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Bio-Physiological Development During Adulthood

Bio-Physiological Development During Adulthood

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Essays in Developmental Psychology


Randall Summers, Charles Golden, Lisa Lashley, & Erica Ailes


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Defining adulthood, and what the criteria truly is to be able to consider oneself an adult, varies from culture to culture. Biologically, adulthood can also be defined as the period in which full physical and intellectual maturity has been attained. It is a period that is defined slightly differently depending on the source, but it is agreed that it tends to be considered the life period between ages 18 and 60. However, the definition of adulthood can have varying legal and sociocultural factors as well. For example, the legal definition of an adult is a person who has reached the age at which they are considered responsible for their own actions, and therefore legally accountable for them. This is referred to as the age of majority, which is 18 for most cultures, although they can vary from the age of 16 to 21. Sociocultural definitions are based on what a culture normatively views as the criteria for adulthood, which may or may not coincide with the legal definition.


adulthood, bio-physiological development, culture, senescence

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This is one in a collection of essays as part of a project that began as an encyclopedia of developmental psychology coordinated by Dr. Randall Summers. However, for unforeseen reasons, the publisher was no longer in a position to publish the encyclopedia. This project was undertaken so that thousands of hours of work by psychologists would not go wasted. Enjoy these essays and feel free to cite them using the proper format.

Submit suggestions for corrections and topics to goldench@nova.edu.

Bio-Physiological Development During Adulthood