Friendships and Relationships in Adulthood: ABCDE Model

Friendships and relationships in adulthood can be described using the ABCDE model which is defined as Acquaintanceship, Build-Up, Continuation, Deterioration and Ending. The ABCDE model describes the stages and how they change. The forces behind these relationships are basis of attraction, what each person knows about the other, how good communication is between them and the perceived importance of the friendship. Relationships are subject to deterioration because new friendships may form and the availability of alternative relationships determines the amount of attention the original relationship can receive.According Sternberg’s triangle of love a relationship is based on three things and they are passion, intimacy and commitment. Early in relationships with love passion is high whereas commitment and intimacy are fairly low, whereas further into a relationship passion fades and in order for a relationship to stay committed emotional intimacy is a must or else the relationship will more than likely end.

The stage of emerging adulthood is the period between adolescents and young adulthood. Typically it is between the ages of 18 and 29.Jeffery Arnett believed that this period was for self-exploration. That self-exploration could have been achieved by exploring new careers, school, relationships with others and figuring out who exactly you are. It is also a time of change and possible instability. Someone going through this period is typically someone recently leaving high school and making the transition into college or adult life. Some may even decide that instead of college or career that they instead would like start a family. This is also a time when the reliance on parents is lessened and individual dwellings would be established in order to take care of yourself as an adult. This is the time when adult responsibilities and sensibilities are explored and determined.Erik Erikson said that personality was determined by the interaction of an internal maturational plan and external societal demands.

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He said that individuals go through 8 different stages which were in a fixed order. Those 8 stages are basic trust vs. mistrust (birth – 1 year), autonomy vs. hame and doubt (1 – 3 years), initiative vs. guilt (3 – 6 years), industry vs. inferiority (6 years – adolescence), identity vs. identity confusion (adolescence), intimacy vs. isolation (young adulthood), generativity vs. stagnation (middle adulthood) and integrity vs. despair (late life).Adulthood would encompass two separate stages of the psychosocial theory of development. The first stage would be intimacy vs. isolation. In this stage the adult would be looking to develop a loving and lasting relationship. The second stage would be the generativity vs. tagnation stage.

In this stage the adult would be trying to give something back to the younger generations and that could be attained through child care or any other type of interaction that would involve the raising or development of younger people. Intelligence in young and middle adulthood improves and declines. Post formal thinking is recognizing the truth in a given situation and that truth is that ones own perspective is only one of many potentially valid views in a given situation; life contains many variables and inconsistencies. Reflective judgment is the way an adult will reason within a given situation or circumstance to discover a general concept or universal principle in which the variables can be subsumed. These variables may include current affairs, religion, science and personal relationships. As an adult one must use both post formal thinking as well as reflective judgment to decide how an action should take place, or a decision be made to achieve the most desirable result. Employment is a defining aspect of identity for several reasons.One’s employment status has an invariable link to where they reside, whether that be with parents, an apartment or home in a nice area vs. bad area. It also effects the friends one keeps and the clothing that is worn.

Obtaining and keeping employment provides one with a sense of worth that they are indeed living under their own means and no longer relying on others to satisfy their needs and satisfaction. There are four common factors within work that attribute to identity and they are developing yourself, union with others, expressing yourself and serving others.A balance among these variables needs to be reached because if they are not then a person can find themselves losing their sense of identity to their employment, and in these cases a life change may be necessary.

Fluid intelligence consists of the abilities that make you a flexible and adaptive thinker, and enable you to understand the relations among concepts. Crystallized intelligence is the knowledge you have acquired through life experience and education in a particular culture.Theorist William Perry believed that thinking would shift from dualistic thinking to multiple thinking to relativistic thinking. Dualistic thinking being the basest form of thinking; black and white, right or wrong. Multiple thinking is the ability to view something from multiple perspectives, something that would combine fluid intelligence and some crystallized intelligence. The ideal form of thinking to be attained would be the relativistic thought process where multiple points of view can be valid at the same point depending on the relationship of the person to the current situation. . The idea of a mid-life crisis is one that is commonly thought of as a reality. Many people believe that a mid-life crisis does indeed happen and may happen to them because it’s something so popularized as a common occurrence. Most surveys conducted on Americans conclude that many people believe that mid-life crises exist and that they will, in fact, have one. Some theorists believe, though, that those people who experience mid-life crises are suffering from more underlying problems including psychopathy.But for the average person, according to most theorists, the evidence indicates that midlife is no more or no less stressful than any other period of life.

The idea of a mid-life transition is a more acceptable theory because instead of a crisis occurring the period is instead one of just unique challenges and issues that must be negotiated versus intense decision making. 8. There are three major groups of biological theories of aging. These groups are the wear and tear theory, cellular theories and programmed cell death theories. The wear and tear theory suggests that the body is like any other machine that will deteriorate and eventually wear out. Protective cartilage begins to deteriorate which may cause pain and stiffness. Cellular theories suggest that cells can only divide so many times before dying. Programmed cell death theories basically suggest that cells will begin to die once we have reached a certain age. The cells begin to self-destruct. 9. Aging is not because of environmental factors that one may have been exposed to throughout their lives.For example, If someone were to work in a loud environment, such as a factory, for most of their life hearing loss that may occur would not be due to an aging process but because what they were exposed to. Another example would be if someone worked on a farm or outdoors, the extra sun exposure may cause excess wrinkles on the face. This would be due to the sun exposure and not because of aging. There may be some changes in vision, hearing, cardiovascular health, respiratory health, skeletal strength and muscular structure due to aging.For vision, one may experience loss to the facilities used to register all of the colors that are able to seen.

Also there are some structural changes in the eye which may decrease the amount of light that comes through the eye which makes it more difficult to see in the dark. With hearing we tend to lose the ability to hear higher pitched sounds. Cardiovascular, as well as respiratory health, begin to stiffening of the arteries during the aging process restricting blood flow, which prevents respiration. Joints begin to stiffen and cartilage thins out during skeletal muscular aging.  As a person ages there will be a decline in the amount of white matter in the brain. This will cause reactions to slow. It may take longer to respond to questions they may not be familiar with. However, they may react more quickly to tasks that have been practiced or experienced more often; these would be the daily living skills of the person. Short term memory will begin to decline with older age as well. This is because the prefrontal area of the brain begins to lose room to store new information. Long term memory doesn’t decrease with age. It may just take a little longer to retrieve the information because the connections within the brain are starting to die. 11. The competence-environmental press theory deals with psychosocial aging. Competence is the limitations of a person’s abilities in the physical health, sensory-perceptual skill, motor skill, cognitive skill and ego strength domains.

Environmental press deals with the physical, interpersonal and social demands placed on people. People adapt most effectively when a balance is reached between their competence abilities and the demands put on them by their environment, or environmental “press. This is something that can change throughout a person’s life. After the loss of a loved one, a person can go through many reactions, all of which are normal. The normal reactions typically documented are disbelief, sadness, guilt, confusion, loneliness, happiness, denial, anger, fear, shock, hatred, anxiety, emptiness, relief, helplessness, acceptance and even apathy. Greif is an active process in which a person must accomplish several things emotionally to work through.They must acknowledge the reality of the loss, work through the emotional turmoil and adjust to the absence of the deceased and loosen ties with the deceased. The typical initial grieving process is denial and disbelief; the feeling that this cannot be happening to me. Once an acknowledgement of this loss has been reached the grieving party must then work through the emotional turmoil that comes with accepting the loss, which inevitably ends with the gradual realization that a life can be lived without the loved one who was lost; the proverbial “loosening of the ties” that must be achieved in order to live.

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Friendships and Relationships in Adulthood: ABCDE Model. (2017, May 31). Retrieved from