Early Adulthood: 24-34
Psychosocial Crisis:
Intimacy vs. Isolation
Test Review
• Early school age – Sexual identity – 5 continua
• Middle childhood
– Cognitive development – info processing, memory
– Definitions of intelligence – Sternberg, Gardner, Fluid and
• Early adolescence
• Relationship of physical change, social context, cognitive
process, emotional effect, behavior
• Later adolescence
– Identity – Marcia
– Identity - Public, private, content evaluation
– Idea of cultural/white identity development
Developmental Tasks
Taking action on the psychological
commitments of later adolescence:
• Intimate relationships
• Decisions re: kids
• Work/career
• Lifestyle
Consider your auto/biography
subject in early adulthood
• What is important to her/him?
• Where is he/she as far as one or two of the
developmental tasks.
– “Committed?”
– In transition?
– “Stable?”
• How did he or she arrive at this point? What has
influenced her/him?
• In general, what would you say are the significant
developmental influences?
Theories of influence: Why do we
do what we do?
• Personality Trait Theory– Outofservice.com
• Fulfillment Theories
• Social Role Theory
Trait theory of personality
• A definition of personality: The consistent
pattern of behavior, thought and emotion a
person exhibits across situations.
• The Big 5
– Extraversion….Intraversion
– Emotional stability….Neuroticism
– Openness to experience….Closed to exp.
– Agreeableness….Contentiousness
– Conscientiousness….Carelessness
*** Which of your observations of “your person”
reflect personality?
Some patterns
• Conscientiousness and agreeableness
increase in adulthood
• Neuroticism decreases in women over
• Openness shows mixed results
• Extraversion tends to stay the same
Personality and burnout
• 80 volunteers-75 women, 5 men
• Working with terminal patients
• Burnout defined:
– Emotional exhaustion
– Depersonalization
– Reduced feeling of personal accomplishment
Some correlations
• High neuroticism linked with more
depersonalization and emotional
• High neuroticism linked with avoidance (as
opposed to approach) as a coping
• High extraversion linked with less burnout
• Agreeableness linked with feeling personal
accomplishment when under stress
Fulfillment Theories
• Competence-motivated by desire to
achieve mastery.
• Self-acceptance-motivated to fully accept
and value oneself and others.
• Self actualization-motivated by the desire
to fulfill one’s potential.
**Which observations reflect these
Social Role TheoryBasic Concepts
1. Social role
2. Role enactment
3. Role expectations
4. Role gain
5. Role strain
6. Role conflict
7. Role loss
***How are these concepts relevant to “your
Focus on consummate love
• Operationally define a satisfying,
committed, romantic relationship.
• What is it about the people or the
circumstances that make a healthy
relationship possible? Consider
personality, social roles, fulfillment theory,
Attachment Style &
Relationship Formation
Others 
Higher s-e
Lower s-e
Secure –
emotional intimacy
is easy, safe,
is desirable
Avoidant – no
need or desire for
intimacy, prefers
freedom from
others’ needs
Preoccupied –
Fearful Avoidant –
needy, desires
wants intimacy but
complete intimacy is uneasy, trust is
Other research shows…
• Attachment in adulthood
– Secure-50+%
• Happy and confident about future of relationship
– Avoidant-25%
• Less invested in relationships, higher break-up
rates, loneliness
– Ambivalent-20%
• Over invested, repeated break-ups with same
person, low s-e
Get to work!
Your task: To develop an assessment tool
or activity that will help people examine
their relationship to:
a. Determine if it is a healthy relationship
worth continuing.
b. Determine what needs to happen to
improve their relationship.
1. In your group review figure 11.3, “The Mate
Selection Process” and figure 11.5,
“Sternberg’s Triangle Theory of Love.”
2. Consider previous developmental stages and
their relevance to finding love.
3. Use this information to develop an assessment
tool that will help young adults reflect on and
assess their consummate love relationship.
4. Report back:
A description of your assessment tool.
The rationale behind it.
When/why you would recommend its use.

Early Adulthood: 24-34