14 - emotional and social development in early adulthood

14 - emotional and social development in early adulthood -...

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Erikson’s Theory: Intimacy versus Isolation 02:41 Intimacy versus isolation: The young person’s thoughts and feelings about  making a permanent commitment to an intimate partner Intimacy requires that a young adult redefine their identity to include both  partners’ values and interests A secure identity fosters attainment of intimacy  Commitment to personally meaningful values and goals prepares young  adults for interpersonal commitments Identity moratorium: A state of searching prior to commitment The coordination of identity and intimacy is more complex for women Successful resolution of intimacy versus isolation prepares the individual for the  middle adulthood stage Focuses on generativity – caring for the next generation and helping to  improve society  Other Theories of Adult Psychosocial Development Levinson’s Seasons of Life o Saw development as a sequence of qualitatively distinct eras Biological and social forces introduce new psychological challenges o Life structure: Underlying design of a person’s life, consisting of  relationships with significant others o Dreams and Mentors Dream: An image of themselves in the adult world that guides their  decision making For men, it usually emphasizes an independent achiever in an  occupational role Most career oriented women display “split dreams” Women’s dreams tend to define the self in terms of relationships  with husband, children, and colleagues Men’s dreams are usually more individualistic  A mentor facilitates realization of their dream
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May act as teachers who enhance the person’s occupational skills o Age-30 Transition Young people reevaluate their life structure Men rarely reverse the relative priority of career and family  Women become conscious of aspects of their marriage that threaten to  inhibit further development of the independent side of their dream o Settling Down for Men, Continued Instability for Women Men usually “settle down” by focusing on certain relationships and  aspirations Many women remain unsettled because of the addition of an  occupational or relationship commitment Valliant’s Adaptation to Life o The quality of relationships with important people shape the life course Limitations of Levinson’s and Vaillant’s Theories o Patterns might not apply as broadly to young adults today as they did to  past generations o SES can profoundly affect the life course The Social Clock o Age-graded expectation for major life events All societies have such timetables  o A major source of personality change in adulthood is conformity to or 
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