Many consider early and middle adulthood times of relatively little growth, but adults encounter a multitude of tasks and changes during these phases. For instance, the quality of relationships change, vocational choice might be solidified, formal education might be completed, parenting responsibilities might be present, and changes in physical capacities might set limits on behavior. An adult’s perceived success or failure can influence his/her sense of self and ability to accomplish tasks and navigate changes in early and middle adulthood.

In the United States, individuation is an important aspect of adulthood. Individuation refers to processes by which you become a unique individual with a distinct sense of identity. The process is sometimes identified as separation-individuation (Berger, 2016). Adulthood is the period in which roles change from that of a dependent child to a more autonomous individual with different responsibilities and commitments.

Boucher and Maslach (2009) discuss how the type of culture—individualistic or collectivistic—can influence the degree of individuation. Think about how cultural differences can influence the changes that adults face during early and middle adulthood. The influence of culture on these changes impacts individuation. Consider collectivist societies that value conformity over individuality. How does that impact an individual’s sense of uniqueness?

For this Discussion, you will examine individuation and cultural differences in individuation.

To prepare for this Discussion: Read the introduction to this Discussion related to individuation. Select one aspect of adulthood (identity development, vocational development, relationships, or parenting). By Day 4

Post a description of the aspect of adulthood you selected. Then, explain individuation in terms of that aspect. Include an explanation of the challenges that might influence individuation. Be specific and provide examples from the Learning Resources. Use proper APA format and citations.


  Berk, L. E. (2014). Development through the lifespan (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Chapter 13, “Physical and Cognitive Development in Early Adulthood” (pp. 430–461)
Chapter 14, “Emotional and Social Development in Early Adulthood” (pp. 462–498)
Chapter 15, “Physical and Cognitive Development in Middle Adulthood” (pp. 500–529)
Chapter 16, “Emotional and Social Development in Middle Adulthood” (pp. 530–560) Berger, B. (2016). An unexpected war of ages: Clinical issues and conflicts related to young and middle adult development. Smith College Studies in Social Work, 86(1), 35–44. doi:10.1080/00377317.2016.1116296
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases. Boucher, H. C., & Maslach, C. (2009). Culture and individuation: The role of norms and self-construals. Journal of Social Psychology, 149(6), 677–693.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases. Optional Resources American Psychological Association. (2016a). Adult development and aging. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/about/division/div20.aspx