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Interview Project

Elliot Cornell

University of Wisconsin-Stout

HDFS-330 Human Development Middle Adulthood



Young Adult

Sarah Heart, is a twenty-one-year-old UW-Stout, pursuing her bachelors degree in

human development and family studies. I met her over six months ago, at a party right off

campus. Thankfully we are in the same major, so this allows us to share similar views and

experiences at this age.


When I asked about Her fitness, she said that her diet and exercise routines. Which are

surprisingly like her routines as a fifteen-year-old. At this stage, she was not over weight at all.

She worked out and competed in gymnastics at a State level. Over all she was in amazing shape.

She was involved in many sports, including track, shock put, cross country, and volley ball.

Since then, she has stopped all sports, and started exercising regularly. She has gained some

more weight than in high school. Yet remains in relatively good health, with exceptional eating

habits. She is on, a strict Paleo diet, eating only high protein meats, and vegetables. Excluding

sugar, carbs, and dairy. Due to this evidence, there is little noticeable transition from her diet

while attending high school to current date. The only major difference I recognize in her lack of

athletic activities.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is very important to her. Maintaining her goals, and

reaching new ones is a constant struggle but she is adamant to succeed. Due to the standard

college lifestyle, we all tend to have poor health and fitness habits. Yet for her its almost the

exact opposite she strives to break out of that stereotype and stay free of it. Which is remarkable

due to the level of poor health choices which are readily available. Bjorklund States, over one-

third of U.S. adults are obese due to lack of exercise and diets high in calories from sugar and


fat. (2015). Thankfully Sarah has been living a very healthy lifestyle, allowing her to stay in

shape and maintain her weight goals. This has also allowed her to avoid many young adult health

concerns. Bjorklund also stated, over one-third of U.S. adults are obese due to lack of exercise

and diets high in calories from sugar and fat. (2015). Due to her determination and goals she is

at little risk of age related health issues.

Friends and Family Relationships

Most of Sarahs friends from her high school days have disappeared. Yet two of them

have remained, Amber, and Leah. Recently Amber has severed their friendship leaving only one

high school relationship remaining. However, Sarah is a very social and outgoing person. She

enjoys making new friends and talking to new people. With that said, Sarah is rather picky with

who she lets in as a close friend. She has many acquaintances yet several very close friends.

This is defiantly, the stage that Sarah has been the loneliest, with many friends coming and

going (Doll, 2017). Sarahs behaviors shows she is typical of a young adult. I say this because

she has several friends coming and going, while continuously making new friends. To current

date she has started to, desire more meaningful relationships because as the individual gets older,

social circles will become smaller and more selective (Doll, 2017).

Sarahs interactions with her parents and extended family have changed very little since

High school. She is still seen as the youngest and not taken seriously by her immediate family.

There is a slightly different power dynamic now, although I am viewed as the baby and not

taken seriously I no longer have to listen to them, which gives me a level of power I didnt have

when I was under there roof. The relationship between her and, her siblings has improved

however. They now see her as an individual to respect and share with. Yet they still some times

in family situations treat her like the baby of the family. This is relatively typical of young


adults, because siblings and their relationships change and become more prominent with age

(Doll, 2017). Growing up, she had the stereotypical parent/sibling relationships. This includes a

lack of positive feelings for each other. Yet now that she is older, and they have separated more,

they have had to change their communication patters. Which has brought them closer together.


In comparison from then and now, Sarah is much happier than she was at fifteen. She

stated, Im makes me happy to live in a beautiful world, and be privileged to attend college.

Being away from my parents is a plus too. Some of the other things that make her happy

include, family, TV, friends, her cat, working out, and music. Per our lectures Doll states,

younger adults are more likely to experience strong positive or negative feelings (2017). In

Sarahs case, however this doesnt seem to be true. She thinks her happiness is due to her high

self-confidence and self-esteem. Which puts her out of the norm in regards to the average young

adult. Doll states, what makes a person happy seems to change with age. Which wouldnt fit in

her case because of her outlook on life. She has always been a positive person, and still succeeds

in her goals and healthy life style. The things that made her happy when she was fifteen still very

much so make her happy, she has simply added to her hobbies.


Sarah currently works at the Shoe sensation store part time. In the past she has had

several different jobs, including factory work and sales. She stated to me that she doesnt want to

work at these dead-end jobs for long. She wants a career, which is why she is working so hard at

school. Due to this I would have to say Sarah is a very typical young adult, exploring her

options. The exploration stage is usually comprised of fifteen to twenty-four-year olds, and is


the point which we choose a career preference and an occupational preference (Doll, 2017).

Currently she is in the HDFS major, yet isnt exactly sure what she wants to make of it. She just

knows it must be with kids.

Romantic Relationships

Currently, Sarah is in a long-term relationship, she played around with several flings in

the past but never made a lasting connection. She has since settled down and found a long-term

commitment based on emotional attachment. Sarah is recently twenty-one, which puts her in the

middle of young adulthood. Per Dolls lecture, once an individual learns who they are and what

they want out of life, they have a sense of identity and they can make better choices regarding

relationship partners. When Sarah was fifteen she was rather shallow and didnt know what, she

wanted. Yet she wasnt seeking a relationship she did have several male friends she hung out

with. She most definably wasnt looking for any commitments at that time. Now that she is in a

long-term relationship she is seeking a carrier to begin the next step of her adult life. Her current

relationship is based on friendship and companionship, along with physical attraction which goes

along with what Doll presented by saying, young adults have a combination of friendship and

sexual attraction. This fits well with the position she is currently in.

Hopes for the Future

Sarahs hopes for the future are to be, working full time possibly as an after-school

activities coordinator. She also hopes to be debt free, have four kids, married, and fully

independent from her parents.



Sarah had developed rather normally for her age range. She has very typical peer and

family patters for her young adult stage. She has above average job history and career goals. She

has a good definition of romantic relationships. I would say that she falls easily in the early adult

range due to her search for a committed relationship rather than a physical one. Her diet and

exercise habits are stellar, and very different than most people her age. She is heavily into diet

and exercise and committed to losing more weight and taking no steps backwards. These things

seem to give her a high sense of life satisfaction for her age. She is a very happy person who

experiences few negative or selfish emotions.

Early Adult

Josh, is a thirty-year-old White male. He is currently un married and has no kids. He

works as an investment banker in New York, I have known Josh for all my life and is probably

the best worst oldest brother I could ever ask for.


Joshs physical health has stayed the same most of his life. When he was twenty-two he

was of average build and played basketball for physical exercise. He didnt watch what he ate,

because he was never over weight. Now days, he works at a desk, getting little exercise other

than when he goes to the gym nightly. When asked how is health compared then to now. He

stated that, its harder, it tiers me out more and I have less motivation to go to the gym after a

long day at work. He also commented that he is more sore after going to the gym now days than

in the past. Per Dolls lecture, this is typical for early adults because exercising becomes more

difficult with age because of the lack of time, increased effort, and increased recovery time (Doll,

2017). Along with his physical changes, Josh also experiences other signs of aging, like a


receding hair line, and a much slower metabolism (Doll, 2017). He made a comment when

talking about how hard it is to exercise. He stated, Its easier to gain now days than it is to lose.

Its like fighting an uphill battle all the time. I would attribute this comment to his lacking of

exercise and a slowing metabolism.

Friends and Family Relationships

Josh is in contact with several of his college friends, Bones, Jonny, Alex, and Sam.

Although they all live far away they keep in touch by playing video games, and skyping. He

stated that, they talk almost every night after work playing games. His relations to them have

not changed a whole lot. Per Dolls lecture, friendships in adulthood are based on similar life

experiences (Doll, 2017). Which makes sense because all his friends are of similar age, and at

the same stage he is. Only one of them is married and the other two are in their careers. They still

make times for each other despite their busy lives. I could see this situation being very different

if half of them where married with children.

Joshs relationship with his parents hasnt changed all that much in the past few years.

They very much have an expectation of mutual trust, and respect. Per Dolls lecture, most adults

live near their parents and have frequent contact with their parents (Doll, 2017). In this area

Josh differs drastically with his parents being from the mid-west. He has little physical

interaction with them. Yet stays in touch via Skype and phone calls usually once a week at least.

This is not typical of early adulthood. Per the socioemotional selective theory, as an individual

grows older they want more meaningful relationships and have less time, so they search for

emotionally satisfying relationships (Doll, 2017). Josh also has started to pick and choose his

friend and family relationships more carefully which is typical of the early adult stage. Due to

the amount of free time and emotional care meaningful relationships require.



Things Josh enjoyed in his twenties compared to now, havent changed all that much. In

his twenties, he enjoyed parties, alcohol, basketball, and videogames. He still loves these things

today, and they are still his current hobbies. The only major difference from then to now, is his

current relationship with the woman he is planning on marrying. Per Dolls lecture, individuals

in relationships, particularly married individuals, are happier with life (2017). This is definitely

evident in Josh today, he commented, Cait makes me happier than I have ever been before. I

dont know how I lived without her. Over all Josh is much happier now that he was in his

twenties. He feels strongly that he has a sense a purpose which he lacked in his twenties. He did

say that he misses his twenties bod but overall he is much more satisfied with his life.


In his twenties josh went through several jobs, selling pizza, and sales. None of his prior

jobs have been very meaningful to him though. Currently he is working as an Investment banker

in New York. With that job, he carries two primary identities, the hick from Minnesota dubbed

to him by his coworkers and friends, and the wealthy investor. Josh was provided several

opportunities to explore what he wanted to do. He settled on Investment banking from an early

age. Even in high school he was voted most likely to become a millionaire. I am proud to say he

is well on his way. Josh fits the research clearly with the statement, at this age he should be

established in his career, or stabilized and advancing in a job (Doll, 2017). Josh is currently in

the process of advancing in his career yearly. Although Josh is at his dream job, he doesnt want

to live in the cities forever. He does want to move back to MN eventually and start a family. For

this he would have to leave NY and start work at a smaller firm. Per Holland, career choice is

an expression or extension of personality into the world of work (Doll, 2017).


Romantic Relationships

Josh has always had a thing for exotic women, meaning foreign. They havent changed

all that much since his twenties. He is still a very physical person, although his current

relationship has changed him into more of a romantic. Being in his early adult stage he quotes to

me, Now that I have Cait I dont need to look for anyone else. He has always needed and

wanted someone that will take charge due to his care free personality. He is now hoping to start a

future with this woman and eventually having children. Which does follow the typical

development of the early adult hood stage because the most common ideals of this stage is that

theyll get married and start having children (Doll, 2017).

Expectations for the Future

Josh hopes that within the next ten years he will be working less hours for more money.

Being past the grind that he is currently in. Married and raising his kids out of New York. In the

next twenty years. He hopes to be retired and living off his investments and pension watching his

kids grow up and start families.


From what we talked about in class, Josh is normal in reguards to early adulthood. He

meets almost every area perfectly. His health is declining slowly but not significantly. He eats

rather well for his age. Looking to settle down and start a family. His life satisfaction is much

higher than it was at twenty-two. His only regret is waiting so long to find the right woman.

Middle Adult


Peter is a fifty-eight-year-old man, of the middle upper class. He lives in Zumbrota,

Minnesota. He has been happily married for forty-two years and has four children, three

biological and one adopted. He is my father, and the middle child of his siblings.


Overall Peters health hasnt changed much since he was in his thirties. He still eats home

cooked meals from my mother consisting of high protein and carbs. He has never been a active

guy other than is fishing trips. He doesnt exercise or seem to make a conscious effort to stay in

shape. He says that, I just cant do as much as I once could. I need a mid-day nap to get it all

done. Over all he has a poor diet for his age range, and has diverticulitis. Peter has no prior

health concerns within the family. Yet has had back surgery twice, which may become more

problematic with his weight. These health problems are typical for the middle adulthood stage.

Per Dolls lecture, health issues leading to death in this age range are cancer, heart disease,

obesity, or diabetes (2017). Peter also stated, I have no plans on changing my life style. I have

no one I need to impress. This mentality and health situation is rather typical for people in the

middle adulthood stage. Showing signs of primary aging such as, hair loss, graying hair, and

wrinkles (Doll, 2017).

Friend and Family Relationships

Peter has very few close friends, most of them live their own lives with their children. All

of them are relationships he formed in his thirties. They dont hang out much anymore. Other

than the yearly fishing trips to Canada where they call get together and catch up for a week. Most

of these friends where accumulated via college or his career at IBM. He is still close to all of

them. These relationships are highly typical for some one of his age. According to Bjorklund,


once middle age arrives and we are focused on our partners and children, the number of

people in our friendship networks start declining, and that continues until the end of life. Not

only do older adults have smaller friendship networks, but they also have less contact with their

friends. (2015) Peters relationships have also changed within his family. He has less contact

with his siblings now days and more contact than previously with his sons. This is not typical of

someone in this stage. Bjorklund says that, relationships with siblings decline in importance

during the child-rearing years In later adulthood, siblings become central to each other again,

intensifying their bonds and offering each other support in their later years. (Bjorklund, 2015).

Now that he is past his child rearing years. It would make more sense for him to be closer to his



Peter has the same definition of happy ness now as he did when he was thirty-five. He

still enjoys fishing, music, concerts, friends, and walking. All hobbies that he had as a younger

adult. He does take more joy in life today though than he did in his earlier years. My family

makes life worth living. I live for my kids and I hope they will do the same for there children.


Peter once worked for IBM, and stared there right out of college graduating from UW-

Stout. forty years later he is now retired and has his own business, Cornell Computers He

couldnt be happier. When asked about his satisfaction, When I was at IBM I was in charge of

500 people, and It really meant something. Now that I am retired, it is not as important to me as

my free time is now. I wouldnt go back for any amount of money. He is more satisfied now

than he was then no doubt about it. This is a normal tendency for a person in the middle


adulthood stage. Per Dolls lecture, individuals in middle adulthood are happier in their careers

and have job satisfaction (2017).

Romantic Relationships

Peter hasnt changed much when it pertains to what he wants in a partner. When he was

thirty-five he said, wanted your mother, and I got her. I havent looked back since. He is still

married and happy. It is much less important to have a romantic partner but instead a companion

to be by his side. He is still very happy with his marriage and doesnt want anything to change.

Per Dolls Lecture, those in middle adulthood have increased in relational satisfaction (Doll,

2016). Peter is on par with this research due to the satisfaction he receives from his wife.

Expectations for the Future

Peter wants to be retired as soon as possible. He is planning on moving to Arizona with

my mother and relaxing permanently within the next six years. He plans on spending his time

fishing, attending live music concerts, and playing with his grandchildren.


Peter almost perfectly fits the typical middle adulthood concept. He is slightly different

with his lack of sibling relationship. Yet his mental and physical health fit to the tee. His career

and family satisfaction also reflect a typical middle adulthood individual.



Bjorklund, B. (2015). The Journey of Adulthood. (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson

Education, Inc.

Doll, K (2017). Physical Changes with Age. Week: 3. In D2L: Early/Middle Adulthood.

Doll, K (2017). Health and Health Disorders. Week: 4. In D2L: Early/Middle Adulthood.

Doll, K (2017). Social Roles. Week: 6. In D2L: Early/Middle Adulthood.

Doll, K (2017). Parent/Child Relations in Adulthood. Week: 7. In D2L: Early/Middle Adulthood.

Doll, K (2017). Romantic Relationships. Week: 7. In D2L: Early/Middle Adulthood.

Doll, K (2017). Individual Development: Growth of Self. Week: 7. In D2L: Early/Middle


Doll, K (2017). Work and Retirement. Week: 8. In D2L: Early/Middle Adulthood.