Psychle: Life Stages | Adulthood
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ADULTHOOD

Adulthood, the period in the human lifespan in which full physical and intellectual maturity have been attained. Adulthood is commonly thought of as beginning at age 20 or 21 years. Middle age, commencing at about 40 years, is followed by old age at about 60 years.
DATABASES
Adulthood, the period in the human lifespan in which full physical and intellectual maturity have been attained. Adulthood is commonly thought of as beginning at age 20 or 21 years. Middle age, commencing at about 40 years, is followed by old age at about 60 years.
It takes enterprise for young adults to accomplish their many responsibilities, including finding a home and mate, establishing a family or circle of friends, and/or getting a good job.  This principle of enterprise thus serves us at any stage of life when we need to go out into the world and make our mark. After many years in young adulthood of following society’s scripts for creating a life, people in midlife often take a break from worldly responsibilities to reflect upon the deeper meaning of their lives, the better to forge ahead with new understanding.  This element of contemplation represents an important resource that we can all draw upon to deepen and enrich our lives at any age. Those in mature adulthood have raised families, established themselves in their work life, and become contributors to the betterment of society through volunteerism, mentorships, and other forms of philanthropy.  All of humanity benefits from their benevolence.  Moreover, we all can learn from their example to give more of ourselves to others. Those with long lives have acquired a rich repository of experiences that they can use to help guide others.  Elders thus represent the source of wisdom that exists in each of us, helping us to avoid the mistakes of the past while reaping the benefits of life’s lessons.
The second era, early adulthood, lasts from about age 17 to 45 and begins with the Early Adult Transition.
It is the adult era of greatest energy and abundance and of greatest contradiction and stress. Biologically, the 20s and 30s are the peak years of the life cycle. In social and psychological terms, early adulthood is the season for forming and pursuing youthful aspirations, establishing a niche in society, raising a family, and as the era ends, reaching a more "senior" position in the adult world. This can be a time of rich satisfaction in terms of love, sexuality, family life, occupational advancement, creativity, and realization of major life goals. But there can also be crushing stresses. Most of us simultaneously undertake the burdens of parenthood and of forming an occupation.
The idea that spirituality increases in the second half of adult life dates back at least to Confucius (479 B.C./1979) who is alleged to have said, “at fifty I understood the Decree of Heaven” (p. 63). In this study we investigate the nature and causes of spiritual growth with longitudinal data that span early adulthood and old age.
 In young adulthood, our physical abilities are at their peak, including muscle strength, reaction time, sensory abilities, and cardiac functioning. Middle adulthood extends from the 40s to the 60s (Figure 1). Physical decline is gradual. The skin loses some elasticity, and wrinkles are among the first signs of aging. Visual acuity decreases during this time. Women experience a gradual decline in fertility as they approach the onset of menopause, the end of the menstrual cycle, around 50 years old. Late adulthood is considered to extend from the 60s on. This is the last stage of physical change. Because we spend so many years in adulthood (more than any other stage), cognitive changes are numerous. In fact, research suggests that adult cognitive development is a complex, ever changing process that may be even more active than cognitive development in infancy and early childhood (Fischer, Yan, & Stewart, 2003). Researchers have identified areas of both losses and gains in cognition in older age.
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