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Unit Two
Early Adulthood
Approximately, age 20 is the beginning of early adulthood.
Age alone is not a good criterion for determining when young
adulthood begins. Maturity has been identified as the major
criterion of young adulthood. From the psychosocial
perspective, the time of entry into a new stage is based on a
convergence of experiences-including the accomplishments of
the previous stage, the resolution of the previous crisis, and the
beginning efforts to achieve the tasks of the new stage –rather
than on chronological age.
In contemporary society, one begins to experience adulthood as
several roles emerge, typically, those of worker, committed
partner, and parent. As the age of entry into marriage has
advanced over the past 20 years, the majority of young people in
the United States are unmarried in the age range of 20 to 24.
Students take an average of 5 to 6 years to complete college, and
young people seem to be involved in a longer period for job
experimentation before settling into their occupational career. All
of these factors argue for advancing approximate age of entry
into adulthood.
2.1 Characteristic of Early Adulthood
A. Early Adulthood is the "Settling-down Age“
B. Early Adulthood is the "Reproductive Age“
C. Early Adulthood is a "Problem Age“
D. Early Adulthood is a Period of Emotional Tension
E. Early Adulthood is a Period of Social Isolation
F. Early Adulthood is a time of commitments
G. Early Adulthood is often a Period of Dependency
H. Early Adulthood is a Time of Value Change
I. Early Adulthood is the Time of Adjustment to New
lifestyles
A. Early Adulthood is the "Settling-down Age"
Childhood and adolescence are the periods of "growing up"
and that adulthood is the time for "settling down:" , this means
when boys and girls reached the age of legal maturity, their days
of carefree freedom were over and the time had come to settle
down and assume the responsibilities of adult life. That meant
settling into a line of work.
B. Early Adulthood is the "Reproductive Age"
Parenthood is one of the most important roles in the lives of most
young adults. Those who were married during the latter years of
adolescence concentrate on the role of parenthood during their
twenties and early thirties; some become grandparents before
early adulthood ends.
C. Early Adulthood is a "Problem Age"
The early adult years present many new problems, different in their
major aspects, from the problems experienced in the earlier years
of life. With the lowering of the age of legal maturity to 18 years,
young adults have been confronted with many problems they are
totally unprepared to cope with. While they are now able to vote, to
own property, to marry without parental consent, and to do
many things young people could not do when the age of legal
maturity was twenty-one years, there is no question about the fact
that "this new-found freedom is creating unforeseen problems for
the youthful adults, and often for their parents, too".
why adjustment to the problems of adulthood is so difficult
First, very few young people have had any preparation for meeting the types of
problems they are expected to cope with as adults. Education in high school and
college provides only limited training for jobs, and few schools or colleges give
courses in the common problems of marriage and parenthood.
Second, just as trying to learn two or more skills simultaneously usually results
in not learning anyone of them well, so trying to adjust to two or more new
roles simultaneously usually results in poor adjustment to all of them. It is
difficult for a young adult to deal with the choice of a career and the choice of a
mate simultaneously. Similarly, adjustment to marriage and parenthood makes
it difficult for young adults to adjust to work if they marry while they are still
students.
Third, and perhaps most serious of all, young adults do not have
the help in meeting and solving their problems that they had
when they were younger. This is partly their own fault and partly
that of their parents and teachers. Most young adults are too
proud of their new status to admit that they cannot cope with it.
So, they do not seek the advice and help in meeting the problems
this new status gives rise to. Similarly, most parents and
teachers, having been rebuffed by adolescents who claimed they
were capable of handling their own affairs, hesitate to offer help
unless they are specifically asked to do so.
D. Early Adulthood is a Period of Emotional Tension
When people are trying to get the lay of a new land in
which they find themselves, they are likely to be
emotionally upset. When adults feel that they have not
been able to cope with the problems in the major areas
of their lives, they are often so emotionally disturbed
that they contemplate or attempt suicide.
E. Early Adulthood is a Period of Social Isolation
With the end of formal education and the entrance into
the adult life pattern of work and marriage,
associations with the peer groups of adolescence wane
and, with them, opportunities for social contacts
outside the home. As a result, for the first time since
babyhood even the most popular individual is likely to
experience social isolation, or what Erikson has
referred to as an "isolation crisis”.
F. Early Adulthood is a time of commitments
As young adults change their role from that of student and
dependent, characteristic of adolescence, to that of
independent adult, they
 establish new patterns of living,
 assume new responsibilities, and
 make new commitments.
While these new patterns of living, new responsibilities, and
new commitments may change later, they form the
foundations on which later patterns of living,
responsibilities, and commitments will be established.
G. Early Adulthood is often a Period of Dependency
In spite of achieving the status of legal adulthood at age
eighteen, with the independence this status carries, many
young adults are partially or totally dependent on others
for varying lengths of time. This dependency may be on
parents; on the educational institution they attend on part
or total scholarship, or on the government for loans to
finance their education. . As a result, their state of
dependency is often prolonged into the late twenties or
early thirties.
H. Early Adulthood is a Time of Value Change
Many of the values developed during childhood and adolescence
change as experience and social contact with people of different
ages broaden and as values are considered from a more mature
standpoint. Adults who used to consider school a necessary evil
may now recognize the value of education as a stepping-stone
to social and vocational success and to personal fulfillment.
As a result of such changed values, many adults who dropped
out of school or college decide to finish their education. Some
find studying so stimulating that they continue to take courses
even after receiving high school or college degrees.
I. Early Adulthood is the Time of Adjustment to New
lifestyles
• While lifestyles have been in a state of flux since
the turn of the present century, at no period in the
life span is this truer than in early adulthood. And
in no area of early adult life are new lifestyles
more prevalent than in the areas of marriage
and parenthood.
2.2 Developmental Tasks of Early Adulthood
 Selecting a mate
 Achieving a masculine or feminine social role
 Learning to live with a marriage partner
 Starting a family
 Rearing children
 Managing a home
 Getting started in an occupation
 Taking on civic responsibility
 Finding a congenial (pleasant and best suited to own interest)
social group
2.3 Diversity of Adult Lifestyles
• Today, non- traditional family options have penetrated.
Many adults experience not just one, but several options.
Some adults make a deliberate decision to adopt a
lifestyle, whereas others drift into it. The lifestyle may be
imposed by society, as is the case for cohabiting
homosexual couples, who cannot marry legally. Or
people may decide on a certain lifestyle because they feel
pushed away from another, such as a marriage gone sour.
In sum, the adoption of a lifestyle can be within or
beyond the person's control.
Singlehood
 Singlehood-not living with an intimate partner-has increased in
recent years, especially among young adults. Besides more people
marrying later or not at all, divorce has added to the numbers of
single adults. In view of these trends, it is likely that most will
spend a substantial part of their adult lives single.
 Because they marry later, more young adult men than women are
single. But women are far more likely than men to remain single
for many years or their entire life. With age, fewer men are
available with characteristics that most women seek in a mate-the
same age or older, equally or better educated, and professionally
successful
Singlehood cont…
 Of the various advantages of singlehood, those mentioned most
are freedom and mobility. But singles also recognize
drawbacks-loneliness, the dating grind, limited sexual and
social life, reduced sense of security, and feelings of exclusion
from the world of married couples.
 Single men have more physical and mental health problems
than single women, who usually come to terms with their lifestyle.
The greater social support available to women through
intimate same-sex friendships is partly responsible. In
addition, never-married men are more likely to have conflict-
ridden family backgrounds and personal characteristics that
contribute to both their singlehood and their adjustment difficulties.
Cohabitation
 Cohabitation refers to the lifestyle of unmarried couples who have an
intimate, sexual relationship and share a residence.
 Until the 1960s, cohabitation in Western nations was largely limited to low-
SES adults. Since then, it has increased in all groups, with an especially
dramatic rise among well-educated, economically advantaged young people.
 Like singlehood, cohabitation has different meanings. For some, it serves as
preparation for marriage-a time to test the relationship and get used to
living together. For others, it is an alternative to marriage--an arrangement
that offers the rewards of sexual intimacy and companionship along with the
possibility of easy departure if satisfaction declines. In view of this
variation, it is not surprising that cohabiters differ greatly in the extent to
which they share money and possessions and take responsibility for each
other's children.
Childlessness
Some people are involuntarily childless because they
did not find a partner with whom to share parenthood or
their efforts at fertility treatments did not succeed.
There are couples who choose not to have children as a
matter of fact that voluntary childlessness is not
always a permanent condition. A few people decide
early that they do not want to be parents and stick to
these plans. But most make their decision after they are
married and have developed a lifestyle they do not want
to give up. Later, some change their minds.
 Besides marital satisfaction and freedom from
child-care responsibilities, common reasons for not
having children include the woman's career and
economic security. Consistent with these motives, the
voluntarily childless are usually college educated, have
prestigious occupations, and are highly committed to
their work.
 Many were only or first-born children whose parents
encouraged achievement and independence. In cultures
that negatively stereotype childlessness, it is not
surprising that voluntarily childless women are more
self-reliant and assertive.
Divorce and Remarriage
Divorce rates have increased as financial
instability increased and marital satisfaction has
decreased.
Divorces are also common during the transition to
midlife, when people have teenage children-a period
of low marital satisfaction. About three-fourths of
divorced people remarry. But marital failure is even
greater during the first few years of second
marriages.
Factors Related to Divorce
• The most obvious reason for failure of marriage is a disrupted husband-
wife relationship. The problem-solving style could be ineffective. Another
typical style involves little conflict, but partners increasingly lead separate lives
because they have different expectations of family life and few shared
interests, activities, or friends.
• Wives reported more problems than husbands, with the gender difference
largely involving the wife's emotions, such as anger, hurt feelings, and
moodiness. Husbands seemed to have difficulty sensing their wife's
distress, which contributed to her view of the marriage as unhappy.
• Regardless of which spouse reported the problem or was judged responsible
for it, the strongest predictors of divorce were infidelity, spending money
foolishly, drinking or using drugs, expressing jealousy, engaging in
irritating habits, and moodiness.
Consequences of Divorce
• Immediately after separation, both men and women are
depressed and anxious and display impulsive behavior. For most,
these reactions subside within 2 years. Women who were in
traditional marriages and who organized their identities around their
husbands have an especially hard time.
• A few women-- especially those who are anxious and fearful or
who remain strongly attached to their ex-spouses-show a drop in
self-esteem, become depressed, and tend to form repeated
unsuccessful relationships. Job training, continued education,
career advancement, and social support from family and friends
play vital roles in the economic and psychological wellbeing of
divorced women.
Remarriage
• On average, people remarry within 4 years of divorce, men somewhat
faster than women. For several reasons, remarriages are especially vulnerable
to breakup.
First, although people often remarry for love, practical matters-financial
security, help in rearing children, relief from loneliness, and social acceptance-
figure more heavily into a second marriage than a first. These concerns do not
provide a sound footing for a lasting partnership.
Second, some people transfer the negative patterns of interaction and problem
solving learned in their first marriage to the second.
Third, people who have already had a failed marriage are more likely to view
divorce as an acceptable solution when marital difficulties resurface.
And finally, remarried couples experience more stress from step family
situations.
Variant Styles of Parenthood
• Diverse family forms result in varied styles of
parenthood. Among these are a growing number of
cohabiting and remarried parents, never-married parents,
and gay and lesbian parents. Each type of family presents
unique challenges to parenting competence and adult
psychological well-being.
A. Stepparents: Whether stepchildren live in the
household or visit only occasionally, stepparents are in a
difficult position. Since the parent-child tie predates the
blended family, the stepparent enters as an outsider
Stepparents frequently criticize the biological parent
for being too lenient. The parent, in turn, tends to view the
stepparent as too harsh. These differences can divide the
couple. Remarried parents typically report higher levels of
tension and disagreement than first marriage parents, most
centering on child-rearing issues. Because of more
opportunities for conflict, relationship quality is poorer
when both adults have children from prior marriages than
when only one does.
Stepmothers, especially, are likely to experience conflict.
Expected to be in charge of family relationships, they quickly
find that stepparent-stepchild ties do not develop instantly.
Often mothers are jealous, uncooperative, and possessive of
their children following divorce.
B. Never-Married Single Parents:
• Single adults occasionally decide to become parents on their own.
Births to women in high-status occupations who have not married by
their thirties have increased. However, they are still few in number,
and little is known about how these mothers and their children fare.
• Children of never-married mothers who lack the involvement of a
father are poor in school and display more antisocial behavior than
children in low-SES, first-marriage families. These adjustment
problems make life more difficult for mothers. Strengthening social
support, education, and employment opportunities for low-SES
parents would encourage marriage as well as help unmarried-mother
families.
C. Gay and lesbian Parents:
• Several million American gay men and lesbians are parents, most
through previous heterosexual marriages, a few through adoption or
reproductive technologies. In the past, laws assuming that
homosexuals could not be adequate parents led those who divorced a
heterosexual partner to lose custody of their children.
• Gay and lesbian parents are as committed to and effective at
child rearing as heterosexual parents. Some evidence suggests that
gay fathers are more consistent in setting limits and more responsive
to their children's needs than heterosexual fathers, perhaps because
gay men's less traditional gender identity fosters involvement with
children.
• In lesbian families, quality of mother-child interaction is as
positive as in heterosexual families. And children of lesbian mothers
regard their mother's partner as very much a parent. Whether born to
or adopted by their parents or conceived through donor insemination,
children in homosexual families are as well-adjusted as other
children. Also, the large majority are heterosexual. When extended-
family members have difficulty accepting them, homosexual mothers
and fathers often build "families of choice" through friends, who
assume the roles of relatives. But most of the time, parents of gays
and lesbians cannot endure a permanent rift. With time, interactions
between homosexual parents and their families of origin become
more positive and supportive.
2.4 Physical, Cognitive, Psychosocial Changes in Early
Adulthood
2.4.1 Physical changes
• Early adulthood is, for most people, the time of peak
physical capacity. The body reaches full height by the
late teens, and physical strength increases into the late 20s
and early 30s.
• In general, people in early adulthood feel robust and
energetic, although it is not unusual to see
fluctuations around deadlines and exam periods.
• On the other hand, people in this age group are also legally able to
use damaging substances, such as alcohol and tobacco. Young adults
also have increasing responsibility for organizing their own eating
habits and exercise regimes. The young adult years are often referred
to as the peak years. Young adults experience excellent health,
vigor, and physical functioning. Young adults have not yet been
subjected to age-related physical deterioration, such as wrinkles,
weakened body systems, and reduced lung and heart capacities.
• Their strength, coordination, reaction time, sensation, fine motor
skills, and sexual response are at a maximum.
• Additionally, both young men and women enjoy the benefits of
society’s emphasis on youthfulness. They typically look and feel
attractive and sexually appealing. Young men may have healthy skin,
all or most of their hair, and well-defined muscles. Young women
may have soft and supple skin, a small waistline, and toned legs,
thighs, and buttocks. Health and physical fitness during young
adulthood are excellent.
Cont…
• People in their 20s and 30s perform at exceedingly high
levels on tests of endurance and stamina. They generally
are at their best in terms of physical conditioning and
overall sense of well-being.
• Death rates during young adulthood are lower than
during any other period of the life span. Except for HIV
/AIDS in males and malignancies in females, the leading
cause of death during the 20s and 30s is accidents. Death
rates, however, double during each decade after age 35.
2.4.2 Cognitive changes
• By the end of adolescence, most people are capable of
the levels of reasoning that we would expect for normal
functioning in adult society. Although there are wide
individual differences in attainment, most young adults
are able to deal with cognitive tasks in a more abstract way
than before, and to attain solutions to problems by
comparing possible explanations.
• Many young adults—particularly those who have attended
college—develop the ability to reason logically, solve theoretical
problems, and think abstractly. They have reached Piaget’s formal
operations stage of cognitive development. During this stage,
individuals can also classify and compare objects and ideas,
systematically seek solutions to problems, and consider future
possibilities. As young adults confront and work through the gray
areas of life, some may go on to develop post formal thinking, or
practical street smarts. Developing the wisdom associated with
post formal thinking is a lifelong process, which begins in the
teenage years and is fully realized in the older adult years
Most young adults aged 18 and over will:
Move into adult roles and responsibilities and may
learn a trade, work, and/or pursue higher education
Fully understand abstract concepts and be aware of
consequences and personal limitations
Identify career goals and prepare to achieve them
Secure their autonomy and build and test their
decision making skills
Develop new skills, hobbies, and adult interests
2.4.3 Psychosocial development
• Young adulthood is a time when many difficult
decisions need to made. These decisions will affect the
person for the rest of his life they make decision for
themselves, which influence their life-style in their
future. They must make choices about: Education,
occupation, to marry or remain single, starting a
home, children rearing, forming new friendships, &
assuming certain community activities.
• Psychosocial development in adulthood consists of changes
in lifestyles and relationships. According to Erikson, the
primary task of early adulthood is to establish identity and
intimacy (sharing one’s total self with someone else) after
wrestling with the intimacy versus isolation psychosocial crisis,
which poses commitment to others opposite the possibility of
self-absorption. Much psychosocial development occurring
during this period is in conjunction with significant life changes,
such as leaving home, finding a long-term romantic relationship,
beginning a career, and starting a family.
• An important aspect of establishing intimacy with a
partner is first being able to separate from the family of
origin, or family of procreation. Most young adults have
familial attachments from which they are separating. This
process normally begins during Daniel Levinson’s early
adult transition (ages 17–22), when many young adults
first leave home to attend college or to take a job in
another city.
2.5 Personal and Social Hazards in Early Adulthood
A. Physical Hazards: refers to physical defects and poor health. Individual
with such problems cannot achieve what they aspire. This is usually
followed by stress. Unattractive physical appearance also hurts the
individual social competence.
B. Social Hazards: They also face social adjustment problems. The most
common one include difficulty in associating oneself, inability to develop
friendly relationships and dissatisfaction with the roles the social group
expects the individual to play.
C. Social Mobility: is also another hazard of adjustment. That is, one who
moves either side faces new social norms and values to adjust with. He/she
is expected to do so. Inability to adjust is often followed by stress.
2.6 Vocational and Family Adjustments in Early Adulthood
• Early adulthood is a period of adjustments to new patterns of life
and new social expectations. The young adult is expected to play new
roles, such as that of spouse, parent, and breadwinner, and to develop
new attitudes, interests, and values in keeping with these new roles.
These adjustments make early adulthood a distinctive period in the
life span and also a difficult one. It is especially difficult because,
until now, most boys and girls have had someone parents, teachers,
friends or others-to help them make the adjustments they are faced
with. Now, as adults, they are expected to make these adjustments for
themselves. To avoid being considered "immature," they hesitate to
turn to others for advice and help when they find the adjustments too
difficult to cope with successfully alone.
2.6.1 Vocational adjustments
• In young adulthood, a person’s career or job can become a
significant part of a person’s self-identity. Often a person’s self-
definition is related to what he or she does. Levinson (1978) describes
the process of young adults entering an occupation whereby they must
develop an occupational identity and establish themselves in the work
world. Each job carries with it a set of components that must be adapted
for successful adjustment in the workplace.
• Newman and Newman (1995) describe these components: The use
of technical skills; the development of authority relations; adapting to
special demands and hazards; and the development of interpersonal
relationship with peers. As young adults make important inroads in their
career, they must also be starting a family.
• Achieving a balance among one’s career, leisure and family
life is a developmental task that needs to be addressed during
this period.
• The psychological importance of what people do varies, and it
is important to understand the difference between a job and a
career. Many people pursue a job in order to earn a living.
Therefore; their job may not have much value for them from a
psychological perspective. Other people pursue a career more as
a way of life .Their career may have significant value to them
because it is a central aspect of their life.
2.6.2 Marital adjustments
• There are many sources of tension in a new marriage. If the
partners do not have similar, religious, educational, or social
class backgrounds, they will not have to compromise on many
value decisions. Assumed shared value orientation, certain life
style decisions can generate tension. The couple must establish a
mutually satisfying sexual relationship. They must also work out
an agreement about saving and spending money. As part of
adjustment to marriage, the partners must achieve a sense of
psychological commitment to each other. There is a period of
testing in every marriage, during which each partner is likely to
put strain on the relationship to see how strong it really is.
2.6.3 Adjustment to parenthood
• During early adulthood, the issue of reproduction is confronted
many times. Young adults make choices to delay parenting, have an
abortion, have a child, wait before having another child, or stop
having children altogether. Many parents undergo difficult and
expensive procedures to conceive a child. Others who are unable to
conceive decide to adopt children. Some adults become foster parents,
whether or not they have children of their own. Even unplanned
pregnancies are the products of some kind of decision making,
whether to have sexual relationship knowing that pregnancy is
possible, to avoid using effective means of birth control, to abort the
pregnancy or to carry the child to term.
• In contemporary societies, decisions about childbearing
are made in the context of other personal and family
goals and commitments. Factors such as religious
beliefs, career aspirations, ideals about family life, and
social expectations in the family and culture all
contribute to a couple’s commitment to bearing children
and the timing of the first and subsequent pregnancies.
Cultures differ in the norms and expectations they
convey about the value of having children as well as the
appropriate timing and frequency of pregnancies
2.6.4 Vocational and Marital Hazards during Early Adulthood
• Young adults have experienced different hazards related to their career and family
formation. Some of the common marital and vocational hazards are listed below:
• Marital Hazards:-
• Adjustment to a mate
• Role changes
• Parenthood
• Relationship with In-Laws
• Hazards of Singlehood
• Hazards of divorce
• Hazards of Remarriage
• Vocational Hazards
• Job Dissatisfaction
• Unemployment
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adulthood pptm.pptxmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  • 1. Unit Two Early Adulthood Approximately, age 20 is the beginning of early adulthood. Age alone is not a good criterion for determining when young adulthood begins. Maturity has been identified as the major criterion of young adulthood. From the psychosocial perspective, the time of entry into a new stage is based on a convergence of experiences-including the accomplishments of the previous stage, the resolution of the previous crisis, and the beginning efforts to achieve the tasks of the new stage –rather than on chronological age.
  • 2. In contemporary society, one begins to experience adulthood as several roles emerge, typically, those of worker, committed partner, and parent. As the age of entry into marriage has advanced over the past 20 years, the majority of young people in the United States are unmarried in the age range of 20 to 24. Students take an average of 5 to 6 years to complete college, and young people seem to be involved in a longer period for job experimentation before settling into their occupational career. All of these factors argue for advancing approximate age of entry into adulthood.
  • 3. 2.1 Characteristic of Early Adulthood A. Early Adulthood is the "Settling-down Age“ B. Early Adulthood is the "Reproductive Age“ C. Early Adulthood is a "Problem Age“ D. Early Adulthood is a Period of Emotional Tension E. Early Adulthood is a Period of Social Isolation F. Early Adulthood is a time of commitments G. Early Adulthood is often a Period of Dependency H. Early Adulthood is a Time of Value Change I. Early Adulthood is the Time of Adjustment to New lifestyles
  • 4. A. Early Adulthood is the "Settling-down Age" Childhood and adolescence are the periods of "growing up" and that adulthood is the time for "settling down:" , this means when boys and girls reached the age of legal maturity, their days of carefree freedom were over and the time had come to settle down and assume the responsibilities of adult life. That meant settling into a line of work. B. Early Adulthood is the "Reproductive Age" Parenthood is one of the most important roles in the lives of most young adults. Those who were married during the latter years of adolescence concentrate on the role of parenthood during their twenties and early thirties; some become grandparents before early adulthood ends.
  • 5. C. Early Adulthood is a "Problem Age" The early adult years present many new problems, different in their major aspects, from the problems experienced in the earlier years of life. With the lowering of the age of legal maturity to 18 years, young adults have been confronted with many problems they are totally unprepared to cope with. While they are now able to vote, to own property, to marry without parental consent, and to do many things young people could not do when the age of legal maturity was twenty-one years, there is no question about the fact that "this new-found freedom is creating unforeseen problems for the youthful adults, and often for their parents, too".
  • 6. why adjustment to the problems of adulthood is so difficult First, very few young people have had any preparation for meeting the types of problems they are expected to cope with as adults. Education in high school and college provides only limited training for jobs, and few schools or colleges give courses in the common problems of marriage and parenthood. Second, just as trying to learn two or more skills simultaneously usually results in not learning anyone of them well, so trying to adjust to two or more new roles simultaneously usually results in poor adjustment to all of them. It is difficult for a young adult to deal with the choice of a career and the choice of a mate simultaneously. Similarly, adjustment to marriage and parenthood makes it difficult for young adults to adjust to work if they marry while they are still students.
  • 7. Third, and perhaps most serious of all, young adults do not have the help in meeting and solving their problems that they had when they were younger. This is partly their own fault and partly that of their parents and teachers. Most young adults are too proud of their new status to admit that they cannot cope with it. So, they do not seek the advice and help in meeting the problems this new status gives rise to. Similarly, most parents and teachers, having been rebuffed by adolescents who claimed they were capable of handling their own affairs, hesitate to offer help unless they are specifically asked to do so.
  • 8. D. Early Adulthood is a Period of Emotional Tension When people are trying to get the lay of a new land in which they find themselves, they are likely to be emotionally upset. When adults feel that they have not been able to cope with the problems in the major areas of their lives, they are often so emotionally disturbed that they contemplate or attempt suicide.
  • 9. E. Early Adulthood is a Period of Social Isolation With the end of formal education and the entrance into the adult life pattern of work and marriage, associations with the peer groups of adolescence wane and, with them, opportunities for social contacts outside the home. As a result, for the first time since babyhood even the most popular individual is likely to experience social isolation, or what Erikson has referred to as an "isolation crisis”.
  • 10. F. Early Adulthood is a time of commitments As young adults change their role from that of student and dependent, characteristic of adolescence, to that of independent adult, they  establish new patterns of living,  assume new responsibilities, and  make new commitments. While these new patterns of living, new responsibilities, and new commitments may change later, they form the foundations on which later patterns of living, responsibilities, and commitments will be established.
  • 11. G. Early Adulthood is often a Period of Dependency In spite of achieving the status of legal adulthood at age eighteen, with the independence this status carries, many young adults are partially or totally dependent on others for varying lengths of time. This dependency may be on parents; on the educational institution they attend on part or total scholarship, or on the government for loans to finance their education. . As a result, their state of dependency is often prolonged into the late twenties or early thirties.
  • 12. H. Early Adulthood is a Time of Value Change Many of the values developed during childhood and adolescence change as experience and social contact with people of different ages broaden and as values are considered from a more mature standpoint. Adults who used to consider school a necessary evil may now recognize the value of education as a stepping-stone to social and vocational success and to personal fulfillment. As a result of such changed values, many adults who dropped out of school or college decide to finish their education. Some find studying so stimulating that they continue to take courses even after receiving high school or college degrees.
  • 13. I. Early Adulthood is the Time of Adjustment to New lifestyles • While lifestyles have been in a state of flux since the turn of the present century, at no period in the life span is this truer than in early adulthood. And in no area of early adult life are new lifestyles more prevalent than in the areas of marriage and parenthood.
  • 14. 2.2 Developmental Tasks of Early Adulthood  Selecting a mate  Achieving a masculine or feminine social role  Learning to live with a marriage partner  Starting a family  Rearing children  Managing a home  Getting started in an occupation  Taking on civic responsibility  Finding a congenial (pleasant and best suited to own interest) social group
  • 15. 2.3 Diversity of Adult Lifestyles • Today, non- traditional family options have penetrated. Many adults experience not just one, but several options. Some adults make a deliberate decision to adopt a lifestyle, whereas others drift into it. The lifestyle may be imposed by society, as is the case for cohabiting homosexual couples, who cannot marry legally. Or people may decide on a certain lifestyle because they feel pushed away from another, such as a marriage gone sour. In sum, the adoption of a lifestyle can be within or beyond the person's control.
  • 16. Singlehood  Singlehood-not living with an intimate partner-has increased in recent years, especially among young adults. Besides more people marrying later or not at all, divorce has added to the numbers of single adults. In view of these trends, it is likely that most will spend a substantial part of their adult lives single.  Because they marry later, more young adult men than women are single. But women are far more likely than men to remain single for many years or their entire life. With age, fewer men are available with characteristics that most women seek in a mate-the same age or older, equally or better educated, and professionally successful
  • 17. Singlehood cont…  Of the various advantages of singlehood, those mentioned most are freedom and mobility. But singles also recognize drawbacks-loneliness, the dating grind, limited sexual and social life, reduced sense of security, and feelings of exclusion from the world of married couples.  Single men have more physical and mental health problems than single women, who usually come to terms with their lifestyle. The greater social support available to women through intimate same-sex friendships is partly responsible. In addition, never-married men are more likely to have conflict- ridden family backgrounds and personal characteristics that contribute to both their singlehood and their adjustment difficulties.
  • 18. Cohabitation  Cohabitation refers to the lifestyle of unmarried couples who have an intimate, sexual relationship and share a residence.  Until the 1960s, cohabitation in Western nations was largely limited to low- SES adults. Since then, it has increased in all groups, with an especially dramatic rise among well-educated, economically advantaged young people.  Like singlehood, cohabitation has different meanings. For some, it serves as preparation for marriage-a time to test the relationship and get used to living together. For others, it is an alternative to marriage--an arrangement that offers the rewards of sexual intimacy and companionship along with the possibility of easy departure if satisfaction declines. In view of this variation, it is not surprising that cohabiters differ greatly in the extent to which they share money and possessions and take responsibility for each other's children.
  • 19. Childlessness Some people are involuntarily childless because they did not find a partner with whom to share parenthood or their efforts at fertility treatments did not succeed. There are couples who choose not to have children as a matter of fact that voluntary childlessness is not always a permanent condition. A few people decide early that they do not want to be parents and stick to these plans. But most make their decision after they are married and have developed a lifestyle they do not want to give up. Later, some change their minds.
  • 20.  Besides marital satisfaction and freedom from child-care responsibilities, common reasons for not having children include the woman's career and economic security. Consistent with these motives, the voluntarily childless are usually college educated, have prestigious occupations, and are highly committed to their work.  Many were only or first-born children whose parents encouraged achievement and independence. In cultures that negatively stereotype childlessness, it is not surprising that voluntarily childless women are more self-reliant and assertive.
  • 21. Divorce and Remarriage Divorce rates have increased as financial instability increased and marital satisfaction has decreased. Divorces are also common during the transition to midlife, when people have teenage children-a period of low marital satisfaction. About three-fourths of divorced people remarry. But marital failure is even greater during the first few years of second marriages.
  • 22. Factors Related to Divorce • The most obvious reason for failure of marriage is a disrupted husband- wife relationship. The problem-solving style could be ineffective. Another typical style involves little conflict, but partners increasingly lead separate lives because they have different expectations of family life and few shared interests, activities, or friends. • Wives reported more problems than husbands, with the gender difference largely involving the wife's emotions, such as anger, hurt feelings, and moodiness. Husbands seemed to have difficulty sensing their wife's distress, which contributed to her view of the marriage as unhappy. • Regardless of which spouse reported the problem or was judged responsible for it, the strongest predictors of divorce were infidelity, spending money foolishly, drinking or using drugs, expressing jealousy, engaging in irritating habits, and moodiness.
  • 23. Consequences of Divorce • Immediately after separation, both men and women are depressed and anxious and display impulsive behavior. For most, these reactions subside within 2 years. Women who were in traditional marriages and who organized their identities around their husbands have an especially hard time. • A few women-- especially those who are anxious and fearful or who remain strongly attached to their ex-spouses-show a drop in self-esteem, become depressed, and tend to form repeated unsuccessful relationships. Job training, continued education, career advancement, and social support from family and friends play vital roles in the economic and psychological wellbeing of divorced women.
  • 24. Remarriage • On average, people remarry within 4 years of divorce, men somewhat faster than women. For several reasons, remarriages are especially vulnerable to breakup. First, although people often remarry for love, practical matters-financial security, help in rearing children, relief from loneliness, and social acceptance- figure more heavily into a second marriage than a first. These concerns do not provide a sound footing for a lasting partnership. Second, some people transfer the negative patterns of interaction and problem solving learned in their first marriage to the second. Third, people who have already had a failed marriage are more likely to view divorce as an acceptable solution when marital difficulties resurface. And finally, remarried couples experience more stress from step family situations.
  • 25. Variant Styles of Parenthood • Diverse family forms result in varied styles of parenthood. Among these are a growing number of cohabiting and remarried parents, never-married parents, and gay and lesbian parents. Each type of family presents unique challenges to parenting competence and adult psychological well-being. A. Stepparents: Whether stepchildren live in the household or visit only occasionally, stepparents are in a difficult position. Since the parent-child tie predates the blended family, the stepparent enters as an outsider
  • 26. Stepparents frequently criticize the biological parent for being too lenient. The parent, in turn, tends to view the stepparent as too harsh. These differences can divide the couple. Remarried parents typically report higher levels of tension and disagreement than first marriage parents, most centering on child-rearing issues. Because of more opportunities for conflict, relationship quality is poorer when both adults have children from prior marriages than when only one does. Stepmothers, especially, are likely to experience conflict. Expected to be in charge of family relationships, they quickly find that stepparent-stepchild ties do not develop instantly. Often mothers are jealous, uncooperative, and possessive of their children following divorce.
  • 27. B. Never-Married Single Parents: • Single adults occasionally decide to become parents on their own. Births to women in high-status occupations who have not married by their thirties have increased. However, they are still few in number, and little is known about how these mothers and their children fare. • Children of never-married mothers who lack the involvement of a father are poor in school and display more antisocial behavior than children in low-SES, first-marriage families. These adjustment problems make life more difficult for mothers. Strengthening social support, education, and employment opportunities for low-SES parents would encourage marriage as well as help unmarried-mother families.
  • 28. C. Gay and lesbian Parents: • Several million American gay men and lesbians are parents, most through previous heterosexual marriages, a few through adoption or reproductive technologies. In the past, laws assuming that homosexuals could not be adequate parents led those who divorced a heterosexual partner to lose custody of their children. • Gay and lesbian parents are as committed to and effective at child rearing as heterosexual parents. Some evidence suggests that gay fathers are more consistent in setting limits and more responsive to their children's needs than heterosexual fathers, perhaps because gay men's less traditional gender identity fosters involvement with children.
  • 29. • In lesbian families, quality of mother-child interaction is as positive as in heterosexual families. And children of lesbian mothers regard their mother's partner as very much a parent. Whether born to or adopted by their parents or conceived through donor insemination, children in homosexual families are as well-adjusted as other children. Also, the large majority are heterosexual. When extended- family members have difficulty accepting them, homosexual mothers and fathers often build "families of choice" through friends, who assume the roles of relatives. But most of the time, parents of gays and lesbians cannot endure a permanent rift. With time, interactions between homosexual parents and their families of origin become more positive and supportive.
  • 30. 2.4 Physical, Cognitive, Psychosocial Changes in Early Adulthood 2.4.1 Physical changes • Early adulthood is, for most people, the time of peak physical capacity. The body reaches full height by the late teens, and physical strength increases into the late 20s and early 30s. • In general, people in early adulthood feel robust and energetic, although it is not unusual to see fluctuations around deadlines and exam periods.
  • 31. • On the other hand, people in this age group are also legally able to use damaging substances, such as alcohol and tobacco. Young adults also have increasing responsibility for organizing their own eating habits and exercise regimes. The young adult years are often referred to as the peak years. Young adults experience excellent health, vigor, and physical functioning. Young adults have not yet been subjected to age-related physical deterioration, such as wrinkles, weakened body systems, and reduced lung and heart capacities.
  • 32. • Their strength, coordination, reaction time, sensation, fine motor skills, and sexual response are at a maximum. • Additionally, both young men and women enjoy the benefits of society’s emphasis on youthfulness. They typically look and feel attractive and sexually appealing. Young men may have healthy skin, all or most of their hair, and well-defined muscles. Young women may have soft and supple skin, a small waistline, and toned legs, thighs, and buttocks. Health and physical fitness during young adulthood are excellent.
  • 33. Cont… • People in their 20s and 30s perform at exceedingly high levels on tests of endurance and stamina. They generally are at their best in terms of physical conditioning and overall sense of well-being. • Death rates during young adulthood are lower than during any other period of the life span. Except for HIV /AIDS in males and malignancies in females, the leading cause of death during the 20s and 30s is accidents. Death rates, however, double during each decade after age 35.
  • 34. 2.4.2 Cognitive changes • By the end of adolescence, most people are capable of the levels of reasoning that we would expect for normal functioning in adult society. Although there are wide individual differences in attainment, most young adults are able to deal with cognitive tasks in a more abstract way than before, and to attain solutions to problems by comparing possible explanations.
  • 35. • Many young adults—particularly those who have attended college—develop the ability to reason logically, solve theoretical problems, and think abstractly. They have reached Piaget’s formal operations stage of cognitive development. During this stage, individuals can also classify and compare objects and ideas, systematically seek solutions to problems, and consider future possibilities. As young adults confront and work through the gray areas of life, some may go on to develop post formal thinking, or practical street smarts. Developing the wisdom associated with post formal thinking is a lifelong process, which begins in the teenage years and is fully realized in the older adult years
  • 36. Most young adults aged 18 and over will: Move into adult roles and responsibilities and may learn a trade, work, and/or pursue higher education Fully understand abstract concepts and be aware of consequences and personal limitations Identify career goals and prepare to achieve them Secure their autonomy and build and test their decision making skills Develop new skills, hobbies, and adult interests
  • 37. 2.4.3 Psychosocial development • Young adulthood is a time when many difficult decisions need to made. These decisions will affect the person for the rest of his life they make decision for themselves, which influence their life-style in their future. They must make choices about: Education, occupation, to marry or remain single, starting a home, children rearing, forming new friendships, & assuming certain community activities.
  • 38. • Psychosocial development in adulthood consists of changes in lifestyles and relationships. According to Erikson, the primary task of early adulthood is to establish identity and intimacy (sharing one’s total self with someone else) after wrestling with the intimacy versus isolation psychosocial crisis, which poses commitment to others opposite the possibility of self-absorption. Much psychosocial development occurring during this period is in conjunction with significant life changes, such as leaving home, finding a long-term romantic relationship, beginning a career, and starting a family.
  • 39. • An important aspect of establishing intimacy with a partner is first being able to separate from the family of origin, or family of procreation. Most young adults have familial attachments from which they are separating. This process normally begins during Daniel Levinson’s early adult transition (ages 17–22), when many young adults first leave home to attend college or to take a job in another city.
  • 40. 2.5 Personal and Social Hazards in Early Adulthood A. Physical Hazards: refers to physical defects and poor health. Individual with such problems cannot achieve what they aspire. This is usually followed by stress. Unattractive physical appearance also hurts the individual social competence. B. Social Hazards: They also face social adjustment problems. The most common one include difficulty in associating oneself, inability to develop friendly relationships and dissatisfaction with the roles the social group expects the individual to play. C. Social Mobility: is also another hazard of adjustment. That is, one who moves either side faces new social norms and values to adjust with. He/she is expected to do so. Inability to adjust is often followed by stress.
  • 41. 2.6 Vocational and Family Adjustments in Early Adulthood • Early adulthood is a period of adjustments to new patterns of life and new social expectations. The young adult is expected to play new roles, such as that of spouse, parent, and breadwinner, and to develop new attitudes, interests, and values in keeping with these new roles. These adjustments make early adulthood a distinctive period in the life span and also a difficult one. It is especially difficult because, until now, most boys and girls have had someone parents, teachers, friends or others-to help them make the adjustments they are faced with. Now, as adults, they are expected to make these adjustments for themselves. To avoid being considered "immature," they hesitate to turn to others for advice and help when they find the adjustments too difficult to cope with successfully alone.
  • 42. 2.6.1 Vocational adjustments • In young adulthood, a person’s career or job can become a significant part of a person’s self-identity. Often a person’s self- definition is related to what he or she does. Levinson (1978) describes the process of young adults entering an occupation whereby they must develop an occupational identity and establish themselves in the work world. Each job carries with it a set of components that must be adapted for successful adjustment in the workplace. • Newman and Newman (1995) describe these components: The use of technical skills; the development of authority relations; adapting to special demands and hazards; and the development of interpersonal relationship with peers. As young adults make important inroads in their career, they must also be starting a family.
  • 43. • Achieving a balance among one’s career, leisure and family life is a developmental task that needs to be addressed during this period. • The psychological importance of what people do varies, and it is important to understand the difference between a job and a career. Many people pursue a job in order to earn a living. Therefore; their job may not have much value for them from a psychological perspective. Other people pursue a career more as a way of life .Their career may have significant value to them because it is a central aspect of their life.
  • 44. 2.6.2 Marital adjustments • There are many sources of tension in a new marriage. If the partners do not have similar, religious, educational, or social class backgrounds, they will not have to compromise on many value decisions. Assumed shared value orientation, certain life style decisions can generate tension. The couple must establish a mutually satisfying sexual relationship. They must also work out an agreement about saving and spending money. As part of adjustment to marriage, the partners must achieve a sense of psychological commitment to each other. There is a period of testing in every marriage, during which each partner is likely to put strain on the relationship to see how strong it really is.
  • 45. 2.6.3 Adjustment to parenthood • During early adulthood, the issue of reproduction is confronted many times. Young adults make choices to delay parenting, have an abortion, have a child, wait before having another child, or stop having children altogether. Many parents undergo difficult and expensive procedures to conceive a child. Others who are unable to conceive decide to adopt children. Some adults become foster parents, whether or not they have children of their own. Even unplanned pregnancies are the products of some kind of decision making, whether to have sexual relationship knowing that pregnancy is possible, to avoid using effective means of birth control, to abort the pregnancy or to carry the child to term.
  • 46. • In contemporary societies, decisions about childbearing are made in the context of other personal and family goals and commitments. Factors such as religious beliefs, career aspirations, ideals about family life, and social expectations in the family and culture all contribute to a couple’s commitment to bearing children and the timing of the first and subsequent pregnancies. Cultures differ in the norms and expectations they convey about the value of having children as well as the appropriate timing and frequency of pregnancies
  • 47. 2.6.4 Vocational and Marital Hazards during Early Adulthood • Young adults have experienced different hazards related to their career and family formation. Some of the common marital and vocational hazards are listed below: • Marital Hazards:- • Adjustment to a mate • Role changes • Parenthood • Relationship with In-Laws • Hazards of Singlehood • Hazards of divorce • Hazards of Remarriage • Vocational Hazards • Job Dissatisfaction • Unemployment