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Chapter 12: Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years). Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Chapter Objectives –To identify and define selected concepts that are especially.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 12: Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years). Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Chapter Objectives –To identify and define selected concepts that are especially."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 12: Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years)

2 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Chapter Objectives –To identify and define selected concepts that are especially relevant for understanding development during adulthood, including social roles, the life course, and fulfillment theories –To analyze the process of forming intimate relationships, including identifying and committing to a long-term relationship, the role of cohabitation in forming close relationships, and the challenges one faces in adjusting to the early years of marriage

3 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Chapter Objectives (cont.) –To describe the factors associated with the decision to have children, the impact of childbearing on the intimate, parental relationship, and the contribution of childbearing to the growth in adulthood –To explore the concept of work as a stimulus for psychological development in early adulthood with a special focus on the technical skills, authority relations, demands and hazards, and the interpersonal relations in the work environment

4 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Chapter Objectives (cont.) –To examine the concept of lifestyle as the expression of individual identity, with consideration for the pace of life, balancing competing role demands, building a supportive social network, and adopting practices to promote health and fitness –To define and describe the psychosocial crisis of intimacy versus isolation; the central process through which the crisis is resolved, mutuality among peers; the prime adaptive ego quality of love; and the core pathology of exclusivity

5 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Chapter Objectives (cont.) –To analyze divorce as a life stressor in early adulthood, including factors contributing to it and the coping process

6 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Major Concepts in the Study of Adulthood –Social roles are a set of behaviors that have some socially agreed-upon functions and for which there exists an accepted code of norms, such as the role of teacher, child, or minister

7 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years)

8 Major Concepts in the Study of Adulthood (cont.) –Life course refers to the integration and sequencing of phases of work and family life over time –A trajectory is the path of ones life experiences in a specific domain, particularly work and family life –A transition is the beginning or ending of an event or relationship

9 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Major Concepts in the Study of Adulthood (cont.) –Social clock or the age norms and age expectation that operate as prods and brakes upon behavior, in some instances hastening behavior and in some instances delaying it

10 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Figure 12.1 A Hypothetical life Course

11 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Major Concepts in the Study of Adulthood –Fulfillment Theories Competence – the exercise of skill and intelligence in the completion of tasks; the sense that one is capable of exercising mastery over ones environment Self-Acceptance – an essential component of continued growth is to experience and accept the authentic self Self-Actualization – a motive that urges the person to make optimal use of his or her full potential, to become a more effective, creative participant in daily life

12 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Figure 12.2 Maslows Hierarchy of Needs

13 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Exploring Intimate Relationships: Readiness to Marry & Selection of a Partner –The period of early adulthood is a time when men and women explore the possibility of forming relationships that combine emotional closeness, shared interests, a shared vision of the future, and sexual intimacy

14 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Exploring Intimate Relationships: Readiness to Marry & Selection of a Partner (cont.) –It is important to recognize that many forms of intimate relationships in addition to marriage are being established during early adulthood, including serious dating, cohabitation with or without the intention of marriage, and commitments between gay and lesbian couples

15 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Exploring Intimate Relationships: Readiness to Marry & Selection of a Partner (cont.) –Roughly 100 years of social science research has established that satisfaction in the relationship of marriage contributes significantly to psychological well-being, including a greater sense of social integration, and protection from other life stressors –The main change in the marriage pattern has been that more young adults postpone marriage until the end of their 20s

16 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Exploring Intimate Relationships: Readiness to Marry & Selection of a Partner (cont.) –Delaying the age at marriage is related to several other social trends, including having children at a later age, smaller projected family size, and therefore fewer years devoted to childrearing

17 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Exploring Intimate Relationships: Readiness to Marry & Selection of a Partner (cont.) –Beyond the desire to marry, an important factor is the readiness of the two individuals for a long-term commitment –Work on identity must be far enough along so that the possibility of a deep, emotional involvement with another person will be regarded as exciting rather than frightening –Recent studies find that early and later adolescents are likely to be thinking about intimacy issues long before their work on identity is completed

18 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Exploring Intimate Relationships: Readiness to Marry & Selection of a Partner (cont.) –School enrollment as well as educational attainment have important links to relationship commitment –In the U.S. and other individualistic cultures, most people believe that romantic love is the central reason for choosing a marriage partner –Men tend to value youth and physical appearance in a partner more than do women; women value earning potential and job stability in a partner more than do men

19 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Figure 12.3 The Mate Selection Process in the United States

20 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Case Study: How Love Makes Its Way into a Relationship –Thought Questions What does love mean for Dick and Gail? In what ways might love be different from liking? How is the relationship between Dick and Gail transformed when love is mentioned? What are the qualities of an intimate relationship that you see illustrated in the case of Dick and Gail? What elements of an intimate relationship appear to be missing in this relationship? How does the case illustrate the concept of homogamy? How does the case illustrate the concepts from social evolutionary theory?

21 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Case Study: How Love Makes Its Way into a Relationship (cont.) –Thought Questions (cont.) What challenges do you imagine Dick and Gail might face in the first few years of marriage? What resources might help them cope with these challenges?

22 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Exploring Intimate Relationships: Cohabitation –Cohabitation rather than marriage has become a common expression of a committed relationship –Research shows that those couples who have cohabited before marriage are more likely to divorce than those who have not –In recent cohorts, couples who have married after cohabitation and those who never cohabitated before marriage are equally stable, or, perhaps one might say, equally unstable

23 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Exploring Intimate Relationships: Cohabitation (cont.) –Six types of cohabitating relationships Marginal Prelude to marriage Stages in the marriage process Alternative to being single Alternative to marriage Indistinguishable from marriage

24 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Exploring Intimate Relationships: Partners of the Same Sex –Gay men and lesbians are a diverse group with respect to their interests, talents, educational backgrounds, family backgrounds, careers, and other important aspects of adult roles –Research has addressed the impact of coming out to parents or other family members

25 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Exploring Intimate Relationships: Partners of the Same Sex (cont.) –Homosexual relationships are often established within a climate of secrecy and social stigma, especially fears about parental rejection –Gay and lesbian couples often perceive less social support from family members and seek other members of the gay or lesbian community to validate and encourage their relationship

26 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Exploring Intimate Relationships: Partners of the Same Sex (cont.) –Lesbian and gay couples who are in a committed relationship tend to give great priority to maintaining and enhancing their relationship for several reasons

27 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Exploring Intimate Relationships: Adjustment during the Early Years of Marriage –Communication and Marital Adjustment There are many sources of tension in a new marriage. As part of the adjustment to marriage, the partners must achieve a sense of psychological commitment to each other It is reasonable to expect that intimacy and a high level of marital satisfaction require effective communication and the capacity to cope effectively with conflict

28 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Exploring Intimate Relationships: Adjustment during the Early Years of Marriage (cont.) –Communication and Marital Adjustment (cont.) Three dimensions of conflict seem especially important in differentiating happy and distressed marital relationships: amount of negative communication; coercive escalation; and perceptions of partners conflict resolution style

29 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Exploring Intimate Relationships: Adjustment during the Early Years of Marriage (cont.) –Communication styles of men and women Men and women communicate differently and have different perceptions of the process, but this may be overstated. Men and women prefer contactful interactions, rather than controlling interactions Men tend to be more ambivalent than women about expressing emotions and withdraw to avoid escalating conflict more than women

30 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Exploring Intimate Relationships: Adjustment in Dual-Earner Marriages –One of the greatest changes in U.S. families in the second half of the 20th century was the increase in the number of married women who were employed –It is now normative for married women, including those with young children, to be in the labor market –The involvement of both husband and wife in the labor market requires a redefinition of traditional family roles and the division of labor

31 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Exploring Intimate Relationships: Adjustment in Dual-Earner Marriages (cont.) –A potential conflict for dual-earner couples is the relative balance of power and demands for household labor for the two partners –There are many benefits to the dual earner arrangement, but the advantages of the dual- earner, multiple-role lifestyle can be offset when one or both partners experience role overload

32 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Childbearing: Fertility Rate & Decisions about Childbearing –The average number of births required for the natural replacement of a population is estimated at 2.1 per adult woman –Fertility rates in the United States vary race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status –Decisions about childbearing are made in the context of other personal and family goals and commitments

33 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Childbearing: Fertility Rate & Decisions about Childbearing (cont.) –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 –Decisions to postpone childbearing are constrained by the biological clock

34 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Childbearing: Dual Roles of Intimate Partner and Parent & The Decision Not To Have Children –In contrast to the elation that usually accompanies the anticipation of and preparation for the newborn, the arrival of the first child often brings a period of stress to the relationship –The quality of marital adjustment over the transition to parenthood is closely related to marital quality before the child was born. Having children did have impact on marital companionship

35 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Childbearing: Dual Roles of Intimate Partner and Parent & The Decision Not To Have Children (cont.) –As the roles of mother and father are added to the adults repertoire of relationships, their own expectations concerning the raising of a child are aroused –Not all couples choose to have children –Much like attitudes toward remaining single, attitudes toward a lifestyle in which a couple chooses not to have children are becoming more accepting

36 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Childbearing: Dual Roles of Intimate Partner and Parent &The Decision Not To Have Children (cont.) –The U.S. culture continues to be pronatalistic, placing a high value on having children

37 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Figure 12.4 Duration of Joint Husband-Wife Leisure Without Child for Parents and Nonparents

38 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Work: The World of Work –Within the life-course framework, the occupational career is a major structural facto in each persons life story, in combination with intimate relationships and parenting

39 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Work: The World of Work (cont.) –The training period involves a process of socialization of the new worker. During this time, the individual must evaluate the match between his or her personal characteristics and goals. Four central components of the work situation are: Technical skills Authority relations Demands and hazards Interpersonal relationships with co-workers

40 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Work: Poverty and Career Opportunities –Factors limit the range of occupations open to a given person during the work-search phase, including educational attainment, ability, and location –Recent policy changes in the U.S. welfare system have led to a renewed interest in the process of supporting the transition from welfare to work –The biggest challenge facing individuals in this transition in the lack of jobs that will provide the salary and benefits necessary to raise workers out of the poverty level

41 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Case Study: Jaye Crowe –Thought Questions What do you do? What kinds of people do well in this business? What do you really like about your job? What do you dislike? How can someone get a job like yours?

42 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Career Phases and Individual Development –Three phases of career development Early, middle, and late career development –In each phase career development reflects Concerns about self Concerns about career Concerns about family

43 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Lifestyle: Pace of Life & Social Network –Lifestyle is a social psychological construct that integrates personality characteristics, goals, convictions, and inner conflicts with social opportunities and resources into an organizing pattern of actions and choices –Pace of life, or the business of life, is shaped by work, family, personality, and environmental context –As a result of participation in multiple roles, most people expand their social network during early adulthood

44 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Lifestyle: Pace of Life & Social Network (cont.) –The contribution of friendships to personal satisfaction and lifestyle differs widely during this time with single adults and couples without children typically having more time for adult friendships than do parents

45 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Lifestyle: Competing Role Demands & Health and Fitness –A source of tension in adulthood is the competition of role demands –One part of role learning involves a widening circle of competencies and relationships. Another part involves balancing the conflicting expectations of simultaneous role responsibilities –The more involved one is in the competitive demands of work, the less likely one is to feel comfortable about spending time away from it

46 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Lifestyle: Competing Role Demands & Health and Fitness (cont.) –The contemporary emphasis on health and fitness indicates the importance of lifestyle decisions for illness prevention and longevity

47 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) The Psychosocial Crisis: Intimacy –Intimacy is the ability to experience an open, supportive, tender relationship with another person without fear of losing ones own identity in the process of growing close. The sense of intimacy is usually acquired toward the end of early adulthood –Mens interaction styles very from that of women in that men are less intimate than women –A common context for the establishment of intimacy is the work setting

48 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years)

49 The Psychosocial Crisis: Isolation –Isolation is a crisis resolution in which situational factors or a fragile sense of self leads a person to remain psychologically distant from others; the state of being alone –Feelings of loneliness can be separated into three categories: transient, situational, and chronic –Isolation may be a cause as well as a consequence of depression –For some people, the possibility of closeness with another person seriously threatens the sense of self

50 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) The Psychosocial Crisis: Isolation (cont.) –Isolation can also result from situation factors such as moving to a new town, educational or career decisions, etc. –Isolation can also be a product of diverging spheres of interest and activity –Enmeshed relationships, are characterized by overinvolvement in one anothers lives, to the extent that any change in one family member is met by strong resistance by the others; individuality is viewed as a threat to the relationship

51 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) The Central Process: Mutuality Among Peers –Mutuality refers to empathetic awareness of one another, understanding of self and other, and the ability and willingness to regulate ones needs in order to respond to the needs of ones partner –Mutuality is strengthened as the two individuals learn to rely on each other and as they discover that their combined efforts are more effective than their individual efforts would be

52 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) The Prime Adaptive Ego Quality and Core Pathology –Love is an emotion characterized by a capacity for mutuality that transcends childhood dependency –Exclusivity is a shutting out of others for elitist reasons

53 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Figure 12.5 Sternbergs Triangle of Types of Love

54 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Applied Topic: Divorce –Factors contributing to divorce Age at marriage Socioeconomic level Socioemotional development of the partners Family history of divorce Coping with divorce Attachment to former spouse Coping strategies

55 Early Adulthood (24 – 34 Years) Figure 12.6 Probability of First-Marriage Disruption by Duration of marriage and Wifes Age at Marriage: United States, 1995


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