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- For other uses, see young adult.
According to Erik Erikson's stages of human development, a young adult is a person between the ages of 19 and 39, whereas an adolescent is a person between the ages of 13 and 18. The young adult stage in human development precedes middle adulthood. A person in the middle adulthood stage is between the ages of 40 and 60. In late adulthood, a person is 60 years old or older.
According to Erikson, the young adult stage involves the personal need for intimacy and sex. Failure to achieve this need results in isolation, which is avoided, and as a result the young adult strives for love and compassion. The young adult learns that love and compassion may get him or her what he or she wants.
In many societies, young adults in their late teens and early 20s encounter a number of issues as they finish school and begin to hold full-time jobs and take on other responsibilities of adulthood. In the late teens and early 20s, young adults become individuals and will set themselves apart. Self becomes the main reliance. Young adults will strive to become independent from parents, take responsibility for themselves and make their own decisions. Adolescents are generally regarded as naïve and inexperienced, but are expected to grow into mature adults in their 20s. They are amateurs in the world of adults. Young adults in this stage of human development learn value in both tangible and intangible objects. Their relationships with their parents and older adults change.
After the upheaval of the early 30's, the middle to late 30's (roughly ages 34-39) are often characterized by settling down. People in their 30's may increase the financial and emotional investments they make in their lives. Many have been employed long enough to gain promotions and raises. They'd often become more focused on advancing their careers and gaining stability in their personal lives. They might have started a family.
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