The Developing Person Through the Life Span 8e by Kathleen Stassen Berger Emerging Adulthood: (Chapters 17-19) Biosocial Cognitive Psychosocial
Emerging Adulthood The period between the ages of 18 and 25, which is now widely thought of as a separate developmental stage.
Growth and Strength Strong and Active Bodies • Emerging adults are usually in good health. • Traditionally, ages 18 and 25 were a time for hard physical work and childbearing. • Physical work and parenthood are no longer expected of every young adult in the 21st century. • Because of food availability, most emerging adults have reached full height • (girls usually by age 16, boys by age 18). • Muscle growth and fat accumulation continue into the early 20s, when women attain adult breast and hip size and men reach full shoulder width and upper-arm strength.
Bodies Designed for Health By age 20, the immune system is well-developed Usually… • blood pressure is normal • heart rate is steady • the brain is fully grown • and lung capacity is as large as it will ever be. Senescence [si-nes-uhnts] • The process of aging, whereby the body becomes less strong and efficient. • Begins in late adolescence
Bodies in Balance Homeostasis • The adjustment of all the body’s systems to keep physiological functions in a state of equilibrium. • As the body ages, it takes longer for these adjustments to occur, so it becomes harder for older bodies to adapt to stress. • Nutrition and exercise underlie health at every age. Organ reserve The capacity of organs to allow the body to cope with stress, via extra, unused functioning ability. Maximum strength potential Begins to decline by age 25
Sexual Activity • The sexual-reproductive system is especially vigorous during emerging adulthood. • The sex drive is powerful, infertility is rare, orgasm is frequent, and birth is easy, with fewer complications in the early 20s than at any other time. • Sexual-reproductive characteristics are produced by sex hormones, which peak in both sexes at about age 20.
Emotional Stress • One consequence of current sexual patterns may be emotional stress as relationships begin and end. • Attitudes about the purpose of sex (Laumann & Michael): • Reproduction • Relationship • Recreation • If partners have differing ideas about the purpose of sex or the nature of gender, emotional pain and frustration can occur.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) • STIs have always been present but the rate has reached epidemic proportions due to sexual patterns. • Best way to prevent STIs is lifelong monogamy. • Worldwide, globalization fuels every contagious disease.
Psychopathology Diathesis-stress model [dahy-ath-uh-sis] • View that mental disorders are produced by the interaction of genetics (diathesis) and a stressful environment and life events. • Incidence of psychopathology increases in emerging adulthood. • Rate of serious mental illness is almost double that for adults over age 25.
Mood Disorders Bipolar Disorder • May begin in childhood but becomes more severe in adulthood. Depression • Most common mood disorder • A loss of interest or pleasure for 2 weeks or more. • May be rooted in imbalances in neurotransmitters and hormones
Anxiety Disorders • Evident in ¼ of all U.S. residents below 25 • Panic attacks, PTSD, and OCD • More common, worldwide than depression • Age and genetics shape the symptoms • Hikikomori • Common among young adults in Japan • Victims isolate themselves for months or years
Schizophrenia • About 1% of adults have schizophrenia • Disorganized and bizarre thoughts, delusions, hallucinations, and emotions • Risk factors: genetic, malnutrition when brain is developing, social pressure. • Symptoms usually begin in adolescence
Exercise • Reduces blood pressure, strengthens the heart & lungs. • Makes depression, osteoporosis, heart disease, arthritis and some cancers less likely. • Those who are not fit during emerging adulthood are 4 times more likely to have diabetes and high blood pressure 15 years later.
Eating Well At every stage of life, diet affects future development Set point A certain body weight that a person’s homeostatic processes strive to maintain. Body mass index (BMI) The ratio of a person’s weight in kilograms divided by their height in meters squared. Body Mass Index Calculator: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/BMI/bmicalc.htm
Taking Risks Emerging adulthood is marked by a greater willingness to take risks of all sorts, not just sexual ones. - drive without seat belts, carry guns, try addictive drugs. Edgework Occupations, recreational activities, or other ventures that involve a degree of risk or danger. The prospect of “living on the edge” makes edgework compelling to some individuals. • Extreme sports • Forms of recreation that include apparent risk of injury or death and that are attractive and thrilling as a result.
Drug Abuse • Drug abuse • The ingestion of a drug to the extent that it impairs the user’s biological or psychological well-being. • Drug addiction • A condition of drug dependence in which the absence of the given drug from the individual’s system produces a drive—physiological, biological, or both—to ingest more of the drug.
A Way to Curb Alcohol Abuse in College Social norms approach • A method of reducing risky behavior among emerging adults that is based on their desire to follow social norms. • This approach publicizes survey results to make emerging adults aware of the actual prevalence of various behaviors within their peer group.
Postformal Thought • A proposed stage of cognitive development, after Piaget’s 4 stages • Extends adolescent thinking by being more practical, flexible, and dialectical • Characterized by “problem finding” • Person is more open with ideas and less concerned with absolute right and wrong
Delay Discounting Delay discounting Tendency to undervalue, or ignore, future consequences and rewards in favor of immediate gratification • i.e. texting while driving
Is Postformal Really a Stage? • Piaget’s post-formal thought stage is controversial • Prefrontal cortex is not mature until one’s early 20’s • Adult qualitatively different from adolescent thought
Labouvie-Vief investigated age differences in self-descriptions. • protective (high in self-involvement, low in self-doubt) • dysregulated(fragmented, overwhelmed by emotions or problems) • complex (valuing openness and independence above all • integrated(able to regulate emotions and logic)
Postformal Thought Ability to combine subjective and objective reasoning • Subjective thought • Thinking that is based on personal qualities of the individual thinker (i.e. experiences, culture, goals) • Objective thought • Thinking that is not based on thinker’s personal qualities but instead based valid facts and numbers
Postformal Thought Cognitive Flexibility The hallmark of postformal thinking Ability to be: • practical • to predict • to combine subjective/objective thinking • Helps people deal with unforeseen events • Helps avoid retreating into emotions or intellect • A characteristic more common in emerging adults than younger people • Listening to others and considering diverse opinions
Postformal Thought Working Together “If a card had a vowel on one side, then it always has an even number on the other side.” 4 7 E K Students working alone 91% picked E and 4 (wrong) Working together 75% picked E and 7 (right)
Dialectical Thought • Most advanced cognitive process • Ability to consider a thesis and its antithesis and arrive at a synthesis • Being able to see the pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages, possibilities and limitations • Dialectical thinking is rare in adolescents, more often found in middle-aged people
Countering Stereotypes Stereotype Threat • The possibility that one’s appearance or behavior will be misread to confirm another’s oversimplified, prejudiced attitudes. • The mere possibility of being negatively stereotyped arouses anxiety that can disrupt cognition and emotional regulation
Morals Emerging Adults Gender differences • Morality of care • Tendency of females to be socialized to be reluctant to judge right and wrong in absolute terms • Morality of justice • Tendency of males to be socialized to emphasize justice over compassion and judging right and wrong in absolute terms
Intimacy vs. Isolation • Erikson’s sixth psychosocial stage emphasizes that humans are social creatures. 19 – 40 year olds. • Intimacy progresses from attraction to close connection to ongoing commitment. • Marriage and parenthood, as emerging adults are discovering, are only two of several paths to intimacy.
Continuity and Change Identity Achieved? • The search for identity begins at puberty and continues much longer. • Most emerging adults are still seeking to determine who they are. • Erikson believed that, at each stage, the outcome of earlier crises provides the foundation of each new stage.
Identity Emerging Adulthood: two important focuses are ethnicity & vocation Ethnicity • Most emerging adults identify with very specific ethnic groups. • Ethnic identity may affect choices in language, manners, romance, employment, neighborhood, religion, clothing, and values. Vocation College and Temporary Jobs: Moratorium and preparation
Personality in Emerging Adulthood • Rising Self-Esteem • continuity and improvement in attitudes of young adults • Worrisome Children Grow Up • children with high aggression and those with extreme shyness grew up with little pathology • Plasticity • open to new experiences which allows personality shifts and eagerness for more education
Friendships Friendship • Throughout life, friends defend against stress and provide joy. • Friends, new and old, are particularly crucial during emerging adulthood. • Most single young adults have larger and more supportive friendship networks than newly married young adults once did. Male-Female Friendships Not usually prelude to romance Problems arise if others assume it is sexual Most heterosexual committed partners tend to have less opposite sex friendships
Romantic Partners • Relationship between love and marriage depends on era and culture. • 3 patterns occurring roughly in thirds: 1. Arranged marriages 2. Adolescents meet a select group and man ask woman’s parents for permission 3. People socialize with many and then fall in love and marry when they are able, the most common in Western cultures
Intimacy The Dimensions of Love Robert Sternberg (1988) described three distinct aspects of love: Passion- an intense physical, cognitive and emotional onslaught characterized by excitement, ecstasy, and euphoria. Intimacy- knowing someone well, sharing secrets as well as sex. Commitment- grows gradually through decisions to be together, mutual care giving, kept secrets, shared possessions, and forgiveness.
Emerging Adulthood: Intimacy • Hookups A sexual encounter with neither intimacy nor commitment • Social networks A Web site that allows users to publically share their lives and connect with large numbers of people • Choice overload Having so many possibilities that athoughtful choice becomes difficult
Cohabitation Cohabitation Living with an unrelated person—typically a romantic partner— to whom one is not married Most young adults in the U.S., England, and northern Europe cohabit rather than marry before age 25. Half of all cohabitating couples in the U.S. plan on marrying eventually.
Similarities and Differences • Homogamy • Marriage between people who tend to be similar (SES, goals, religion, attitudes, local origin, etc.) • Heterogamy • Marriage between people who tend to be dissimilar (interests, etc) • Social Homogamy • The similarity of a couple’s • leisure interests and role preferences.
Conflict Learning to listen • Demand/Withdraw Interaction A situation in a romantic relationship wherein one person wants to address an issue and the other refuses Research shows that person with the most power tends to withdraw / person with less power (wanting more change) tends to demand. Evident in both hetero- and homosexual couples.
Intimate Partner Violence • Emerging adults experience more partner violence than those over 25. • Alcohol and drugs make violence more likely and more severe. • Rates are high and would be higher if self-deception and dishonesty were not factors but would be lower if preventative measures were in place.
Intimate Partner Violence • Situational couple violence • Fighting between romantic couples that is brought on more by the situation than by personality problems • Intimate terrorism • A violent and demeaning form of abuse in a romantic relationship where the victim is too scared to fight back, seek help, or withdraw
Emerging Adults and Their Parents • Linked Lives • Where the success, health, and well-being of each family member are connected to those of other members. • Financial Support • Parents of all income levels in the U.S. help their adult children. • A Global Perspective • Parental support and linked lives are typical everywhere. In some countries, it is valued more than in others