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Erik Erikson's 8 Stages of PsychosocialDevelopment

Stage 6: Young Adulthood

Age: Young Adulthood -- 19 to 40 years

Conflict: Intimacy vs. Isolation

Important Event: Love relationships


In this stage, the most important events are love relationships. Intimacyrefers to one's ability to relate to another human being on a deep, personallevel. An individual who has not developed a sense of identity usually will feara committed relationship and may retreat into isolation. It is important tomention that having a sexual relationship does not indicate intimacy. People canbe sexually intimate without being committed and open with another. Trueintimacy requires personal commitment. However, mutual satisfaction willincrease the closeness of people in a true intimate relationship.

Elements for a positive outcome:

The young adult must develop intimate relationships with others. Notresolving this conflict leaves the young adult feeling isolated. The young adultmust be willing to be open and committed to another individual.

Elements for a negative outcome:

An individual may retreat into isolation if a sense of identity is notdeveloped and will fear a committed relationship.


Giving and sharing with an individual without asking what will be receivedin return.

Erikson's Stage 7Summary Chart
Introduction to StagesErikson home page