Emotional Development in Adulthood Young adults are quite different from adults in late middle age. It is easy to understand that 20-year-olds are different from 60-year-olds. Think about how they are different. Try to describe the differences.
Emotional development continues during the adult years. Most people notice that older adults are less emotionally volatile. Older adults tend to be more secure with who they are; thus, their emotional responses become more stable and predictable. As adults age, their emotions become more controlled.
The research of George Vaillant suggests that emotional growth in adulthood can be measured by observing changes in psychological defense mechanisms. He noticed that defense mechanisms change as we age from less mature forms, such as projection and denial, to more mature forms, such as humor (not sarcasm) and sublimation.
This week, you will explore emotional development in adulthood by considering the use of defense mechanisms. You will consider two defense mechanisms that you have observed, and describe the event(s) that triggered the defense mechanisms. Then you will discuss the emotional development of the individual, considering Vaillant’s hypothesis.
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