Putting It Together: Early Adulthood

Diana Lang; Nick Cone; Julie Lazzara; and Tera Jones

Photo of three college students collborating on a project.
(Image Source: Keira Burton via Pexels)

Emerging adults are often in the “prime of life,” especially physically and sexually. However, young adults may be engaged in risky behaviors and be particularly vulnerable to injuries, accidents, alcohol and drug use/abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, intimate partner violence, and suicide. Nutrition and exercise habits in this stage are important since they are associated with health and certain illnesses in middle age. Cognitive and brain development continues, with the influences of education and experience. Young adults may move from formal logical thinking to postformal thinking, becoming better at considering multiple perspectives and contexts, appreciating ambiguity and uncertainty, and using practical experience in making decisions.

Additional education often plays an important role for more young adults, thus, we examined the connections between education and work and learned about how exploring and choosing one’s career is key during this stage. We saw that establishing intimacy in friendships, romance, and family relationships is another significant aspect of young adulthood; love, dating, cohabitation, and marriage.


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Individual and Family Development, Health, and Well-being Copyright © 2022 by Diana Lang; Nick Cone; Julie Lazzara; and Tera Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.