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Growth & Development

  Emerging Adulthood
- Psychosocial Development -
- Intimacy -

Growth & Development

Ψ  Intimacy promotes feelings of affiliation, affection, interdependence, communion, belonging, and love.

•   Intimacy is characterized in Erickson’s 6th Psychosocial Stage: Intimacy vs. Isolation.

•   Adults seek to find someone with whom to share their lives, in an enduring and self-sacrificing commitment. Without such commitment, they risk profound aloneness, isolated from their fellow humans.

It's a Mickey Mouse World , isn't it?


Ψ  Gateways to Attraction – the various qualities, such as appearance & proximity, that are prerequisites for the formation of close friendships & ultimate relationships.

•   Physical attractiveness (even in platonic & same-sex relationships)
 •   Apparent availability (demonstrated in willingness to that/do things together)
  •   Absence of “exclusion criteria” (no unacceptable characteristics)
   •   Frequent exposure

Same-Sex Friendships

•   Men & women tend to develop somewhat different friendship patterns:

•   Female - Female: may be better for meeting intimacy needs & reduces the loneliness and self-absorption that is the danger of the intimacy vs. isolation stage.

•   Male - Male: companions typically keep emotional distance while sharing information, activities, & assistance.

•   Cross-sex friendship benefits both sexes but is hazardous for other relationships.

The Dimensions of Love

Ψ  Robert Sternberg’s 7 forms of love have 3 distinct components, they follow.
•   Passion
 •   Intimacy
  •   Commitment

   It's a Mickey Mouse World , isn't it?

Ψ  Robert Sternberg’s 7 forms of love follow.
•   Liking - components: I
 •   Infatuation - components: P
  •   Empty Love - components: C
   •   Romantic Love - components: P I
    •   Fatuous Love - components: P C
     •   Companionate Love - components: I C
      •   Consummate Love - components: P I C
legend: P=Passion, I=Intimacy, C=Commitment

Triangle Theory

Ψ  Cohabitation (living together): an arrangement in which adults of the opposite sex are not married but live together in a committed sexual relationship. According to the studies, cohabitation is burdened with negative consequences.

Ψ  Purpose of Cohabitation:

•   Variation.
•   Substitute for marriage.
•   Some couples live together but do not plan to marry each other; neither considers the
     relationship permanent.
•   About 1/2 of cohabiting couples in the U.S. consider living together as a prelude to
     marriage, which they expect to occur when they are financially & emotionally ready.

Ψ  Marriage & its ideals have changed over time:

•  The proportion of adults who are unmarried is higher than in the previous 100 years
•   Only 10% of brides are virgins
•   Nearly one half of all first births are to single mothers, who are increasingly unlikely to
    marry the fathers
•   At least another 20% of first births are conceived before marriage
•   The divorce rate is 49% of the marriage rate
•  The rate of first marriages in young adulthood is the lowest in 50 years
•   Most adults aged 20 to 30 are not yet married or already divorced
•   Ideally mutually beneficial, a successful marriage is one where the couple’s love & friendship is grown & solidified over time through events such as bearing & raising children, overcoming financial & economic obstacles, surviving setbacks, & sharing social & financial commitments.
•   Overall, marriage makes people happier, healthier, & wealthier.


Ψ  Homogamy: refers to marriage between individuals who tend to be similar with respect to such variables as attitudes, interests, goals, SES, religion, ethnic background, & local origin.

Ψ  Heterogamy: refers to marriage between individuals who tend to be dissimilar with respect to such variables as attitudes, interests, goals, SES, religion, ethnic background, and local origin.

Ψ  Social Homogamy: the similarity with which a couple regards leisure interests and role preferences. (If both spouses enjoy/hate the same things, they tend to be more “in love,” and if role preferences are agreed on, conflict and ambivalence are reduced)

Ψ  Marital Equity - Social Exchange Theory: marriage is (should be) an arrangement in which each person contributes something useful to the other, something the other would find difficult to attain alone.

         It's a Mickey Mouse World , isn't it?

Domestic Violence

Ψ  Common Couple Violence (CCV): consists of couple conflicts that “get out of hand” & result in minor violence.

Ψ  Intimate terrorism: is a systematic, intentional form of violence that is perpetrated most often by males against their partners. Can lead to battered-wife syndrome.

Family Connections

Ψ   Modern emerging adults have linked lives in which the success health, & well being of one generation in a family are connected to those of anther generation, as in the relationship between parents & children.

Growth & Development
Robert C. Gates