13
Young Adulthood
Personality and Sociocultural Development
Chapter 13
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Young Adulthood
Personality and Sociocultural Development
• Self, Family, and Work
• Forming Close Relationships
• The Family Life Cycle and Adult
Development
• The Occupational Cycle
• Work and Gender
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Self, Family, and Work
• Self, family, and work are separate but
interacting systems that represent various
aspects of the self
• Theoretical conceptions of the self:
– Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
– Carl Rogers’ Unconditional Positive Regard
– Modern perspectives emphasize identity
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Domains of Self
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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
SOURCE: From Motivation and personality (3rd ed. ), by A. H. Maslow, 1987. R. D. Frager and J. Fadiman (Eds.), copyright ゥ 1987. Adapted
by permission of Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ.
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Self as Family Member
• Achieving independence from parents is
an important aspect of identity
development in early adulthood
• Establishment of new family relationships
is important for adult development
• 90% of young adults say that their family
roles and responsibilities are the most
important components of who they are
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Self as Worker
• Work provides an important context in identity
development
• Extrinsic factors are important when jobs involve
boring work
• Intrinsic factors are the focus when work is
meaningful
• Workers whose jobs emphasize intrinsic factors
report more job satisfaction
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Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivations
Toward Work
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Forming Close Relationships
• Adult Friendships
• Couple Formation and Development
• Marriage
• Cohabitation
• Gay and Lesbian Couples
• Staying Single
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Forming Close Relationships
• Friendships are a core aspect of adult life
• Adult friends that last involve reciprocity and
mutuality
• Most people pair off romantically in young adulthood
• Erikson: “coupling” is the essential task of young
adulthood
– Sternberg’s theory of love consists of three
components: intimacy, passion, and
decision/commitment.
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Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of
Love
Source: Adapted by Feldman. 1998, from” A Triangular Theory of Love.” by R. J. Sternberg, 1986, Phsycological Review, 93, pp. 119–135.
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Kinds of Love Based on
Sternberg’s Triangular Theory
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Forming Close Relationships
• Choosing a Romantic Partner
– Stimulus-value-role theory: mate selection is
motivated by each partner’s attempt to get the
best possible “deal”
– Is the relationship worthwhile? Three stages
help one decide:
• Stimulus stage – meet and make initial judgments
• Value-comparison – are they compatible?
• Role stage – can they function in compatible roles
in a marriage or other long-term relationship?
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Marriage and Cohabitation
• Over 90% of U.S. men and
women will marry at some point
• Worldwide, courtship and marriage customs are
defined by culture
• U.S. couples are marrying later today than they
did in previous decades
• More U.S. couples are deciding to cohabit before
or instead of marriage; only 1/3 marry their
cohabitation partner
• Gay and lesbian couples cannot legally marry in
most states
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Marital Status, Young Men and
Women in the United States, 2007
Source: From Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, by the U.S. Census Bureau, 2009. Washiington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Living Arrangements of Young
Adults in United States, 2007
Source: From Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, by the U.S. Census Bureau, 2009. Washiington, DC: Author.
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Family Life
Cycle and Adult
Development
• The Family Life
Cycle consists of
seven major life
events, though not
all adults
experience all of the
events
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The Family Life Cycle and Adult
Development
• The first child changes the direction of family life
irrevocably
• Fathers and mothers display different reactions to their
children
• Social support, marital happiness, and parental selfesteem are factors in a couple’s adjustment to the first
child
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Effects of the Transition to
Parenthood
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Video Clip
A woman describes how she balances
work, family, and graduate school:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bN1B25Toas0
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The Family Life Cycle
• Coping with Children's Developmental
Stages
– Demands on parents vary at each period of
the family life cycle
– Not all parents adjust well to each stage
– Parents often renegotiate their own
relationship as they deal with developmental
demands of children
– Family structure needs to be flexible enough
to adapt to children and parental needs
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Stages of Parenthood
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The Family Life Cycle
• Single Parenthood
– Pressures of parenthood acute for single
parents
– In 2007, 29% of all U.S. families were
maintained by a single parent, 25% by a
single mother, and 4% by a single father.
– Single mother households twice as likely has
single father households to be in poverty
– Welfare reform (PRWORA, 1996) led to some
problems for single parents
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Video Clip
NBC Nightly News excerpt on challenges
posed by absent fathers:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SUo2w2SRhM
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Occupational Cycle
• Every worker’s occupational cycle is unique
and filled with events and decisions
• Today most people have several different jobs
and may change jobs in midcareer
• Jobs are increasingly technical
• Havighurst developed a model of career work
cycles
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Havighurst’s Developmental Model of the
Traditional One-Career Work Cycle
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The Work Cycle
• Gaining a Place in the Workforce
– formal and informal training
– The reality shock sets in when young people
start working
– Mentors are important for career development
– For most young adults, midcareer is a time of
consolidation
– Climbing the corporate ladder is not as easy
as may be anticipated
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The Work Cycle
• Careers and Career Choices
– Career counseling helps people select jobs that are a
good match
– Holland categorized career-related personality types
and jobs according to personal characteristics
required
– Although jobs and people are more complex than
Holland’s model, it is proven that people work best in
jobs that match their interests and personalities
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Holland’s Theory of Careers
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Work and Gender
• Since 1970s, women’s entry into the workforce
has been increasing steadily
• In the last 25 years, women have made huge
advances in professional fields like medicine,
science, and law
• A large percentage of women are still limited to
lower-paying jobs
• Women earn, on average, 78 cents for every
dollar a man earns
– Black women earn even less, on average
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Video Clip
Debate on whether the military’s don’t ask,
don’t tell policy should be repealed:
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2009/05/
20/am.costello.dadt.cnn?iref=videosearch
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Work and Gender
• Women who work in careers are happier and have
higher self-esteem than women who are unemployed,
working part-time, or working in low-paying jobs
• The increase of women in the workforce has produced
an increase in dual-earner incomes
• Women who work still do more of the housework and
child-rearing tasks than do men
• Dual-earner families have to deal with the stress of
juggling work and family roles
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Summary
• Young adulthood is a time when most people are
involved with a career, finding a romantic
partner, and building a family
• Modern perspectives on the self focus on
identity. Although identity may change in
response to circumstances, a balanced
integrative identity is the most healthy
• Work and separation from parents are important
contexts of personality and social development
• Erik Erikson emphasized the importance of
establishing an intimate relationship at this
stage, the stage of intimacy versus isolation
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Summary
• Over 90% of U.S. men and women will marry at
some point; many cohabit before marriage
• Gays and lesbians generally cannot marry,
though they may in some places be able to
adopt children
• Parenthood involves new roles and
responsibilities, and is a time of great transition
for young adults
• Single-parents have many challenges.
• Today, most people will have several different
jobs and career changes in their lives
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Summary
• Women still make less than men and often take
more flexible approaches to their careers in
order to take care of their families
• Career-oriented women tend to be happier and
have better self-esteem than women who are
unemployed or have low-paying jobs
• Stress in dual-earner families is common,
especially in the area of finding quality child care
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.