will help them grow personally & provide more than financial support
  • Remarriage
    • Men generally wait 4 years before remarrying
    • Marriage rates vary across ethnic groups
    • Few differences between 1st & remarriages
    • African American 2nd marriages have 25% higher risk of divorce than 1st marriages
    • With stepchildren, 3 times higher
    • Women generally initiate divorce & less likely to remarry
    • Women tend to benefit more from remarriage than men
    • Divorced men without children tend to marry women who have never been married
    • Divorced men with children tend to marry divorced women
    • Men with higher education more likely to remarry female with same