Human Development Young Adult Through Death

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The first four stages of the life cycle. which include infancy, toddlerhood, early childhood/elementary, and adolescence. have much to do with figuring out the way the world works as well as achieving most of the individual’s physical growth. The second four, however, involve self-identification, figuring out ourselves both internally and externally as we continuously meet and overcome new life challenges. These stages, characterized by several general characteristics in physical, physiological, psychological, and social changes that the individual must meet and come to terms with, include Young Adulthood, Middle Adulthood, Late Adulthood, and Death, and Dying.Young Adulthood, typically characterized as occurring between the ages of 18 and 40, is usually more concerned with social and cognitive development than the physical development that dominated the earlier stages. The developmental tasks of this phase of life as defined by Robert Havighurst take on the form of determining and obtaining an occupation, marriage, having children, managing a home, and achieving social success through civic and other roles (Craig Baucum 2001). The importance placed on the attainment of these goals as well as the degree of attainment required varies greatly based on gender, culture, education, and economic level. As can be seen, by the types of tasks involved, there is a great deal of personality adjustment, definition, and the realization that must take place in order for the individual to learn to live with another, raise children together and take an active role in the greater community. According to Erikson, this stage is characterized by the question of intimacy or isolation as the individual determines whether they prefer the opposite sex or the same sex and how they react to this realization and whether they will be able to give and receive love and make long-term commitments to relationships (Craig Baucum 2001).