Early and Middle Adulthood Essay

Early and Middle Adulthood Essay.

Early and Middle Adulthood Essay

Early and Middle Adulthood Paper


University of Phoenix

Early and Middle Adulthood Paper

            According to Beaumont and Pratt (2011), the process of adventuring into and through the adulthood stage of life can be a challenging endeavour characterised with multiple variations. Many people often try to define their identity, gain self-reliance, and attempt to establish long-lasting relationships with their family members, colleagues, and friends in the early years of adulthood.  Conversely, a plethora of these individuals tend to be set on their paths and try to attain balance between their family and work-life. Therefore, a plethora of adulthood challenges tend to stem from this period as individuals work tirelessly to achieve self-actualization and live a self-sustaining and fulfilling life (Luong, Charles, & Fingerman, 2010). This paper discusses how social and intimate relations tend to evolve and change during an individual’s early and middle adulthood, identifies a range of role changes occurring this period, and identifies the immediate and future impact of both healthy and unhealthy habits practised during these two critical periods.  

An Overview of How Social and Intimate Relationships Evolve and Change During Early and Middle Adulthood

            Individuals going through the early and middle adulthood ages witness a plethora of evolutions and changes in terms of social and intimate relationships. According to Beaumont and Pratt (2011), an individual’s drive for sex tends to reach its peak at the age of 20 years, also known as the early adulthood age, due to its overall attempt to drive people both socially and intimately. People also experience an intense need to reproduce during these early years in adulthood. These biological experiences are then affected by individuals’ cultural and social factors. As a result people tend to become transfixed and concerned with establishing a sustainable relationship with either friends or colleagues with a deep expression of romantic desires (Luong, Charles, & Fingerman, 2010). People will, therefore, seek to form friendship with members of the opposite sex.

            According to Lachman (2015), the friendship established during early adulthood can progress into the middle adulthood and may inspire people to marry each other. Erikson, one of the famous historical developmental psychologists, believed people go through his six stage of intimacy against isolation as they move from early to middle-adulthood. Therefore, people may either form social and intimate relationships with the members of the opposite sex or decide to remain detached from others as a form of isolation. People’s social relationship with their family members and other relatives during this period is largely affected as most of them focus on their friend, giving only a half of their time to family members (Beaumont & Pratt, 2011). In addition, people usually focus on critical issues such as the need to achieve their desires in terms of talents and vocation, accomplish their career and educational goals, understand where they will live, and built their identity in general.

Identification of Various Role Changes that Occur During Early and Middle Adulthood

            According to Luong, Charles, and Fingerman (2010), individuals transforming from adolescence through the early and middle adulthood ages also experience a plethora of changes in terms of the specific roles played in their daily lives.  Sigmund Freud, another prominent developmental psychologist in the 20th century, believed that the goal of adulthood is to establish a balance between all areas of life. He also contended that a healthy adult is that who can not only work but also love. Therefore, people’s roles change from that of serving as dependant family member to self-reliant member of the society ready to work and take good care of his or her family and the society at large. Early adults bear the role of managing their career, nurturing and their intimate relationships, managing the household, and expanding the role of caring from family members to their spouses (Beaumont & Pratt, 2011). As they progress into middle adulthood, people experience changes in roles as they are required to educate, nurture, and take care of their children, family members, and the ageing members of the society.   

An Examination of the Immediate and Future Impact of Healthy and Unhealthy Habits Practised During Early and Middle Adulthood

            People tend to engage in a plethora of practises during their early and middle adulthood. According to Luong, Charles, and Fingerman (2010), these practises may be either, healthy or unhealthy and may have both   immediate and future impacts. Healthy practices during these developmental ages include being clean by washing hands regularly, having a balanced diet, and engaging in physical exercises. Immediate effects of such practices include living a healthy life and avoiding diseases resulting from failing to observe cleanliness such as diarrhoea. Future impact, on the other hand, may include increased lifespan as well as avoidance of chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Unhealthy habits may include avoiding regular exercises, taking meals full of cholesterol, smoking, drug abuse, and taking unbalanced diet. Immediate effects in this case would include regular hospital admissions and readmissions, suffering from cardiovascular diseases, and breathing problems (Beaumont & Pratt, 2011; Lachman, 2015). Future impacts could include increased expenditure on treatment and management of cases, development of chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes, and reduced lifespan. 


            Early and middle adulthood, which range from 20 to 40 years and 40 to 65 years respectively, mark a critical development period in an individual’s life. As a result, many people experience a plethora of changes and challenges that need effective management in order to achieve self-actualization. Therefore, it is critical for each and every person to practice healthy habits in order to increase their lifespan and achieve their lifetime goals. 


Beaumont, S. L. & Pratt, M. M. (2011). Identity Processing Styles and Psychosocial Balance during Early and Middle Adulthood. The Role of Identity in Intimacy and Generativity, 18(4), 172–183.

Lachman, M. E. (2015). Mind the Gap in the Middle: A Call to Study Midlife. Research in Human Development, 12(3-4), 327-334.

Luong, G., Charles, S. T., & Fingerman, K. L. (2010). Better With Age: Social Relationships Across Adulthood. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 28(1) 9–23.

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