Chapter 9 Emerging Adulthood.docx

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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 1010

Chapter 9 Emerging Adulthood  Transition to young adulthood traditionally thought to be marked by entry into adult roles like marriage, parenthood  Currently the 20s are marked by instability at work so stable structure of an adult life generally happens at age 30  See an new life stage between adolescence and young adulthood  Seen emerging adulthood from late teens to mid 20s  Changes have contributed to emerging adulthood, main indicator is the rise in the ages of marriage and parenthood  In 1960 median age was 21 for women and 23 for men, now median age for marriage is 30 for women and plus 2 for men  Invention of birth control in combination with less strict standards of sexual morality so people don’t have to enter marriage in order to have a stable sexual relationship  Another important reason for rise in typical age for entering marriage and parenthood is increase in years of pursing education and training, in developed countries over ½ young people obtain education and training beyond secondary school  Another key change to the emergence of emerging adulthood is opportunities for women, before lots of social pressure for finding husband now opportunities are virtually unlimited Five Developmental Features distinctive to emerging adulthood 1. Age of identity explorations 2. Age of instability 3. Self focused age 4. Age of feeling in-between 5. Age of possibilities  Most distinctive characteristic of emerging adulthood is age of identity explorations, where people explore different options and figure out these different possibilities  Erik Erikson first to develop idea of identity, now seen mainly in emerging adulthood where identity explorations take place  Explorations make it age of instability as they explore different possibilities of love and work  Self- focused age, as time in between reliance on parents and young adults’ long term commitments, learn to make independent decisions small and large  Goal of self-focused time is not meant to be selfish but more about learning to stand alone as a self-sufficient person  Age of possibilities as nothing has been decided for certain, age of high hopes and great expectations, holds potential for dramatic changes Cultural Context of Emerging Adulthood  Emerging only exists in developed countries  Europe is the region where emerging adulthood is the longest and most leisurely, median age of marriage. Governments help pay for school, find jobs even housing  In Asian developed countries emerging adulthood is present but with more restrictions especially from parents. Sense of family obligations help curtail identity explorations in emerging adulthood  Within countries emerging adulthood takes many different forms. ½ of emerging adults in developed countries obtain tertiary education but ½ do not so their emerging adulthood experience is much different. More likely to have difficulty getting job and different views on premarital sex and cohabitation  Split between rural and urban area determines whether emerging adulthood takes places  Urban areas of China and India experience emerging adulthood as they have longer education and prolong marriage and having kids, in rural areas there is earlier marriage, little schooling  Emerging adulthood likely to increase worldwide in coming years due increasing globalization of world economy. Physical Changes of Emerging Adulthood  Physical maturity is generally reached by age 18, like height, puberty  Strength and endurance continue to grow into 20s for most people, illness rates are especially low as immune system is at peak effectiveness  Other health risks like car accidents, substance abuse are more common  Emerging adulthood is peak of physical functioning  VO2 max (maximum oxygen uptake) measures stamina, peaks in the early 20s  Cardiac Output- quantity of blood flow from the heart, peaks at 25  Reaction time, grip strength is faster in early 20s  Strength of bones increases as well, after maximum height is reached, bone density continues to increase, bone density peaks in the 20s  Most sports peak age of performance comes during the 20s  Emerging adulthood least susceptibility to illnesses, but other risk factors like poor sleep, high stress undermine health Sleep patterns and Deficits  College aged student report symptoms of delayed sleep syndrome. Sleeping far longer on weekends and holidays then school days  2/3 of students report sleep problems and ¼ report sever sleep disturbances such as insomnia and insufficient sleep  Sleep disturbances related to depression, anxiety, cognitive deficits such as attention, memory, concentration and critical thinking  Emerging adults have sleep problems because schedule set by older adults who likely have different sleep preferences  People vary in morningness and eveningness- which is going to bed early and waking up early or going to bed late and waking up late  Preferences change with age, hormonal changes specifically levels of growth hormone  Study concluded that children and adults prefer morningness while adolescence prefer eveningness  Not just physiological changes that contribute to college sleep disturbances , lifestyle factors such as partying, or staying up all night to study  Students who pull all nighter tend to have greater preference for eveningness and poorer overall performance Sleep experts recommend following practices to promote sleep hygiene:  Waking up at the same time each day  Getting regular exercise  Taking late afternoon naps  Limiting caffeine intake  Avoiding excessive alcohol intake Risk Behaviors and Health Issues  Emerging adulthood is a time of life when risk behaviour reach their peak  Emerging adults don’t have parents monitoring their behaviour  Emerging is a low point of social control- restraints on behaviour imposed by social obligations and relationships Injuries and Fatalities: Automobile Accidents  Most serious threat to the lives and health of adolescents and emerging adults comes from driving  Young people age 16- 24 have the highest rate of automobile accidents of any age group  Rates of accidents and fatalities highest in first few months of driving, fall dramatically after 1 year after licensure  Inexperience of driving not only factor involved, equally important is the way young people drive and the risks they take  Young drivers more likely to drive at excessive speeds, violate laws, ect  Also more likely to report driving under the influence, young drivers in accidents more likely to be intoxicated, nearly half report to driving drunk  Most effective preventative approach to reduce road deaths in young people are graduated driver licensing (GDL). GDL is a government restricted program that allows young people to obtain driving licensure in steps instead of all at once. Research Focus: Graduated Driver Licensing - Most effective way to reduce automobile accidents - Has 3 stages 1. Learning license- stage where driver gets experience under supervision of an experienced driver 2. Restricted license driving, allowed to drive unsupervised with tighter restrictions than those that apply to adults, ex. Driving curfews, use of seat belt and zero tolerance alcohol use- breaking rules results in suspended licence 3. Full license- no more than a year after restricted license, full driving privileges as adults - GDL has decreased fatal crashed for 16 year olds by 40% in the past decade Substance Use and Abuse  Many types of substance use reach peak in emerging adulthood  Substance abuse rises from late teens and peaks in the early 20s before declining in late 20s  Binge drinking – consuming 5 drinks in a row by men, 4 for women  Substance abuse, especially alcohol, is higher among college students emerging adults than those who do not go to college  Binge drinking and other types of abuse can lead to fatal car crashes, unintended pregnancies, criminal activity, etc.  Why higher rates of abuse in emerging adults, theory is that is from a result of having a high portion of their time in unstructured socialization  Unstructured socialization- socializing with friends without any specific goal or activity such as driving around, going to parties, etc.  Found a relationship between unstructured socialization and deviance not only for substance abuse but crime and dangerous driving  Theory holds for both genders, range or ethnicities and developed and undeveloped countries  Substance abuse and other risk behaviors in the mid to late 20s decline as role transitions such as marriage, parenthood and full-time work cause a sharp decline in unstructured socializing Cultural Focus-Young Men of Truk Island  Risk behaviors such as stealing, substance abuse more common in males then females  Differences may be biological but also clearly connected relationship between gender-role socialization  In some cultures risk behaviour is a part of demonstrating a young man’s readiness for manhood  Example found in culture of Truk island where there remains a strong emphasis on strictly defined gender roles  Females sew, cook and perform household duties while young men are expected to demonstrate their manhood in 3 ways; fighting, drinking large quantities of alcohol and taking daredevil risks  Fighting in young Trukese men is a group activity, takes place between clans (extended family members). Young men fight for own prestige as well as honor and prestige for their clan  Drinking alcohol is also a part of the weekend group activities  Also take weekend risky trips on motorboats with limited food, gasoline to demonstrate their bravery  These risk escapades limited to weekend and rarely drink or fight during the week  Expected to settle down and have a family by age 30- rarely fight and must stop drinking entirely Postformal Thinking  Research indicates that cognitive development often continues in emerging adulthood  Post-formal thinking- stage of cognitive development that follows formal operations and includes advances in pragmatism and reflective judgment Progmatism  Involves adapting logical thinking to practical constraints of real-life situations  Emphasizes that the problems faced in in normal adult life cannot be addressed with the logic of formal operations  Adolescents extend logic to everyday life but emerging adult take into effect social situations in approaching problems  Louboivie- Vief emphasizes that not everyone continues to move on to higher levels of thinking in emerging adulthood and beyond, and many people continue to use earlier thinking  Dialectical thought- growing awareness that problems often have no clear solution and two opposing views may have some merit  Ex. People have to quit their job without knowing if their next one will be more satisfying  Some cultures promote dialectical thinking more than others, chinese cultures promote thinking that involves looking at both sides while European/ American approach tends to apply logic Reflective Judgment Reflective Judgment- capacity to evaluate accuracy and logical coherence of evidence and arguments  Perry thought that adolescents and first year college students tend to engage in dualistic thinking- often see situations as either right or wrong, no in-between, they lack reflective judgment  Reflective judgment occurs for most people around age 20, first is a stage of multiple thinking- young people believe that there are more than 1 legitimate view on an issue, value all points of views equally  Early 20s multiple thinking develops into relativism- able to recognize legitimacy of competing points of view  End of college career reach stage of commitment- commit themselves to certain points of views they believe to be most valid  People who pursue college education advance in reflective judgment then people who do not Tertiary education: College, University, and Training Programs  Majority of emerging adults obtain tertiary education- any kind of education or training beyond secondary school Historical Focus: Gender and Cognitive Development in Emerging Adulthood  Most cultures opportunities for women far fewer than for males  Historian distinguished three periods of higher education for women  1700- 1775 where female literacy grew but where not allowed to go to university  1776- 1833- era of great debate over the capabilities of the female mind- question if women can benefit from higher education  1833- 1875- marked by steady expansion in opportunities form women, allowing more women to go to college  Arguments against women going to college stated that education would be hazardous, would spoil their femininity and even make them ill. Second clain that women were inherently inferior to men intellectually and higher education would be wasted on them  Even scientisits who were otherwise respectable stated that womens brains were smaller therefore this demonstrated their inferior capabilities Cultural Variations in Tertiary Education  Countries vary in how they structure tertiary education  Us, Canada, Australia and japan begin with 2 years of general education with no requirement of declaring major, allows for more exploration  Tertiary education most relaxed in japan, only time in their lives when they are allowed leisure time free of responsibilities  In Europe education is different as they study only 1 topic, can often last 6 years because it culminates in a degree similar to American advanced degrees  Currently takes longer to finish degree because of switching majors, internships and financial concerns Benefits of Tertiary Education  Benefits of tertiary education for societies an educated population is key to economic growth, emerging adults who complete tertiary education have higher earnings, occupational status, and career attainment over the long run, compared to those who do not attend college  Also better verbal and quantitative sills, written communication and critical thinking  Also develop aesthetic and intellectual benefits, distinct identity and becomes less authoritarian, less ethnocentric Emotional and Self-Development Self Esteem - Self esteem lowers in adolescence and rises in emerging adulthood - Physical appearance is important to adolescents and by emerging adulthood most people have passed through awkward changes of puberty - Also feeling accepted and approved by parents contributes to self esteem - Having more control over social contexts of everyda
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