Young Adult to Late Adult

Posted: November 30th, 2013

Young Adult to Late Adult





Young Adult to Late Adult

Human beings develop differently at different stages in their lives. From the infant to the elderly, people show different characteristics in the different stages. They show different physical and cognition change developments. They also have different social characteristics. Some periods are chances for high growth and development while other periods are of stability. My grandmother, whose name is Fatima, gave me an account of her experiences in my quest for answers. When she was in her young adulthood, she experienced several physical, cognitive and social developments. The young adulthood period is the time when the individually develops intellectually and cognitively. My grandmother started developing a serious attitude towards life during this time, and she tried to find some stability. In middle adulthood, she became more responsible and intellectually mature. As she ages, I have noticed that her physical and cognitive abilities have started failing. Although people are different and they develop differently, they share certain characteristics that help to define their developmental stage.

As my grandmother Fatima developed into young adulthood, there were several noticeable changes about her. She became more conscious of her health and she changed her lifestyle. During her adolescent years, and sometime later after entry into young adulthood, she did not care much for her diet, but this changed in her mid twenties. She became more conscious of how much she ate and she started exercising. This caused a drastic change in her, and it was observable in her physical appearance as well. She became more physically fit, and she gained a lot of confidence. Fatima became more interested in advancing her education, and in progressing in her career. She went to college, where she finished and graduated. She became more interested in social and environmental matters, and she began advocating for the rights of minorities and the less privileged in the society. This was in the sixties when many people were engaged in fighting for different causes. The period of young adulthood is a time when young adults begin forming their self-identity. They have their own opinions and perception of the world (Rogers, 2010). Her social relationships changed and she began isolating herself from crowds. She was more interested in getting to know people on an individual basis, and this reduced the number of friends she had. She developed firm and close relationships with the people she befriended. Young adulthood is a period when the person begins forming closer relationships (Rogers, 2010).

Fatima had concentrated on developing her career and fighting for different causes, and she had not had time for anything else. Initially, she had worked in different government and non-governmental organizations that dealt with environmental matters, but she started her own organization. This took a toll on her. She had always been concerned about the environment, and she was pursuing her life’s dream. She was proud of how much she had achieved within a relatively short time. She liked playing tennis, as this gave her the time she needed to socialize, and it helped her keep fit. She liked traveling but her tight schedule did not allow her to do that more often. She got married when she was in her mid forties, and she had wanted to start a family soon. The couple did not have any children, and they were trying to get some children. They had seen numerous doctors, to no avail. This caused Fatima a lot of stress. They tried different treatments, until she was able to conceive when she was forty-eight years old.

My grandmother had maintained many of the close relationships she had developed during her early adulthood, and she was in constant contact with her friends. They met at different social gatherings, which they formed. She had developed few new relationships over the years, though she did have a few friends. Fatima was close to her original family. Being the only child, she was aware that she had the sole responsibility of taking care of her parents. As one’s parents’ age, the responsibility of taking care of them is thrust upon the middle-aged daughter (Rathus, 2012). This was not a big problem because her parents had aged gracefully, and she did not consider them a problem. Although they were in their early eighties by the time she was in her late forties, they were still strong. She had hired someone to take care of them since they lived in a different town. People in middle adulthood experience their parents becoming older, and some experience the death of their parents. Relationships between people in their middle adulthood and their parents tend to become closer, as earlier expectations and tension between the child and the parent are forgotten (Rathus, 2012)

My grandmother is seventy-eight years old. She has lived with us since the passing of our grandfather some time back. Many people in late adulthood live near one of their children (Rathus, 2012). Although she is still active, she has slowed down and she does not do as much as she used to when she was younger. People in late adulthood remain active because they have a built in reserve capacity, which enables them to continue functioning (Steinberg et al., 2010). She walks with a slight stoop, and she finds it hard to use the stairs. She has developed many wrinkles on her face, and her hair has changed color. Her hands have become shaky and weak. She is not able to carry heavy objects, and she finds it hard to climb the stairs. She has had two surgeries in the past year, and both had to do with hip replacement. She sleeps through the night, and she likes taking a nap in the afternoon. She has become more forgetful, and she has a hard time remembering recent events. However, she enjoys telling us stories of her youth. My grandmother is not a fast learner, and despite the many lessons that I have given her, she cannot figure out how to use a laptop. She always insists that I show her how to use a laptop whenever I am studying. She tries her best to concentrate, but in most cases, she gets preoccupied and she starts doing other things (Carter et al., 2012).

Although people belonging to a particular phase may appear the same, they have different characteristics since they develop differently. People’s development and growth follow a sequence of changes. Different factors affect the way people develop. Two people of the same age may exhibit several differences.





















Carter, K., Seifert, M. C., & Seifert, C. (2012). Learn psychology. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers

Harder, F. A. (2012). Erik Erikson’s stages psychosocial development. Retrieved from

Kail, V. R., & Cavanaugh, C. J. (2012). Human development: A life-span view. New York, NY: Cengage Learning

Rathus, A. S. (2012). Psychology: Concepts & connections, brief version. New York, NY: Cengage Learning

Rogers, A. (2010). Human behavior in the social environment. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis

Steinberg, L., Bornstein, H. M., Vandell, L. D., & Rook, S. K. (2010). Lifespan development: Infancy through adulthood. New York, NY: Cengage Learning


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