Developmental Psychology

Chapter 13

1. The Transition from Adolescence to Adulthood
BECOMING AN ADULT •Transition from adolescence to adulthood has been referred to as ‘emerging adulthood’

(18-25 years old)
•Jeffrey Arnett concluded the 5 key features: (1) identity exploration, especially in love and work, (2) Instability, (3) Self-focused, (4) Feeling in-between, (5) The age of possibilities, a time when individuals have an opportunity to transform their lives •Ann Masten (Longitudinal study)emerging adults who became competent after experiencing difficulties while growing up were more intelligent, experienced higher parenting quality and were less likely to grow up in poverty or low-income circumstances than their counterparts •Late-bloomers shared 3 main characteristics, (1) support by adults, (2) being planful (3) showing positive aspects of autonomy.

Markers of becoming an adult •Economic independence is one market of adult status •Longitudinal study: at age 25, only slightly more than half were fully financially independent of their family of origin •17-27 years old: many participants moved back and forth between increasing and decreasing economic dependency •Taking responsibility for oneself is likely an important market of adult status •Both parents and college students agreed that taking responsibility for one’s actions and developing emotional control are important aspects of becoming an adult •In developing countries, marriage is more often a significant marker for entry into adulthood

Early Adulthood

more subjects to select. more time to spend with peers. challenged intellectually •Today’s college students experience more stress and are more depressed •Often feels hopeless and overwhelmed. The Transition from Adolescence to Adulthood TRANSITION FROM HIGH SCHOOL TO COLLEGE •Top-dog phenomenon occurs here too •Movement to larger. interaction with peers from more diverse geographical and ethnic backgrounds.1. greater independence. more opportunities to explore different lifestyles and values. mentally exhausted Early Adulthood . focus on achievement and its assessment •Feel grown up. more impersonal school.

but also. exercising regularly. often between. using sun protection. diabetes. mental health problems •Overweight women more likely to be depressed than women who were not overweight at all •Heredity: identical human twins have similar weights. even when reared apart •Leptin: protein that is involved in satiety (condition of being full to satisfaction) and released by fat cells.2. results in decreased food intake and increased energy expenditure •Set point: the weight you maintain when no effort to gain or lose. Fat stored in adipose cells (filled cells of these make you not hungry) Early Adulthood . cardiovascular disease. eating fruit and limiting fat intake EATING AND WEIGHT Obesity •Linked to hypertension. Physical Development PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE AND DEVELOPMENT •Reach peak physical performance before 30. physical performance decreases HEALTH •Twice the mortality rate of adolescents •More chronic health problems •Longitudinal study: most bad health habits engaged in during adolescence increased in emerging adulthood •Few individuals stop to think about their personal lifestyles will affect their health later in adult lives •Berkley longitudinal study: individuals were evaluated over period of 40 years: physical health at age 30 predicted life satisfaction at age 70 •Young adults’ life satisfaction was positively related to not smoking.

Physical Development •Environmental factors:due to greater availability of food and declining physical activity •Sociocultural factors are involved which is 6 times more prevalent among women with low incomes than among women with high incomes •Americans are ore obese than Europeans •Dieting: longterm outcomes of calorie-restricting diets revealed that overall one-third to two thirds of dieters regain more weight than they lost on their diet •Adults who engaged in diet + exercise programs lost more weight than diet only program •Daily weigh-ins are linked to maintaining weight loss REGULAR EXERCISE •Aerobic exercise •Recommend that you raise heart rate to at least 60% of your maximum heart rate •Improves mental health.2. reduces anxiety and depression •Reduce TV time (linked to poor health and obesity) •Chart your progress •Get rid of excuses •Imagine the alternative Early Adulthood .

(4) joining in inspirational groups Early Adulthood . such as engaging in casual sex. and excessive use of alcohol beverages and that impairs the drinkers’ health and social relationships •Alcoholics are believed to have genetic predisposition for it •Family studies indicate that many individuals who suffer from alcoholism do not have close relatives who are addicted to alcoholenvironmental factors play a role too! •1/3 rule for alcoholism: (1) are abstinent or drinking socially. (2) substitute dependency options. sex without contraception and sexual assaults •Increase in binge drinking by females •Binge drinking peaks around 21 to 22 years old •Alcoholism: involves long-term. (2) trying to beat their addiction. compulsive. especially in fraternity house •Binge drinking college students were 11 x more likely to fall behind in school •Pre-graming: drinking before going out •Higher levels of alcohol use have been consistently linked to higher rates of sexual risk taking.2. repeated. (3) in terrible shape or dead •Reasons for recovery from alcoholism: (1) strong negative experience (medical emergency). Physical Development SUBSTANCE ABUSE •Jerald Bachman (2002) longitudinal analysis: male college students and young adults are more likely to take drugs than their female counterparts •Addiction to drug and alcohol Alcohol •Binge drinking: chronic binge drinking is more common among college men than women and students living away from home. (3) new social supports. uncontrolled.

2. stimulate neurotransmitters that have a calming or painreducing effect Early Adulthood . Physical Development Cigarette Smoking and Nicotine •Nicotine is a stimulant that increases the smokers’ energy and alertness. a pleasurable and reinforcing experience.

3. and had more permissive attitudes about casual sex than their female counterparts •Research has strongly supported the role of sexual activity in well-being •Sexual intercourse was strongly related to life satisfaction for both men and women Early Adulthood . Sexual behavior is ruled by marriage and monogamy for most Americans •Meta-analysis: men reported having slightly more sexual experience and more permissive attitudes than women for most aspects of sexuality •Men indicated that they engaged more in masturbation. Key findings: Americans’ sexual lives are more conservative than previously believed. and casual sex. Sexuality SEXUAL ACTIVITY IN EMERGING ADULTHOOD •Emerging adulthood is a time frame during which most individuals are ‘both sexually active and unmarried’ •Males have more casual sexual partners •Females report being more selective about their choice of sexual partner •Emerging adults are more likely to have had sexual intercourse with two or more individuals •Emerging adults have more partners but less sex •Casual sex is more common in emerging adulthood than young adolescent SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND BEHAVIOR •Robert Michael (1994): survey. pornography use.

majority culture •Bicultural identity is created as a new way of defining themselves •Lesbians and gays adapt best when they don’t define themselves in polarities •Balancing the demands of two cultures: minority lesbian/gay culture and majority heterosexual culture can lead to more effective coping for lesbians and gays •Recent study showed that they often encounter hate crimes and stigma-related experiences Early Adulthood . but sexual desire increases (biological basis) •Very early prenatal critical period might influence sexual orientation •2nd-5th month after conception. •Genes play a role in sexual orientation (twin studies).3. exposure of fetus to hormone levels characteristics of females might cause the individual to become attracted to males. but as a continuum from exclusive male-female relations to exclusive same-sex relation •No differences is found between LGBs and heterosexuals in wide range of attitudes. lesbians have fewer sexual partners than gay men •Lesbians have less permissive attitudes about casual sex outside a primary relationship than gay men •Laura Brown (1989):lesbians and gays experience life as a minority in a dominant. behaviors. but not so strong as an influence Attitudes and Behavior of Lesbians and Gays •Heterosexual women. it is more accepted to view sexual orientation not as an either or proposition. Sexuality Sources of Sexual Orientation •Today. their sexual orientation doesn’t change. and adjustments •If gays are given male sex hormones.

(4) not having sex with multiple partners FORCIBLE SEXUAL BEHAVIOR AND SEXUAL HARRASMENT RAPE • • • • • • • Forcible sexual intercourse with person who does not give consent Men in prisons are vulnerable to rape by heterosexual males who use rape as a mean of establishing their dominance and power Males are socialized to be sexually aggressive. want to hurt and humiliate their victims Higher level of men’s sexual narcissism was linked to greater likelihood that they would engage in sexual aggression Date or acquaintance rape: coercive sexual activity directed at someone with whom the victim is at least casually acquainted ‘Red zone’ period of time early in first year of women are at especially high risk for unwanted sexual experiences Sexual Harassment • Manifestation of power of one person over another Early Adulthood . regard women as inferior beings. (3) having protected. (2) obtaining medical examination. not unprotected sex. angry at women in general. Sexuality SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS • STIs are diseases that are primarily contracted through sex • • • HIV is an STI that destroys the body’s immune system AIDS has weakened immune system that a common cold can become life threatening Strategies to protect against HIV: (1) knowing your and our partner’s risk status.3. to view their own pleasure as the most important objective in sexual relations Male rapists: aggression enhances their sense of power or masculinity.

dualistic thinking of adolescence gives way to the reflective. their idealism decreases •It is unlikely that adults go beyond the powerful methods of scientific thinking characteristic of formal operational stage •Early adulthood individuals switch from acquiring knowledge to applying knowledge as they pursue success in their work Reflective and Relativistic Thinking •William Perry (1999): changes in cognition that take place in early adulthood.4. relativistic thinking of adulthood as they become older •Reflective thinking is an important indicator of cognitive change in young adults •Gisela Labouvie-Vief: Increasing complexity of cultures in the past century has generated greater need for more reflective. good/bad) •The absolutist. which work promotes. complex thinking that takes into account the changing nature of knowledge and challenges Early Adulthood . Cognitive Stages COGNITIVE STAGES Piaget’s view •Young adults are more quantitatively advanced in their thinking in the sense that they have more knowledge than adolescents •Formal operational thought is the final stage in cognitive development. adolescents often view the world in terms of polarities (right/wrong. characterizes adults as well as adolescents •Begin to plan and hypothesize about intellectual problems in adolescence but they become more systematic and sophisticated at this as young adults Realistic and Pragmatic Thinking •They face constraints of reality.

never-ending process. relationships •Understand what is the best solution under certain situations •Become more skeptical about there being a single truth and often are not willing to accept an answer as final •Recognize that thinking cant just be abstract but rather has to be realistic and pragmatic •Understand emotions can play a role in thinking •Research found: young adults are more likely to engage in this postformal thinking than adolescents CREATIVITY •Study found: individuals’ most creative products were generated in their thirties and that 80% of the most important creative contributions were completed by 50 •Creativity does peak in adulthood then decline •Creative accomplishments are (1) the magnitude of decline in productivity.4. •Engage in more reflective judgment when solving problems. and that the search for truth is often an ongoing. (3) individual differences in lifetime output Early Adulthood . Cognitive Stages Is there a 5th postformal stage? •Postformal thought: qualitatively different from Piaget’s formal operational thought - involves understanding that the correct answer to a problem requires reflective thinking and can vary from one situation to another. (2) contrasts across creative domains. think deeply about many aspects of politics. their career and work.

ingrained cultural beliefs that engaging in hard work for long hours through adulthood will produce a path to status. uncertain job expectations. the way they spend their time. many individuals experience emotional distress and low selfesteem •Main sources of stress included low salaries. security and happiness •Many individuals have an ideal concept of career path toward achieving the American dream of upward mobility through occupational ladders FINDING A PATH TO PURPOSE •William Damons (2008): explores how purpose is a missing ingredient in many adolescents’ and emerging adults’ achievement and career development •Too many young drifts go through high school/college by engaging in behavior that places them at risk for not fulfilling their potential and not finding a life pursuit that energizes them. their friendships. they way they spend their time. housing. Careers and Work DEVELOPMENTAL CHANGES •Phyllis Moen (2009) described the ‘career mystique’. long hours Early Adulthood . THE IMPACT OF WORK •Work defines people in fundamental ways and it is an important influence on their financial standing. etc •When unable to work. where they live. lack of advancement opportunities.4. and their health.

US women are taking increased responsibility for breadwinning. US husbands are taking increased responsibility for maintaining the home. Careers and Work •Study found: as the number of hours worked per week increased. cyclical or permanent •Unemployment is related to physical problems.Work during College 4. their grades suffered •Cooperative programs are paid apprenticeships. mental problems. US men are showing greater interest in their families and parenting •Even though couples may strive for gender equality in dual-earner families. gender inequalities still persists (women still do not earn as much as men in same job) •Dual earner career decisions often are made in favor of men’s greater earning power and women spending more time than men in homemaking and caring for children DIVERSITY IN WORKPLACE •Increasing diversity in workplace requires a sensitivity to cultural differences and the cultural values that workers bring to a job need to be recognized and appreciated •Still have glass ceilings in place . useful opportunities for working while going to college Unemployment •Produces stress regardless of whether the job loss is temporary. marital difficulties and homicide •Longitudinal study: life satisfaction dropped considerably following unemployment and increased after becoming reemployed but did not return to life satisfaction level previous to being unemployed •Immune system functioning declined with unemployment and increased with new employment •Stress also comes from decreased self esteem •The support of understanding adaptable family members help individuals cope with unemployment Dual-Earner Couples •May have special problems finding a balance between work and rest of life •As more US women worked outside the home.

Emerging Adolescence The transition from adolescence to adulthood (18-25 years old) that involves experimentation and exploration .

Involves the belief that solutions to problems need to be realistic and that emotion and subjective factors can influence thinking. .involves understanding that the correct answer to a problem requires reflective thinking and can vary from one situation to another. never-ending process. and that the search for truth is often an ongoing.Postformal Thought qualitatively different from Piaget’s formal operational thought.

Addiction Pattern of behavior characterized by an overwhelming involvement with using a drug and securing its supply .

Aerobic Exercise Sustained exercise (jogging. swimming or cycling) that stimulates heart and lung activity .

Feeling in-between: don’t consider themselves adolescents or full-fledged adults 5. Identity exploration. (2) those who have experienced difficult times. this emerging adulthood is the opportunity for them to direct their lives more positively. duties and commitments to others. The age of possibilities. Instability: in love. a time when individuals have an opportunity to transform their lives: (1) optimistic about their future.Jeffrey Arnett (2006) 1. work.” 4. and education due to residential changes 3. Self-focused: emerging adults are ‘selffocused in the sense that they have little social obligations. . especially in love and work: key changes in identity takes place 2.

(1) support by adults. experienced higher parenting quality and were less likely to grow up in poverty or low-income circumstances than their counterparts • Late-bloomers shared 3 main characteristics.Ann Masten (2006) • (Longitudinal study)emerging adults who became competent after experiencing difficulties while growing up were more intelligent. (2) being planful (3) showing positive aspects of autonomy. .

Jerald Bachman (2002) • Evaluated individuals from when they were high school seniors through their twenties • Only 20% college students reported that they abstain from drinking alcohol • male college students and young adults are more likely to take drugs than their female counterparts .

few times a month. Oral sex is in 3rd place • Adultery is clearly the exception rather than the rule • Men think about sex far more than women do .Robert Michael (1994) • Americans fall into 3 categories: have sex twice a week or more. few times a year or not at all • Married (and cohabiting) couples have sex more often than noncohabiting couples • Most americans do not engage in kinky sexual acts.

Laura Brown • lesbians and gays experience life as a minority in a dominant. majority culture • Bicultural identity is created as a new way of defining themselves • Lesbians and gays adapt best when they don’t define themselves in polarities • Balancing the demands of two cultures: minority lesbian/gay culture and majority heterosexual culture can lead to more effective coping for lesbians and gays .

dualistic thinking of adolescence gives way to the reflective. good/bad) • The absolutist.William Perry (1999) • changes in cognition that take place in early adulthood. relativistic thinking of adulthood as they become older . adolescents often view the world in terms of polarities (right/wrong.

recognizing that worldview is subjective.Gisela Labouvie-Vief (2006) • Increasing complexity of cultures in the past century has generated greater need for more reflective. • Level of education emerging adults achieve influences how likely they will maximize their cognitive potential . understanding that diverse worldviews should be acknowledged. complex thinking that takes into account the changing nature of knowledge and challenges • Emphasizes that the key aspects of cognitive development in emerging adulthood include: deciding on particular worldview.

security and happiness • Many individuals have an ideal concept of career path toward achieving the American dream of upward mobility through occupational ladders . ingrained cultural beliefs that engaging in hard work for long hours through adulthood will produce a path to status.Phyllis Moen (2009) • described the ‘career mystique’.

but rarely discuss what the goals might lead to-the purpose for studying hard and getting good grades • Too often students focus only on short-tem goals and don’t explore the big.William Damon • • explores how purpose is a missing ingredient in many adolescents’ and emerging adults’ achievement and career development Too many young drifts go through high school/college by engaging in behavior that places them at risk for not fulfilling their potential and not finding a life pursuit that energizes them. long-term picture of what they want to do in life . • • • • Only 20% of the 12-22 year olds in the interviews had a clear vision of where they want to go in their life 60% had engaged in potentially purposeful activities but still did not have real commitment or reasonable plans to reach their goals Another 20% expressed no aspirations Most teachers and parents communicate the importance of such goals as studying hard and getting good grades.

Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi • ‘FLOW’: heightened state of pleasure experienced when we are engaged in mental and physical challenges that absorb us .

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