When one reaches early adulthood, they usually have spent a lot of time developing, right from their childhood to adolescence. There is a transformation that takes place when one entering into young adulthood, both physically and mentally. It is, however, very difficult to determine just when adulthood begins and adolescence ends, but there are usually some rough formal markers such as getting married, being in a position to vote, being in a position to join the military or reaching a particular birthday. These markers also vary across the world depending on the society and culture that the individual is brought up in. One enters adult hood, there are a number of physical developments that go on in their life. For most individuals, early adulthood is the stage in their life where their physical capacities start to peak. Their bodies gain physical strength in their late twenties and early thirties. The bodies will have reached full height by the time they are done with early teenage years. More to it, the manual agility, coordination and the sensory capacities will also peak. Generally, people in this age group start experiencing robust energy and sometimes one can have unusual fluctuations around deadlines. They are also in a position to use damages substances such as drugs. Young adults will start have increasing responsibilities to organize their eating and exercising habits as mostly, their health status is more dependent than their behavioral choices.
The cognitive development of adults will vary on which stage of adulthood one is. By the time most people are done with adolescence and are entering early adulthood, they are in a position to reason in an intelligent manner, which is needed for normal functioning in adult society. There are usually very wide individual differences in the attainment of these cognitive abilities, but most young adults are in a position to deal with cognitive tasks more abstractly than they could before. They are also able to attain solutions to problems that are facing them by comparing any possible explanations. According to most theorists, this, however, does not mark the end of cognitive development for the young adults. According to Riegel’s theory of post-formal thought, experiences that adults have expose them to new levels of cognitive challenges. This means that the many aspects of the environment can manifest contradictory features in humans, especially the human environment. An example of this is individuals who seem to be aloof and self-centered at some point and the next minute they can be warm and generous; people like these are hard to gauge whether they are affectionate or remote. People with such characters and many more complex characters of the human nature can be hard to deal and cope with. Riegel argued that being in a position to have intellectual ability to deal with such contradictions that happen in our daily lives. Such intelligence needs progress to a fifth stage of reasoning, one that Riegel refers to as the stage of dialectical operations or post-formal thoughts. Another theory that deals with cognitive development is Kramer’s three stages. Kremer argued that there are three broad stages of cognitive development; absolutist, relativist and dialectical. Many people in early adulthood belong to the absolutist because they are in position to address many problems that may face them, though they believe that every problem has a solution (Pratt & Norris, 1994). Individuals in the relative stage are, however, aware that there are usually different perspectives to any given issue or problem and any correct answer will depend on the context of the problem. Dialectical phase enables individuals to integrate competing positions. They are at a better position to understand why there are diverse views and can also appreciate that their efforts to resolve any internal contradictions lead to the overall progress and contributions in their various disciplines.
The social and emotional development of any adult has to be considered too. There are usually some very formidable tasks young adults when it comes to the development in this sector. Mostly, young people entering this phase will be focused mostly on building their career. They maybe studying so as to get the needed qualifications or training at an entry level in some organization. The youth unemployment in most countries, however, makes this very difficult for the young adults in that country (Cavanaugh, 1998). Whether one is unemployed, studying or employed, they will always have stress depending on what they are dealing with exactly. Apart from career, the young adults will also be focused on romantic and emotional issues, which sometimes is usually a lot of headache and anguish. There are also relationship issues especially with parents together with the high expectations of friends and relatives and friends that the young adult will take responsibility for their life.
Middle adult hood is where individuals experience a range of external and internal physical changes (Pratt & Norris, 1994). Some of the external changes include thinning of their hair, appearance of grey hair appearance of wrinkles and so on. Internal physical changes include reduction in efficiency of some of the body systems such as the respiratory and nervous systems among many others. At this stage, women will experience menopause. Others will look at the position and condition they are in at that moment and mostly, they are dissatisfied socially with their bodies. The cognitive development of people in the middle adult hood phase of life is relatively stable. On most occasions, middle adults perform better than young adults. Due to many experiences that people have throughout their lives, people in the middle adult hood have developed both socially and emotionally. The many decisions made along the way that were both negative and positive helped them to grow. In life skills, some activities tend to be hard to be carried out by people in the middle adult hood phase; young adults will be energetic and capable of some of the activities compared to middle adults. The people in the middle adult-hood age group too are better at emotional and clear thinking.
Cavanaugh, J. C. (1998). Adult development and aging. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Pratt, M. W., & Norris, J. E. (1994). The social psychology of aging. Oxford: Blackwell.