Humanistic Approaches to Positive Growth and Self-Acceptance




Transitional period from adolescence to adulthood:

  • From 18 to 25 years of age
  • Characterized by experimentation and exploration

Key Features:

  • Identity exploration
  • Instability
  • Self-focus
  • Feeling “in between”
  • Age of possibilities

Adulthood: MaturityADULTHOOD 2

For most people, early adulthood marks the peak of physical health.

From about 18 to 25 years of age:

  • Strength is greatest
  • Reflexes are quickest
  • Chances of dying from disease are minimal


During middle adulthood people gradually become aware of changes in their bodies:

  • Weight gain is common
  • Sense organs become less sensitive

Reactions to stimuli are slower

erikson chart

Characteristics of Aging: Changes in the 20s, 30s, and 40s.

20’s: Humans reach their physical, sexual, and perceptual peak with maximum muscle strength, vision, hearing and reaction time.

30’s: Many physical capacities start to decline, however the changes are hardly noticeable until later years.

40’s and on: Muscles become weaker and less flexible, metabolism rates slow down, vision declines, as does fertility.

Health Problems in Adulthood: Physical Decline

According to genetic preprogramming theories of aging:

  • Human cells may have a built-in time limit to their reproduction.
  • After a certain time, cells stop dividing or become harmful to the body.

In contrast, “wear and tear” theories suggest:

  • Mechanical functions of the body simply work less efficiently as people age.
  • Waste by products of energy production eventually accumulate; mistakes are made when cells divide.

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Feldman, R. (2013). Essentials of understanding psychology (11th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Friedman, H.S. & Schustack, M.W. (2012), Personality: classic theories and modern research (5th ed). Boston: Pearson Allyn & Bacon.
McGraw-Hill.McGraw Hill Higher Education (2013), The McGraw Hill Companies, Inc.
Ryckman, R. M. (2013). Theories of personality (10th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Science Clarified, Real Life Biology, Vol. 3 – Earth Science, Vol. 1/Instinct and Learning

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