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PSYC 2314 Lifespan Development

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1 PSYC 2314 Lifespan Development
Chapter 19 Early Adulthood: Psychosocial Development

2 Tasks of Adulthood Maslow’s Erikson’s Love and belonging
Success and esteem Erikson’s Intimacy vs. isolation Generativity vs. stagnation Two drives that are inborn in every adult: to connect with other people in mutually nurturing relationships and to accomplish something themselves. Generativity vs. stagnation: when the person needs to be productive in some meaningful way, usu. through work or parenthood. Otherwise, life is empty and purposeless. Traditionally, the early 20s were seen as the time to finish breaking away from parents, begin making choices in affiliation and achievement (marriage, parenthood, education, career, politics, community and church membership), and accommodate to social norms. While such patterns were once followed by many adults, any attempt today to match one particular age to one particular stage would be limited. Whatever “stages” there might be can be experienced more than once and in almost any order.

3 Tasks of Adulthood Social Clock: a culturally set timetable that establishes when various events and behaviors in life are appropriate and called for. Age-stratified: society in developed regions Less age-stratified: society in less developed regions SES: primary influence Each culture, each subculture, and every historical period sets its own clock. Various norms govern the “best” age to become independent of one’s parents, to finish schooling, to establish a career, to have children, and so on. Age-stratified: certain privileges, responsibilities, and expectation are associated with reaching a certain age. Legal age for driving, drinking, voting, etc. There is an expected age for marriage, first baby, completion of childbearing, grandparenthood, etc. The specific ages change over time, but age itself remains significant. Example, 50 years ago, a woman was expected to begin having children at 19 and finish by 30; now, it’s acceptable to have first child at 30. The lower a person’s SES, the sooner (s)he is expected to reach life’s major milestones, from beginning independent to becoming “old.” It’s apparent for women.

4 Intimacy Two primary sources Close friendships Sexual partnership

5 Friendship More important than family members as a buffer against stress Guides to self-awareness Sources of positive feelings Because friends choose each other.

6 Friendship Young adulthood is the prime time to solidify friendships and make new ones: Most try to postpone the overriding commitments of marriage and having children. Because today’s elderly are healthier, few young adults must provide care for aging parents.

7 Gateways of Attraction
Four factors for friendship as romance: Physical attractiveness Apparent availability Absence of unwanted traits and other “exclusion criteria” Frequent exposure Exclusion criteria: filters

8 Gender Differences Friendships between men are often based on shared activities and interests, and discussions center on external matters. Friendships between women tend to be more intimate and emotional, based on shared confidences and practical assistance in times of crisis.

9 Gender Differences Women are much more likely than men to reveal their weaknesses to friends. It may be primarily a way coping with problems. Men tend to be more competitive. Hence, friendship for men may be largely a way of maintaining a favorable self-concept.

10 Gender Differences Reasons why men’s friendships may be less intimate than women’s: Mutual vulnerability is a characteristic that is discouraged in men. The tendency of boys to be more active and girls more verbal may lay the groundwork for interaction patterns in adulthood. Many men avoid any expression of affection toward other men for fear of its association with homosexuality.

11 Cross-Sex Friendships
Expand each partner’s perspective on many issues Problematic Men often try to sexualize a platonic friendship

12 Dimensions of Love 3 components: Passion Intimacy Commitment
Passion: “falling in love,” an intense physical, cognitive, and emotional onslaught characterized by excitement, ecstasy, and euphoria Intimacy: openness, honesty, and trust Commitment: grows through a series of day-to-day decisions to spend time together, to care for each other, to share possessions, and to overcome problems even when that involves some personal sacrifices. Devotion and mutual dependence are among the dominant traits of commitment All 3 = consummate love

13 Dimensions of Love Liking—intimacy Infatuation—passion
Empty love—commitment Romantic love—passion and intimacy Fatuous love—passion Companionate love—intimacy and commitment Consummate love—passion, intimacy and commitment

14 Development of Love and Marriage
Cohabitation: living together A prelude to marriage Cohabitants tend to be less happy, less healthy, and less satisfied with their financial status

15 Factors Influencing Marital Success
Maturity of the partners Homogamy vs. heterogamy Social homogamy Marital equity The younger marriage partners are when they first wed, the less likely their marriage is to succeed. Erikson, this may be because intimacy is hard to establish until identity is reached. However, marriage too long postponed is also likely to reduce overall happiness. Homogamy—marriage between individuals who are similar in attitudes, interests, goals, socioeconomic background, religion, ethnic group, etc. has a better chance of survival than does heterogamy, or marriage between individual who are dissimilar in these respects. Similar in leisure interests and role preferences (social homogamy) is particularly important to marital success. Marital equity—the extent to which the partners perceive equality in the relationship. According to the exchange theory, marriage is an arrangement in which each person contributes something useful to the other. Shared contributions. What mattes most is the perception of fairness, not measurable equality.

16 Divorce Role of expectations
First emotional impact: increased hostility Adjustments Unhappy partners suddenly notice lost benefits that they did not know they had Hadn’t realized the strength of their emotional dependence. There’s a cognitive shift that has led people to expect a great deal of more from their marriage partner than spouses in the past did. While couples expect more from a relationship than couples once did, they devote less of themselves to a marriage. Solution is to raise expectations of oneself. The longer a couple has been together, the more intimate they once were, and the more commitments they shared (joint property, mutual friends, and most important, children) the more stress a break up brings.

17 Divorced, with Children
Add financial pressure Require ex-spouses to compromise about visitation Visibly remind both parents what might have been (or what actually used to be) Make remarriage less likely Children make adjustment to divorce more problematic. Custodial parents usu. lose income and free time. Non-custodial lose intimate bonds formed through daily and nightly interactions.

18 Spouse Abuse Contributing Factors Social pressures that create stress
Cultural values that condone violence Personality pathologies Drug and alcohol addiction History of child maltreatment Personality pathologies: poor impulse control, emotional control, etc.

19 Spouse Abuse Two Forms:
Common couple violence: yelling, insulting, and physical attack Patriarchal terrorism: husband uses violent methods of accelerating intensity to isolate, degrade, and punish wife Common couple violence can sometimes evolve into worse abuse, but more often the couple gradually learns more constructive ways to resolve conflict, on their own or through marriage counseling. The perpetrators of couple violence are as likely to be women as men, with both partners sometimes becoming involved in violent arguments. Patriarchal terrorism: leads to the battered-wife syndrome, in which the woman is not only beaten but also psychologically and socially broken. She lives in perpetual fear and self-loathing, without friends or family to turn to, increasingly vulnerable to permanent injury and death. In nearly all cases, patriarchal terrorism becomes more extreme the longer the relationship endures, because the cycle of violence and submission feeds on itself. Each act that renders the wife helpless adds to the man’s feeling of control and the woman’s feeling that she cannot, must not, fight back.

20 Spouse Abuse Prevention
Educating children and protecting them from violence Counteracting the poverty and deprivation that underlies abuse Treating the alcoholism Family examples and family connections

21 Generativity Four traditional stages of the career cycle: Exploration
Establishment Maintenance Decline (retirement) Fit the low-tech job market that was typical in the 50s. With changes in the world of economy, esp. the shift from industry-based economies to information and service economies, the developmental pattern of work is no longer an unbroken line of advancement.

22 Today’s Workforce Work path for individuals is much less linear and secure Skills are quite specific, yet may be obsolete tomorrow Much more diverse People in their 20s should seek educational and vocational settings that foster a variety of psychosocial and cognitive skills. Half the civilian work force in developed nation is female. Ethnic diversity is increasing as well.

23 Implications of Trends
Young adults should not plan, or train for, one job in one career that will last a lifetime Workers today need greater sensitivity to cultural differences Young adults should focus on developing basic skills communication, logical thought, and human relations. These skills will enable them to remain flexible (and employable) in today’s unpredictable work environment.

24 Implications of Trends
Women, minority-group members, and those with a disability may continue to bump into a glass ceiling. Glass ceiling is the invisible barrier to job advancement.

25 Dual-Earner Family Life
Myth: children suffer from neglect Opportunities: higher family income, more active relationships with their fathers, and the opportunity to witness more flexible role models Challenges: perception of marital equity, family logistics, salary inequity. When either spouse feels there is a marked inequality in household responsibilities or income production, resentment builds and the marriage suffers. Family logistics, that is, coordinating the many obligations of family life. An increasingly common problem occurs when the wife earns more than the husband and is more committed to her career.

26 Alternative Forms of Parenthood
Stepparents, adoptive parents, foster parents Strong bonds between parent and child are particularly hard to create when a child has already formed definite attachments to other caregivers who are still available to the child. Because they are legally connected to their children for life, adoptive parents have an advantage over stepparents in establishing bonds with their children. Stepchildren, foster children, and adoptive children tend to leave home earlier than adolescents living with one or both biological parents.

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