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Emerging Adults: The in-between age

“Emerging adulthood is the stage between adolescence and adulthood. Individuals between the ages of 18 and 25 find themselves in this distinct developmental stage in which they are no longer adolescents but not yet adults” (Jackson, Raval, Bendikas-King, Raval, & Trivedi,2016). Mentally and emotionally they have matured and are in the healthiest state that they will ever, during this time, many young people obtain the level of education and training that will provide the foundation for their incomes and occupational achievements for the future work lives and they are ready to live independently (Chisholm & Hurrelmann, 1995).

The‘emerging adulthood’ is thus characterized by both identity formation and establishing deeper relational intimacy with selected others (Arnett 2000). By the end of this period, the late twenties, most people have made life choices that have enduring ramifications. This period later consider the most important events in their lives (Martin & Smyer, 1990). Since the development of Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development (1968), developmental theorists have ascertained that the transition between adolescence and young adulthood has become increasingly prolonged (Macek et al.

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Psychologist finds out a normatively require a heightened level of self-evaluation and vulnerability, and increased chance for errors and failures while conducted the frequent evaluations regarding relational and vocational commitments, and the mastering of adult responsibilities during this life stage, in the process of exploration and initial stages of commitment (Arnett 2000), such factors may able to make trigger thoughts of inadequacy, self-doubt, and feelings of shame.

During this period emotional regulation potentially becomes more flexible with an increase in understanding own and other’s feelings, an increase in understanding the possible selectivity of own perceptions and evaluations, and an increased insight into own emotion-related behaviors that are part of the emotional process (Saarni, Campos, Camras, & Witherington, 2006).

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Become more relevant for emotional changes in goals, including long-term goals and increasing selectivity (Arnett, 2001). Young adults in college are still forming their identities and may not have the life experiences necessary to fully understand the interrelated nature of their own and others’ suffering (Grotevant & Cooper, 1985; Marcia, 1994). So they beneficial particularly with compassion which is still forming their identities amidst the pressures of these life stages (Neff & McGehee, 2010; Arnett, 2000).

Compassion is neither empathy nor sympathy but requires both. Sympathy involves feeling regret for another person’s suffering. Empathy is the response to another person’s emotions with emotions that are similar. Compassion is the sum of these two ie, caring about another person’s happiness as if it were your own. The word “compassion” originated from the Latin word “passio”, to suffer, and the Latin prefix “com”, together, literally meaning to suffer together (Kundera, 1999). It is defined as “the feeling that arises when you are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering” (The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California,2019). Recent studies in this area describe compassion as noticing and responding to feelings of self and others (Kanov et al, 2006). It can be conceptualized as an awareness of others and a desire to help them, using an approach without judgmental. So compassionate people being able to deal with another person’s distress without internalizing it and equally able to cope with their own feelings (Wispe, 1991). According to Neff (2003) compassion as; “being open to and moved by the suffering of others, so that one desires to ease their suffering”. It also encouraging non-judgemental understanding, recognizing that all humans make mistakes and imperfect and kindness. Compassion is not the same as altruism, though the concepts are related. Altruism is the kind, selfless behavior often prompted by feelings of compassion, though one can feel compassion without acting on it, and altruism isn’t always motivated by compassion (The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, 2019). Neff says, “We will think that we need to beat ourselves up if we make mistakes so that we won’t do it again”. This Self-criticism is very strongly linked to depression and it makes it unable to be motivated to change. It causes us to lose faith in ourselves, and that’s going to make us less likely to try to change and conditions us for failure.” (Smith, 2014)

Self-compassion is compassion turned inward towards yourself. According to Neff (2003), Self-compassion is the ability to hold one’s feelings of suffering with a sense of warmth, connection, and concern. In adolescents sometimes display ‘‘the personal fable’’ (believing that their experiences are unique) and that others cannot possibly understand what they are going through (Lapsley, Fitz, Gerald, Rice, & Jackson, 1989). The personal fable may contribute to a lack of self-compassion if one’s difficulties and failings are not recognized as being a normal part of human life. It may lead to negative self-evaluations for failing to live up to life expectations. As well as trigger narcissistic personality traits associated with the inability to tolerate negative self-judgments, it will turn has been linked to the elevated rates of anxiety, aggression, suicide attempts, depression, and self-injury registered in these groups (Barry, Loflin & Doucette, 2015; Xavier, Gouveia & Cunha, 2016).

Self-compassion and Self-esteem are connected to each other, but the self-esteem condition focused people on their positive characteristics and on imaging or thinking about why the negative event did not reflect on them, the self-compassion condition implicitly led people to accept the negative event but then to counteract its negative effects via common humanity, self-kindness, and mindful acceptance (Leary, Tate, Louisiana, Allen and Hancock, 2007 ). It recognizing own distress and making an attempt to alleviate it. Kindness, empathy, distress tolerance are the key attributes of compassion associated with reduced self-criticism, worry, and blame. Neff (2003) conceptualizes self-compassion as an attitude that is relevant to every personal experience of suffering and that entails three interacting components.
The first one is self-kindness vs. self-judgment, “Self-kindness is the tendency to be caring and understanding with oneself rather than being harshly critical or judgmental” (Bowman, 1990).

When looking at some disliked aspect of one’s personality, (for eg: the wrong decision taken by him is treated gently) supportive with his own self instead of attacking oneself for being inadequate, the self is offered warmth and unconditional acceptance. One way discrimination can negatively impact self-kindness is that it can restrict economic or other forms of success for certain groups, which may lead some to believe that they are entirely to blame for their failures to meet societal norms (Bowman, 1990; Cooper, McLoyd, Wood, & Hardaway, 2008). By judging themselves for issues caused by discrimination, these younger generations likely judge themselves harshly for not getting a job or even getting an interview and another thing those he wants (Moore, 2010; Stoll, Rafael & Holzer, 2004).

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Emerging Adults: The in-between age. (2020, Oct 31). Retrieved from

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