Early Adulthood and Personality Development

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 424 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Feb 12, 2024

Words: 424|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Feb 12, 2024

Early adulthood is a critical phase in the development of an individual's personality, with significant changes taking place during this period. Erikson's theory offers insights into this stage, particularly in terms of the interplay between intimacy and isolation. According to Erikson, early adulthood revolves around the concerns of forming committed relationships and redefining one's identity.

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When Erikson refers to intimacy, he does not solely mean a sexual relationship. Instead, he encompasses all types of dedicated relationships that involve a permanent commitment to another person, whether it be a friend, romantic partner, or in another capacity. On the other hand, isolation refers to the unwillingness to establish close connections and build trusting relationships. Erikson emphasizes the importance of the ability to form long-term relationships based on trust and mutual appreciation during early adulthood, as it is during this period that significant personality changes occur.

The necessity to redefine one's identity is a key aspect of early adulthood. This stage involves pursuing higher education, experiencing separation from parents, achieving financial independence, and gaining practical experience in dealing with real-world problems. These factors often prompt individuals to reassess and redefine their identity before entering early adulthood. Additionally, the establishment of a respectful and committed intimate relationship is built on trust, which requires the disclosure of one's identity to a partner. The willingness to relinquish some independence, disclose aspects of one's identity, and reconsider certain elements of oneself is crucial for forming stable, long-term relationships. Therefore, the continuous redefining of identity aligns with Erikson's concept of intimacy versus isolation as a form of personality development that occurs throughout early adulthood.

Another important aspect of personality development in early adulthood is commitment. When individuals explore their identity with depth and commitment, it leads to higher self-esteem, better adjustment, and overall well-being. However, excessive depth without commitment can result in poor adjustment, anxiety, and deviant behaviors. Therefore, commitment plays a vital role in both individual well-being and the formation of intimate relationships during early adulthood. Given this, Erikson's theory of intimacy versus isolation appropriately emphasizes the significance of committed relationships.

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In summary, Erikson's theory views early adulthood as a stage characterized by the interplay between intimacy and isolation, which is closely tied to fundamental personality development during this period. The continuous redefinition of identity is essential for forming trusting and intimate relationships, which Erikson considers the primary focus of early adulthood. Furthermore, commitment is crucial for exploring and developing one's personality as a young adult and for establishing long-term intimate relationships with others.

  1. Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity: Youth and crisis. W.W. Norton & Company.
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Early Adulthood and Personality Development. (2024, February 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 25, 2024, from
“Early Adulthood and Personality Development.” GradesFixer, 12 Feb. 2024,
Early Adulthood and Personality Development. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 Feb. 2024].
Early Adulthood and Personality Development [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Feb 12 [cited 2024 Feb 25]. Available from:
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