This paper examines the psychological changes that individuals go through during adulthood. During adulthood an individual’s emotional, social and intellectual capabilities are at a top level as this is the period to meet the requirements of marriage, career and children. Personality changes occur during adulthood as a result of components of ego like, intimacy, identity, integrity etc. Erikson’s reason for change in personality during adulthood is due to psychosocial growth. This study has been conducted by hypothesizing that ontogenetic changes occur for total psychosocial development n the early adulthood years. (Whitbourne & Waterman, 2010)
Meaning of psychological development is the development of individual’s emotional, social and intellectual capacities through the life cycle from infancy to old age. Psychologists mark out periods of adulthood from early to middle to late. Early adulthood is experienced in the agr group of 20-35. Middle adulthood occurs roughly between 35 and 65. At the age of 65 the period od late adulthood begins.
Research has shown that individuals go through psychological changes during this period. Personality change takes place during this period as a result of experience in the field of career and commitment towards personal relationships and family. There are many stages of adulthood, early, middle and late adulthood. Dealing with emotions is part of this period. Management of emotions comprises of two sub tasks; awareness regarding feelings and openness to the impulses which are pushing from within. Whereas learning how to channel as well as release the feelings. (Soto & John, 2012)
During early adulthood individuals tend to become independent and self sufficient. They start developing their own opinions and are less affected by the opinions of others. They tend to develop autonomy. Autonomy is comprised of emotional independence which means they are free from approval of anybody, whosoever.
During early adulthood individuals develop inter personal relationships. Individuals develop capacity for mutuality and also empathy. They make lasting commitments.
Identity development takes place during this period. Integrity development occurs during this period. Integrity means adhering to ethical as well as moral principles. Purpose also develops during adulthood. By purpose in this context we mean meaningful purpose of life.
During middle adulthood individuals especially go through mid life crisis and development of identity. Infact identity development may be seen as a process which people go through during their entire life span. In mid life changes in relationships take place. Marital satisfaction is found to decline during the period when rearing children but the relationship improves when children leave home. Individuals in the middle adulthood period tend to invest less energy and time to friendship.
Erik Erikson has suggested that during this period one must try to find satisfaction in life rather than being disillusioned. During this period individuals experience frequent outburst of anger. During late adulthood individuals are in a phase of denial.
Thus we can conclude the discussion by stating that psychological development during adulthood is facilitated mostly by the relationships in which an individual is embedded.
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