Analyzing the Early Adulthood Period of Development

Analyzing the Early Adulthood Period of Development

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Analyzing the Early Adulthood Period of Development


The early adulthood period of development is the stage of focus for this analysis task. The subject of observation is a 25-year-old lady who will be referred to as “Lady X’ for this assignment. Lady X is a person known to me for the past five years. Her gender is female. She lives with her mother and two siblings in their family-owned home. Currently, Lady X is both at school and working. She graduated college two years ago and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Finance. She works as a financial advisor at a leading financier in her city. Growing up, Lady X always showed an interest in numbers which explains why she works in the finance sector and her educational background. Her family structure can be described as a single-headed family. Her father passed when she was six years old she barely remembers him. Her mother has raised Lady X and her siblings as single-mother. This text primarily focuses on Lady X’s current development period; the Early Adulthood Period.

Theoretical Description of Lady X Current Period of Development (Early Adulthood Period)

As a young adult who is 25 years old, the physical development of Lady X is characteristic of that of any other adult that is in early adulthood. One can almost tell that she has attained physical maturation. Lady X is average in height (5’ 789) and weighs 132 pounds (60). Lady X is not overweight and demonstrates strong sensory abilities, muscle strength, and motor skills. As far as cognitive development goes, Lady X demonstrates refined planning and problem-saving skills. Her emotions and social processes are typical of a normal being in the early adulthood stage. Cognitive development theorist, William Perry (1970), theorized that cognition shifts from dualism, multiplicity, and relativism among college students (Borghuis, Denissen, J., Oberski, Sijtsma, Meeus, Branje, & Bleidorn, 2017). Lady X possesses excellent problem-solving skills, and at the same time, she is aware that some answers are yet to be known. Lady X ought to be in the sixth stage of psychosocial development of intimacy versus isolation. However, this is not entirely the case. From my conversations with her, she made it clear that she does not view romantic relationships particularly important and that finding love is not a priority for her. She is single and is not bothered about being loved or staying alone; she is okay with either. Erik Erikson developed a theory of psychosocial development detailing the conflicts that occur between the age of 19 and 40.

Analysis of Lady X’s Physical Development

Comparing Lady X’s current physical development with the established norms, it is safe to say that they are consistent with theirs and expectations. The physical development of young adults in their twenties and thirties is usually at its peak. In terms of developmental milestones, when a person is enters early adulthood, their body has completed growing. However, their brain continues to grow. Worth noting, physically, at this stage, people are at the peak of their reproductive years. Lung capacity, strength and motor ability are at their best in this period of development. However as one continues to age, there is a notable decline in response time, immune system and recovery time after physical exertion. Levinson (1966) theorized that early adulthood is the ideal time to learn about the concept of life structure (Bjerregaard, Jensen, Ängquist, Osler, Sørensen, & Baker, 2018). Lady X’s current physical development is consistent with the theories and norms established in the text. Just as expected Lady X possesses great motor and physical strength, and her sensory abilities are functioning properly. From the communication with Lady X, it is evident that she has managed to keep her physical health in check as she works out often. Regular physical activity has also contributed to her motor skills and sensory abilities.

Analysis of Lady X’s Cognitive Development

Similarly, comparing Lady X’s current cognitive development with the established norms, it is safe to say that they are consistent with theirs and expectations. The cognitive development of early adulthood is all about the ability to think abstractly. Although Piaget’s theory of cognitive development ends with the formal operations, it is possible to develop other ways of thinking to form. Postformal thought is realistic, practical and individualistic. However, it is characterized with understanding numerous complexities. This means that as a person approaches 30s, they make decisions from necessity as they are less likely to be influenced by other people (Corder, Winpenny, Love, Brown, White, & Van Sluijs, 2019). The reasoning of a thirteen-year-old is much different from that of a young adult. It is for this reason Lady X tends to be good at problem solving, as would be any typical lady of her age. Notably, this relates to the Perry’s scheme, which was one of the first theories in cognitive development that developed in 1970 by William Perry. From the assessments, it is evident that Lady X fits perfectly into this stage of developmental periods. He has transitioned from dualism where he had absolute thinking to realize that she can only solve the problems that are solvable. In essence, in this stage of development, individual tend to be more logical, flexible and willingness to accept intellectual complexities. Lady X’s current cognitive development is in line with theories from the text. At this stage of her life Lady X is self-aware enough to know that despite being a problem solver, not all problems can be solved.

Analysis of Lady X’s Psychosocial Development

Comparing Lady X’s current physical development with the established norms, it is safe to say that they are inconsistent with theirs and expectations. According to the text and modules, the early adulthood stage is best described Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development. The main conflict that early adults between 19 and 40 years experience is intimacy versus isolation. Intimacy versus isolation is the sixth stage and comes after the fifth stage of psychosocial development known as identity versus role confusion (Eriksson, Wängqvist, Carlsson, & Frisén, 2020). Lady X cognitive development is inconsistent with the theory because unlike other individuals at this stage who are beginning to find stable relationships, she seems disinterested in chasing love. Lady X is single and still leaves with her mother. She has a great career going for herself and is chasing her goals, but intimate relationships seem to be the least of her worries at this point in her life.

Unmet Developmental Tasks

Theorists have described numerous developmental needs of young adults that should be met. One of the needs is achieving autonomy which is all about becoming an independent person. Lady X struggles with autonomy in the sense that till now, she lives with her mother and her siblings. At the age of 25, it is expected that a young adult should be living independently with a life of her own (Utesch, Bardid, Büsch, & Strauss, 2019). Another unmet need is finding intimacy. Lady X is yet to form close and permanent relationships. Lady X struggles to meet this need as she is single and says her priority right now is not a relationship but building a stable career and completing her post graduate studies.


Borghuis, J., Denissen, J. J., Oberski, D., Sijtsma, K., Meeus, W. H., Branje, S., … & Bleidorn, W. (2017). Big Five personality stability, change, and codevelopment across adolescence and early adulthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 113(4), 641.

Bjerregaard, L. G., Jensen, B. W., Ängquist, L., Osler, M., Sørensen, T. I., & Baker, J. L. (2018). Change in overweight from childhood to early adulthood and risk of type 2 diabetes. New England Journal of Medicine.

Corder, K., Winpenny, E., Love, R., Brown, H. E., White, M., & Van Sluijs, E. (2019). Change in physical activity from adolescence to early adulthood: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal cohort studies. British journal of sports medicine, 53(8), 496-503.

Eriksson, P. L., Wängqvist, M., Carlsson, J., & Frisén, A. (2020). Identity development in early adulthood. Developmental Psychology, 56(10), 1968.

Utesch, T., Bardid, F., Büsch, D., & Strauss, B. (2019). The relationship between motor competence and physical fitness from early childhood to early adulthood: A meta-analysis. Sports Medicine, 49(4), 541-551.