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Early Adult Social and Emotional Development. Stage vs. Nonstage Views n Stage - advancing age is source of change n Non-stage - life events drive change.

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Presentation on theme: "Early Adult Social and Emotional Development. Stage vs. Nonstage Views n Stage - advancing age is source of change n Non-stage - life events drive change."— Presentation transcript:

1 Early Adult Social and Emotional Development

2 Stage vs. Nonstage Views n Stage - advancing age is source of change n Non-stage - life events drive change n View of text

3 Erikson: Intimacy > Isolation

4 Erikson on Intimacy n Intimacy = close heterosexual relationship within which procreation can be accomplished n Problems –Presumes heterosexual relationship –Excludes intimacy in friendships –Excludes intimacy in childless marriages –Intimacy (and therefore marriage) is important step in adult development

5 Erikson on Isolation n Failure to develop capacity for sharing with or caring about others n Relationships superficial, competitive n Loneliness, self-absorption n Problems –Definition does not distinguish isolation from its causes –One can experience isolation in context of relationships

6 Critique of Erikson’s Theory n Research reveals intimacy is of central concern in early adulthood n Themes of generativity emerge concurrently with intimacy n Presumes women and men follow same course

7 Levinson’s Seasons of Life (1) n Retrospective study n 40 middle age men –Hourly workers –Business executives –Biologists –Novelists n Additional study on small sample of women n Intensive interviews and testing

8 Levinson’s Seasons of Life (2) n Examines psychological shifts in adulthood n Life structures alternative with transitions n Structure = underlying life pattern or design –often relate to work and family n Transitions - time for re-appraisal

9 Levinson (3) Other Key Concepts n Dream - image guides decisions n Mentor n BOOM - Becoming one’s own man –Timing –What about women?

10 Vallient’s Study n Follow-up of Grant Study n Empirical study of Erikson’s stages –Expands Erikson’s views n Original Grant Study n Sample “normal young men from Harvard”

11 Vallient’s Adaptation to Life n Longitudinal follow-up on original sample n Trace change and development throughout life n Lives are shaped by quality of relationships (rather than trauma) n Predictor - adaptive adolescents turn out to be more adaptive adults

12 Vallient Expands Erikson n Intimacy > Isolation n Career consolidation (30s) n Generativity > Stagnation n Keeping the meaning > Rigidity (50s) n Integrity > Despair

13 Critique of Levinson and Vallient n Cohort limitations –results may not generalize to people today n Narrow sample –white, male, college educated n Retrospective studies –How accurate is recollection? n Presume males and females more alike than different

14 Adult Female Development n Identity appears to continue to emerge in context of intimate relationships n Multiple variations in timing rather than following the pattern of the family life cycle n Tensions evident between family commitments and careers n Reappraisal more likely at about age 30 (rather than stocktaking at 40)

15 Gilligan on Female Development n Adolescent females struggle to resist loss of psychological strengths and positive self-concepts of childhood n Adulthood is time for recovering confidence, assertiveness, and self- confidence

16 Neugartern’s Nonstage Theory n Life events mark time n Age misleads; life experiences are key

17 Concepts Related to Nonstage View (1) n Social clock –Influenced by cultural context –Current blurring of “proper” time n On time -- Off time –Age-graded expectations –Cause us to accelerate or to “put on the breaks”

18 Concepts Related to Nonstage View (2) n Normative events –expected –on-time –anticipated n Non-normative –unexpected –off-time

19 Schlossberg on Life Change n Give me a room full of 40 year olds and you tell me nothing. What matters is what transitions they have experiences. There are as many patterns as people. n People react to both events and their timing Back to Unit 4


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