Psyc 222
Developmental Psychology II
Unit 4:
Social and Emotional Development
Dean Owen, Ph.D., LPCC
Spring 2011
Essential Terms
Emerging Adulthood
A relatively new term used to refer to the prolonged and transitional
period extending from the late teens to the mid twenties.
Prolonged identity development
Encourages exploration of life alternatives
Increased education for entry into occupations
Gains in economic prosperity
Reduced need for labor
Emerging Adulthood
An extended transitional period recognized in many modern
and developed countries in which the assumption of full adult
roles and responsibilities does not occur until the mid
Such individuals enjoy relative independence from
parents but are not yet ready to enter professions, hence
this early adult period without adult responsibility provides
many opportunities for exploration.
High SES
Prolonged education
Delayed career entry
Delayed Marriage
Delayed Parenthood.
Emerging adulthood provides an extended period during
which resilience can be developed….but just what is
High functioning People
Resilience can be described as the ability:
•To recover relatively quickly from events or situations which interrupt
normal psychological functioning
•To regain a stability after a psychological insult
•To return to a normal state of affairs following trauma, difficulty,
tragedy, loss, or other personal or social stressors or health stressors.
•To "bouncing back" from difficult experiences.
•Successful adaptation despite challenging and threatening
Masten, Best, & Garmezy, 1990
Positive Traits
Buffers against mental illness
Interpersonal skill
Work Ethic
Work ethic
Capacity for love and vocation
Resilient individuals typically utilize a set of skills and
resources that allow them to deal effectively with stress.
Dispositional attributes
•effective social skills
Family/Social/Relational attributes
•Connectedness to parents/friends
Environmental attributes
•Community involvement
•Presence of caring others
The resilience and recovery trajectory
Research demonstrates that
among both children and adults,
the ability to recover from
trauma and psychological insult is
remarkably widespread.
Individuals seem to be able to
cope with difficulty and adversity
in their lives through a
combination of personal
characteristics and mutual support
from family, friends and the
greater community.
Events that will threaten
and challenge us are likely
to occur throughout our
lives. Being resilient does
not protect you from these
events but provides the
foundation for effective
response when such
challenges arise.
Much time and effort has been spent to
determine if resilience is a trait or state.
In my opinion this is a ridiculous question!
As a psychologist I
MUST believe that it is a
state, otherwise I’ll have
to go into another kind of
Resilience is built
of attitudes,
beliefs, and
behaviors and all
can be learned or
Resilient Individuals
1. have good relationships with friends and family;
2. possess innate optimism;
3. possess self-confidence /self-efficacy;
4. are decisive;
5. are goal oriented;
6. are persistent;
7. possess high frustration tolerance;
8. are able to accept the past;
9. are realistic;
10. are able to attend to needs and feelings.
Resilient Individuals
Using their skills, abilities and with
confidence they change the things
they can change,
•They accept the things they cannot
change, and
•They seem to know the difference.
Factors in Resilience
Targets for client intervention
Connectedness: Resilient
individuals have close and
supportive relationships with
friends and family.
These relationships provide:
•Love and trust
•Opportunities for reality
Factors in Resilience
Targets for client intervention
Resilient individuals have good decision-making skills
Factors in Resilience
Targets for client intervention
They tend to be
goal-directed with
a realistic view or
the world.
Factors in Resilience
Targets for client intervention
Factors in Resilience
Learning From Your Past
Taking an inventory of past events and successes…
•What events have been most stressful for me? What were the effects?
•What strategies have been used in the past?
•What have I learned about myself and my interactions with others during difficult
•Have I been able to overcome obstacles, and if so, how?
•What has helped make me feel more hopeful about the future?
Maintaining cognitive and
behavioral flexibility
Resilience involves maintaining flexibility and balance in your life as you
deal with stressful and challenging events.
Letting yourself experience strong emotions, and also realizing when you
may need to avoid experiencing them at times in order to continue
Stepping forward and taking action to deal with your problems and meet
the demands of daily living, and also stepping back to get some distance.
Spending time with loved ones and giving yourself time alone.
Relying on others, and also relying on yourself
Enhancing Resilience
Promoting Connectedness
This involves two areas:
Reaching out to touch
Letting others touch you.
Enhancing Resilience
Accept that change
is a part of living.
Certain goals may no
longer be attainable as
a result of adverse
situations. Accepting
circumstances that
cannot be changed
can help you focus on
circumstances that
you can alter.
Erikson’s Theory
Stage 6: Intimacy vs Isolation
Making a commitment to an intimate partner.
A secure personal identity promotes the ability to enter into
an intimate relationship.
You cannot love someone
else until you can love and
accept yourself.
Daniel Levinson
Graduated from Yale University
Author of a comprehensive theory of Adult
Development….as depicted in
Daniel Levinson
Daniel Levinson
Central Idea: Life structure
The life structure is the underlying or basic
pattern of one’s life and is composed
primarily of two components:
Other influences are religion, culture,
social status and gender…..
Daniel Levinson
There are 6 stages of adulthood in Levinson's theory titled
"Seasons of a Man's Life":
1) Early adult transition (17-22) - leave adolescence, make
preliminary choices for adult life
2) Entering the adult world (22-28) - make initial choices in love,
occupation, friendship, values, lifestyle
3) Age 30 transition (28-33) - changes occur in life structure, either
a moderate change or, more often, a severe and stressful crisis
4) Settling down (33-40) - establish a niche in society, progress on a
timetable, in both family and career accomplishments; are
expected to think and behave like a parent so they are facing
more demanding roles and expectations.
Daniel Levinson
5) Mid-life transition (40-45) - life structure comes into question,
usually a time of crisis in the meaning, direction, and value of
each person's life. neglected parts of the self (talents, desires,
aspirations) seek expression. Men are seen more as parents
than as “brothers” to other men who are somewhat younger
than them and this message comes as an irritation at first. Also
at this time, men becoming increasingly aware of death and they
are reminded of how short life really is. They become involved
in trying to leave a legacy and this usually forms the core of the
second half of his life.
6) Entering middle adulthood (45-50) - choices must be made, a
new life structure formed. person must commit to new tasks.
* Some sources also stated that there was a late adulthood
stage during which time a man spent time reflecting on past
achievements and regrets, and making peace with one's self
and others (including God).
Daniel Levinson
Levinson portrayed adult life as a series of periods….each with a
transition phase and a stable phase. In each of these periods
young people must revise their life structure.
Men create life structures
primarily built around career.
Women create life structures
primarily built around both
career and family.
Early adult transition 17-22
Entering the adult world 22-28
Age 30 Transition 28-33
Settling Down 33-40
Mid-life Transition 40-45
Entering Middle Adulthood 45-50
Daniel Levinson
Problems with Levinson's theory:
Daniel Levinson collected the data for his study many decades
ago, shortly after the Great Depression ended. Due to the time
period, the men used for this study have 3 things in common:
1) they come from stable families
2) they had realistic goals for their life
3) became adults in an expanding economy
Men who have grown up in the last four or five decades ,
however, have had to deal with less stable families due to high
divorce rates, and they tend to have goals which are much more
difficult to achieve. They have also had to deal with a
fluctuating economy, and because of these differences it is
difficult to apply Levinson's studies to today's generation.
Redefined Erikson’s theory
Twenties: focus is on intimacy
Thirties: Career Consolidation
Forties: Generativity
Fifties & Sixties: Keepers of Meaning.
Guardians of Cultural
Social clock
Age graded expectations for major life events
Birth of first child
Purchasing a home
Conformity or departure from the expectations can be both a major
source of personality change and stress for young adults.
Your Perfect Mate
Take a few minutes and
describe in detail the
qualities and
characteristics of your
perfect life partner.
Triangular theory of Love (Sternberg)
Physical-psychological arousal
Passionate Love
Intense sexual
Warm trusting
affection and
Questions or comments ??