April 17, 2012
Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial human development is one of the best known theories (Cherry, 2011). Erikson’s theory explains eight stages of human development, and in each stage an individual experiences a series of challenges and lessons. The eight stages of development includes infancy, early childhood, play age, school age, adolescence, early, middle, and late adulthood. A strong case can be made for each stage for why it is the most important stage in a person’s life but I believe early adulthood is the most important stage. In early adulthood, individuals develop into who they are and what they want to become. This paper will include the primary aspects of early adulthood, along with the cognitive, physical, and personality development. This paper will also include health, biological, and transition factors.
Early adulthood ranges from 18 to 40 years old. This is the time when most individuals finish school, choose a career path, and start a family. In this stage, an individual’s thinking becomes more personal, integrative, and practical in responses to their life experiences and commitment to the responsibilities of career and family. Individuals also begin to realize everything is not always what it seems. Personality development in early adulthood involves self-analysis and identifies issues. Friendships, marriage, and children are often the focus of life during this stage. Physically, individuals have reached their full height, and their limbs are proportional to their size (Feldman, 2008). Late maturers continue to gain height in their early 20s. Individuals tend to be at the peak of their physical capabilities during this stage as well. Individual’s reaction time is quicker, muscle strength is greater, and eye-hand coordination is better than at any other stage in life. The senses are also as sharp as they will ever be at this stage...