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ۼ  simonshin ۼ  2018.03.15 12:13 ȸ 451 õ 0
  ڻ Ǿ: The Young Adult  
 

: Young Adulthood, Middle and Senior Years ( ߴ ̷)

: The Young Adult

: ڻ

: Ǿ

: Lidz, T. (1976), The young adult. In The person: his or her development through the life cycle (pp. 376-391). New York: Basic Books.

 

The Young Adult

 

1.     OVERVIEW

1.1.  The lengthy developmental process as a dependent apprentice in living draws to a close as individuals attain an identity and the ability to live intimately with a member of the opposite sex and contemplate forming families of their own.

1.2.  However, some will still tarry undecided about where they will journey, or the course they will take to an unfamiliar place, or whether to try out partners imaginatively or in actuality before setting forth.

1.2.1.     Those who delay are a minority, but include among them many who will be innovators, creators, and leaders, and therefore they require that we, too, pause to consider their transition through a period that Keniston (1970) has designated as youth, during which youths seek to reconcile potential conflicts between their emerging identities and the social order.

1.3.  Still, the energies and interests of most young adults will now be directed beyond their own growth and development.

1.3.1.     Their independence from their parental families motivates them to achieve an interdependence with others and find their places in society.

1.3.2.     Through vocation and marriage, they become united to networks of persons, find tasks that demand involvement, and gain roles into which they fit and are fitted, and which help define their identities.

1.3.3.     They are virtually forced to become less self-centered through the very pursuit of their own interests.

1.4.  The time when adult life starts is not set chronologically, for persons may have entered upon their vocations and selected spouses some time in adolescence, and others will remain tentative in their commitments through their twenties and may, in some respects, be considered still adolescent.

1.4.1.     If persons are still uncommitted, most make their occupational choices early in adulthood.

1.4.2.     Most individuals will also give up their much-sought independence to share with another in marriage. Then the life cycle rounds to the point at which young adults are again confronted by the start of life, but now as members of the parental generation, and they often undergo profound personality reorientations as they become involved in the unfolding of a child''s life.

1.4.3.     The period ends at a somewhat indefinite time, approximately when children''s needs no longer form a major focus of attention, usually between thirty-five and forty, when persons have attained stable positions in society, or, at least, when they realize that they must come to terms with what they will be able to make out of their one and only life.

1.5.  Young adults are at the height of their physical and mental vigor as they launch upon making their ways in the world; and their energies are usually expended more effectively than they were during adolescence.

1.5.1.     Young adults must focus energies and interests even more definitively as they commit themselves to a specific way of life; to marriage, with its libidinal investment in a single significant person; and to producing and nurturing a new generation.

1.5.2.     Now, more than ever, alternative ways of life must be renounced to permit the singleness of purpose required for success and to consolidate one''s identity; and intimacy becomes reserved for a single person to make possible meaningful sharing with a spouse.

1.5.3.     Although commitment to another person entails the danger of being carried along in the other''s inadequacies or misfortunes, its avoidance carries the penalty of lack of opportunity to be meaningful to others and have others become meaningful to the self.

1.6.  Vocational choice and marital choice are two of the most significant decisions of a lifetime.

1.6.1.     They are two cardinal resultants of the lengthy process of achieving adulthood that we have been tracing; and now these decisions will become major determinants of the course of the individual''s further personality development, of the satisfactions that will be gained from life, and of the trials and problems that will ensue and strain the integration of the personality and perhaps even warp it.

1.7.  The individual''s own capacities and integration markedly influence the choices of occupation and spouse, and then influence how the person can cope with and gain fulfillment from both—and subsequently from being a parent.

 

2.     YOUTH

2.1.  Introduction

2.1.1.     Keniston has suggested that a new stage in the life cycle, youth, has emerged with the growing complexities of postindustrial civilizations.

2.1.1.1.         For many, the commitments of adult life do not follow directly upon adolescence.

2.1.1.2.         Indeed, in periods during which the assumption of adult status is delayed, there may be a prolongation of adolescence, and late adolescents and unmarried young adults are grouped together as "youth."

2.1.2.     Youth, in Keniston''s usage of the word, does not designate such prolongation of adolescence, but rather a distinct stage in the life cycle through which only a limited number of people pass.

2.1.2.1.         These are persons who, having gained an ego identity or self-concept, ''become caught up in tensions between the self and society.

2.1.2.2.         "The awareness of actual or potential conflict, disparity, lack of consequence between what one is (one''s identity, values, integrity) and the resources and demands of existing society increase. The adolescent is struggling to define who he is, the youth begins to sense who he is and thus to recognize the possibility of conflict and disparity between his emerging self-hood and his social order" (Keniston, 1974, p. 405).

2.1.2.3.         A central problem of the period is to find ways in which the self and society can become more congruent; and a critical task in personality development ''lies in achieving individuation (Jung, 1926) —the capacity to acknowledge reality and to cope with it, either through acceptance or through revolutionary opposition, but preserving a sense of "self," of intactness and wholeness of self—distinct from society, even if engaged in fostering social reform or in revolutionary activity.

2.1.2.4.         Individuation is a psychological process or an "intrapsychic" matter in which one''s ego identity is differentiated from the social system in which one lives.

2.2.  Relativism

2.2.1.     We are concerned with the relativism that has arisen from gaining perspective through the study of other times, other civilizations, and other cultures that enables same persons to overcome their ethnocentricities and recognize the validity and utility of the ways of other peoples, even though they are very divergent from our own; and, consequently, that the ways and standards of our own society are more or less arbitrary.

2.2.2.     Persons may then believe that they have no obligation to adhere to societal norms. and claim that'' members of the society are simply indoctrinated or "brainwashed" to conform and preserve its constricting if not iniquitous ways.

2.2.3.     The conflict need not lead to political activism to change society, or to a rejection of society with a dropping nut into an "alternate culture" such as a communal way of life, but may lead to rejection of the self, with concomitant despair or even suicide, or to efforts to transform the self through study, meditation, Zen, psychoanalysis. Youths may also find a solution of the dilemma by choosing a career, such as medicine, that will permit them to preserve their ethical values within a social system they reject, or to embrace a legal career that will enable them to help correct injustice or change society.

2.2.4.     Recognizing the relativity of values as well as mores, youths may find them, selves without a sense of meaning or purpose. The query "What difference does anything make if there is no meaning, no purpose, no God?" can lead to paralyzing existential anxiety or to an empty hedonism to counter despair, but for some it can open the way to a new freedom in directing their lives.

2.3.  Abstract Morality

2.3.1.     The attainment of the highest and most abstract level of morality also contains dangers.

2.3.2.     It will be recalled that according to Kohlberg''s (1964) conceptualization of moral development, a limited number of persons move beyond conventional morality to define right and wrong in terms of the well-being of all members of a society, and of these some transcend such considerations to embrace more universalistic standards in which individuals must judge for themselves whether laws conform to higher principles such as the "golden rule."

2.3.3.     Persons can then become caught up in the relativism of laws and "justice," and reach idiosyncratic standards in which they take the law into their own hands; or even decide that, as everything is relative, the entire system of conventional morality is meaningless.

2.3.3.1.         They forget that societies have, at least to some extent, gradually developed moral systems that help preserve the integrity of the society and its members.

2.3.3.2.         As Keniston ( 1974) has commented regressions from this highest form of morality can occur and lead to the amoral behaviors that are sometimes encountered in countercultures, and give license for orgiastic sex and unbridled drug usage; or to anarchy as the highest form of political morality.

2.3.4.     Having entered into a relativistic world, youths can find it difficult to find solid footing, guidelines for their behavior, and directions for their future lives.

2.3.4.1.         They are apt to question if not distrust conventional roles, values, and mores; and to turn their backs against lessons that can be gained from the past and seek to start afresh and make a new world.

2.3.4.2.         Clearing new trails through the jungle is a diffcult task that does not get a person very far quickly.

2.3.4.3.         ''The youth makes forays into society and at commitments to other persons, seeking a workable way to relate to society and within society; or toward finding or founding a new and more congenial society; or searching for the right companion and to learn whether one is ready to form a permanent and exclusive relationship with another.

 

3.     THE INTEGRATION OF THE YOUNG ADULT

3.1.  Independence

3.1.1.     Young adults have become reasonably independent of their parents.

3.1.2.     They have established fairly clear boundaries between themselves and their parents; properly, they have not been burned in the process and become wary of ever relating intimately again, but they recognize that their paths and their parents'' now diverge because they are moving toward different goals.

3.2.  Superego

3.2.1.     As a result of the reorganization accomplished during adolescence, those components of the superego derived from internalization of the parents and their directives are less important.

3.2.2.     The individual may still follow parental dictates, but because they have been incorporated into the person ''s own ethical system rather than because of fear of displeasing the parents.

3.2.3.     Much of what had been reasonable and useful in the superego now becomes part of the ego and becomes more and more fully incorporated into the core of the ego—that is to say, into the basic orientation upon which decisions are made.

3.2.4.     The directives which help the individual to decide what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior now concern social and cultural norms and ideologic standards that ate superordinate to parental dictates.

3.3.  Ego

3.3.1.     Th ego tends to have greater control, considering one''s ultimate wellbeing before giving in to immediate gratifications.

3.3.2.     A mass of data garnered from persona] experience as well as from the person''s cultural heritage can be utilized in reaching decisions.

3.3.3.     It can be manipulated imaginatively in an effort to try out alternative courses and their probable consequences, and also for fantasied gratifications; but the person distinguishes between pure fantasy and what it might be possible to realize.

3.3.4.     Young adults now know enough about themselves and the world to decide whether the realization of a wish or a fantasy is a possibility worth pursuing.

3.4.  Adaptive behavior

3.4.1.     A major aspect of a person''s ability to carry out adaptive behavior concerns the capacities to tolerate tensions and the inevitable anxieties of life and still adhere to objectives and work through difficulties.

3.4.2.     The ability to adhere to commitments is usually taken as an index of "character,'' for it permits consistency and the avoidance of distraction by each attractive opportunity—whether it is an opportunity at work extraneous to one''s own goals or a sexual distraction.

3.4.3.     Whereas at some periods in adolescence or young adulthood each fork in a road seems to require a decision, as the course of a life may be changed by following one path rather than the other, after commitments have been made, the objectives determine the ultimate direction and it matters little if one route or the other is followed for a stretch in progressing toward the goal.

3.5.  Tensions and frustrations

3.5.1.     Tensions and frustrations create anxiety and depressive spells but do not lead too often to a search for regressive solace in sensuality, in sleep, or in loss of self-awareness through the use of alcohol or narcotics.

3.5.2.     Frustrations are recognized as a part of life and, although avoided, they are accepted when necessary without mobilizing undue hostility and aggression.

3.6.  Boundaries of Self

3.6.1.     Now that problems of dependency and symbiotic strivings have been worked through, the boundaries of the self are secure enough for young adults no longer unconsciously to fear losing their identities when they seek after intimacy.

3.6.2.     The young woman, however, needs to keep her boundaries sufficiently fluid to accept having a fetus within her, and to form a symbiotic bond with an infant.

3.7.  Gender identity

3.7.1.     A person is now secure enough in his or her gender identity not to need to prove his masculinity or her femininity to the self and others by repetitive compulsive sexual activity, or in undue masculine aggressivity or feminine seductiveness.

3.7.2.     Both men and women will realize that being a member of one sex or the other has both advantages and disadvantages and are ready to make the most of the advantages rather than deplore their fate.

3.8.  Genital sexuality

3.8.1.     It has been customary in psychoanalytic literature to evaluate the stability and maturity of the progression to adult life in terms of the capacity for genital sexuality—properly, not simply the capacity for pleasure from orgasm in heterosexual relationships, but to enjoy sexuality in a meaningful intimate relationship.

3.8.2.     It is apparent, however, that some persons lead satisfactory and highly productive lives, even though they never achieve such genital sexuality, and that a person''s maturity, including emotional maturity, may better be considered in terms of the achievement of a firm ego identity as well as the capacity for intimacy, recognizing that the capacity to come to terms with frustration or one''s inadequacy can be a major aspect of maturity.

3.9.  Human and societal frailty and tolerance

3.9.1.     Still, such deficiencies, to sum up, should not lead persons to invest too much energy and effort in repetitively seeking after solutions to old problems poured ever again into new bottles, and should not prevent them from seeking completion in the present and the future rather than through the impossible task of remaking the past.

3.9.2.     Adults should also be capable of accepting the realization that many of the ways and rules of society are arbitrary, but that people need such regulations in order to live together— and they do not fee] deceived and cheated by the arbitrariness of the rules; and they find their places in the social system, accepting it while hoping to improve it.  

3.9.3.     Nor are they so readily disillusioned by other people, for faced by the difficulties in living they have become more tolerant of the failures and even deceptions of others.

3.10.              Time to make their own way in the word

3.10.1.  Whatever their preparation, the time has come for young adults to make their own way in the world

3.10.2.  The choice of an occupation and the choice of a mate are the decisions that start them on their way.

3.10.3.  While both choices are often made as a rather natural progression in the path that a life has been taking, they are both highly overdetermined, tending to be resultants of the total developmental process together with the realistic opportunities available at the critical time of life.

 
 
 
 
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