• A sizable proportion of adults report having a "happiness bump" in their mid 20s. People are at their peak in
strength, sexual impulsiveness, health, cognition, & much else including emotion during emerging adulthood.
• The term psychopathology is used to denote behaviors or experiences which are indicative of mental illness. Psychopathology is more likely in emerging adults. Most psychologists believe in the diathesis-stress model. In the diathesis-stress model, a non-biological or genetic vulnerability or predisposition
(diathesis) interacts with the environment & life events (stressors) to trigger behaviors or psychological disorders. The greater the underlying vulnerability, the less stress is needed to trigger the behavior / disorder. Conversely, where there is a smaller genetic contribution greater life stress is required to produce the particular result. Even so, someone with a diathesis towards a
disorder does not necessarily mean they will ever develop the disorder. Both the diathesis & the stress are required for this to happen.
• Substance Abuse Disorders: 1 in 8 addicted by age 27- Emerging adulthood is by far the most common time for substance abuse.
• Mood Disorders: 8% before age 30 in the U.S. - Most commonly emerging adults have major depression which is a leading cause of impairment & premature death worldwide.
• Anxiety Disorders: 25% -
PTSD, OCD, & panic attacks are examples of anxiety disorders. A U.S. survey found that neuroticism (one of the five basic traits of personality / temperament) characterized by high anxiety is highest during emerging adulthood.
New: Hikikomori is a Japanese word meaning "pull away", the name of an anxiety
disorder common among emerging adults in Japan.
• Schizophrenia: 1% - characterized by distortions of reality & disturbances of thought & language & withdrawal from social contact.
Symptoms typically begin in adolescence. Diagnosis is most common between the ages of 18 & 24. Males are most likely to get Schizophrenia. If you don't get Schizophrenia by age 35 it almost never develops.
Ψ Continuity & Discontinuity
• Many emerging adults overcome their problems through "self-righting", social support & ongoing maturation.
Growth & Development|
Robert C. Gates