The “Young Adult” Blob is the first Blob of summer. By the end of this Blob many individuals will have taken the final leap in to adulthood and left their youth behind. For most, career choices will have been made and financial independence reached. For some, relationships will be of a more serious and of a long-term committed nature, even if marriage and children may be postponed to later stages. The young adult will be making efforts to find his or her place in society.
With financial independence come new responsibilities and pressures. Young adults leave the relative safety and comfort of youth and must learn to take responsibility for themselves. They must manage money, budget and home. Rents, bills, household chores, cooking and cleaning slowly start taking precedence over “fun” and long nights out. Still young adults are more likely than in other adult Blobs to regard enjoying life or having an exciting life as being among the most important values in life.
According to recent research cited in the Wall Street Journal whereas high rates of anxiety, depression, motor-vehicle accidents and alcohol use are at their peak from 18-25, these trends tend to level out by age 28. Thus most car rental companies start trusting young adults and offer lower insurance rates, than to the emerging adult of the preceding Blob.
Issues of identity and intimacy peak in this age group. Young adults may confront issues that arose during “growing up”, as a consequence of which personality traits may also change and soften. According to Erik Erikson, intimacy skills require a sense of identity, otherwise there may be a fear of commitment and inability to depend on others. In this stage many do recognize the advantages of having a life partner and, those who are ready, may get involved in to long-term relationships and possibly even consider marriage or children. According to Eurostat statistics, EU-wide in 2012 the average age for women to be wed for the first time was 29 years, while that for young men was 32 years (an increase in 4 years since 1992).
Mentally, the young adult is on the top when it comes to forming long-term memories and being able to engage in complex reasoning. This is a time of peak efficiency of the brain and association centers. Creativity and efficiency are also at a peak, which is often reflected through success at work.
Physically, peak of physical performance is understood to be around the age of 30, after which it starts declining. Although physical changes are minimal during this phase, weight and muscle mass may change as a result of sedentary office work, diet, lifestyle and less time devoted to exercise.
Click here for Blob 6: Responsible Adult
Understand why the 7-year life stages are outdated in this Blog
RESOURCES AND REFERENCES
Delayed Development: 20-Somethings Blame the Brain from the Wall Street Journal
Erik Erikson at SimplyPsychology.org
Being young in Europe today – family and society by Eurostat statistics