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Adulthood and maturity as the most important stage of the human life cycle for acmeology


1. General characteristics of human development in ontogenesis.

2. The essence of the problem of the ratio of adulthood and maturity.

3. Chronological, biological, social and psychological ages and possible options for their relationship.

4. The different criteria for maturity and understanding of maturity itself among different peoples and at different historical times.

5. Preservation of the ambiguity of the relationship of chronological, biological, social and psychological ages at the stages of a person’s life following early adulthood.

Key words: human development in ontogenesis, adulthood, maturity.

- human development in ontogenesis - an irreversible, directed, regular change in the human body and its psyche in all their manifestations, occurring throughout his life;

- adulthood - an age stage in a person’s life, the beginning of which is most often attributed to 18–20 years, and the end to 80;

- maturity is a stage in a person’s development when he becomes able to fully fulfill his civic, marital and parental responsibilities and both socially and individually productively to prove himself as an actor in one or another specific field of work.

Human development, if we take into account the development of an individual person, is an irreversible, directed, regular change in him as an individual - the most complex living organism with all the systems included in it, as a person, the core of which is the relationship of a person to different sides of reality, and as a subject, structure which is composed of both individual and personal formations - again, first of all, relationships, but also abilities, manifested in the nature of the acquisition and functioning of knowledge, skills and abilities in those activities s, which one is engaged.

From what has been said, it should be clear that not all changes noted in a person indicate its development.

So, in his body there are constantly changes that are reversible, which are devoid of direction or that are not of a natural nature. And then these changes do not mean development and do not work for it.

The same applies to changes in the personal sphere of a person. If they carry the characteristics of reversibility, are non-directional and irregular, they are also devoid of the quality of development. The above is directly related to the development of man as a subject. Not all changes that occur in it when performing various types of activities can be qualified as development.

The development of man is evidenced by changes in his body, in his personality and in him as a subject, in addition to the three signs that are mentioned above and which ultimately mean progress, an upward movement. Their consequence as a result of quantitative accumulations is a qualitative restructuring of the vital functions of the human body systems, in reflecting the reality of his psyche, initiating and regulating his behavior. The behavior of a person is determined at this stage not only by natural, basic, but also by higher (being, according to A. Maslow) needs, due to the transformation of the basic values ​​of life and culture into his own values, which in his inner world, transforming into moral standards, direct the work of conscience personality.

At the same time, treating development as a process of accumulation of quantitative changes leading to qualitative changes in the functioning of the systems of the human body, in human relations with reality, in it, as a subject of cognition, communication and labor, which is progressive in nature, this position cannot be absolutized , since even with a simplified tracking of the main trends of this process, it is clearly seen that for the first half of a person’s life, including his adulthood, as a rule, development is ascending th, and then, more and more definitely, involutionary changes make themselves felt. They also go in the human body and extend to the functions, processes, states, and properties that form his mental world.

And to be more precise: an analysis of development reveals a complex and full of contradictions picture of this process: the non-simultaneity of achieving the highest level in the development of various systems of the human body of relatively simple and very complex formations in his psyche and the same non-simultaneity, heterochronism of the beginning of their involution and the unevenness of its speed leakage.

An even deeper penetration into the substantial characteristics of the development process, into the forms of its course and into its dynamics allows us to see the absence of, so to speak, continuous and constant unidirectional - evolutionary or involutional - changes that occur in the systems of the human body and in its psyche - in the functions processes, states and properties. Although the general tendency of the development process towards progress, or, conversely, to regression, makes itself known, the changes that occur in the organ, system, function, and other formations can cause a positive result for some time, then worsen indicators even after again mean their rise. And in the same way, the involutional processes occurring in the individual, personal and subjective components of a person turn out to be very uneven in the nature of the changes occurring in them.

At the same time, what kind of final vector, so to speak, carry in themselves the named changes in individual organs, and in their functions, and in the human body as a whole, and in its mental processes, conditions and properties, in it as a holistic person, or subject, it shows only time. It is it that reveals the direction of development.

All these simpler and more complex and individual, and personal, and subjective formations in a person are affected by many factors, both contributing to development, and complicating and even excluding it. And within them, interconnected processes are constantly going on, with both positive and negative, and often with a developmental sign. And the individual, personal and subjective hypostases of a person with different consequences continuously influence each other, and the contradictions and collisions between different trends that arise between them all turn out to be incentives for their more global or partial development.

But, of course, in order to understand what the consequences of this multitude of different and different contradictions will be in each case, it is necessary to know the internal structure and nature and, so to speak, the purpose of the activity of developing organs, their processes, properties that apply to the human body as a whole , and directly to his psyche in all its modifications, as well as to their interactions at all levels, and it is imperative that there are ideas about what changes in them mean progress, stop or regression in their organization and functions In particular, perhaps even evidence of their transition to a new quality.

In a person, the totality of his individual, personal, and subjective characteristics should be considered as subsystems in a holistic human system, in each case having a qualitatively own, so to speak, private phenomenology, patterns and functioning mechanisms that ensure the life of each of these subsystems, which differs from the others in its content and a form of being. And the integration of the activities of all of them into one whole - a living person, satisfying his needs, reflecting reality, relating to it, transforming it and himself - this is, although the highest level of integration, ensuring the general life activity of the whole human system, but also in it, as in each of the subsystems included in it and as in the macrocosm surrounding a person, but it is true that the emergence of order from chaos and occasionally the appearance of bifurcations, continuity revealed by science, make themselves felt and acted upon by science and continuity, quality and quantity, necessity and chance, possibility and reality.

All the very general characteristics of the development process of an individual person as a natural and social being revealed above make themselves known throughout his life, but at each age level they are concretized and enriched due to the features inherent only to her. In this sense, the stage of maturity is not an exception, which, as has already been noted more than once, is mainly of interest to acmeology.

At the same time, among the many problems that turn out to be relevant in the scientific coverage of the features of human development precisely at this stage, one of the most significant is the problem of the relationship between the phenomena of adulthood and maturity.

In most studies on developmental psychology, the onset of adulthood dates from 18 to 20 years of age. At the same time, although it is assumed that by this time a person must have formed an organism that meets the standards of maturity, personal qualities are developed, behind which he has acquired the basic values ​​of life and culture, and as a subject of activity, he is ready to work fully, but in reality this one, so to speak, the willingness to show oneself to adults to their entire environment, if we compare different people, gives us a very colorful picture, especially if we identify the levels of their development, comparing the chronological indicators, biologist iCal, social and psychological ages achieved by each of them.

When these levels and their correlation are identified, the chronological age — the number of years a person has lived since the birth of years and months — means little to understand the state of his body, his personality traits, his qualities as a subject of activity.
It is much more informative to obtain a correct judgment about all of his hypostases is his biological, social and psychological ages. The first one will always tell about the degree of compliance with the age norms of development of all the systems of his body, the second - about the actual existence of the rights and obligations that he has, and about the level of their implementation in his actions and deeds. The third - gives a picture of the formation of his intellect, feelings, will, motivational-need sphere, character, abilities. All indicators combined in a single integrated system, identified within each of the three “ages,” allow us to conclude that a person is approaching a state of maturity or already about achieving it.

Based on the foregoing, comparing the aggregate indicators of the biological, social and psychological ages of people, even if they have the same chronological age, we inevitably find differences between them in these aggregate indicators. And there can be many options for such differences. So, during the transition from youth to adulthood (chronological age of 18 - 20 years) in some people, the biological age may be less than the chronological. For others, on the contrary, it can be much larger. But for the former, their chronological age may lag behind the level of their psychological age. And for the second, the psychological age cannot be reached in its formation to the level of chronological and for those considered to be the norm indicators of social age. The third in terms of development significantly ahead of the chronological age may be their biological, and their social, and their psychological ages. In reality, there may be other options for the ratios of these ages when evaluating other completely specific people.

Probably, it is clear that the different levels of manifestation of indicators of biological, social and psychological ages found in people by the time they reach adulthood are the result of a large number of factors, both objective and subjective. For example, indicators of biological age in a 20-year-old person may be lower than normative due to congenital anomalies that caused a lag in the development of some system of his body. And at the same time, another 20-year-old person in terms of his biological age can approach the biological age of a 40-year-old person, due to the systematic large overloads that his nervous system suffered, lack of proper nutrition, constant sleep and rest disturbances transferred to due to this disease and the effects on the body of this person and other adverse factors. By the way, for example, doctors found that the biological age of many titled gymnasts - girls who are constantly subjected to physical and neuropsychic overloads - is significantly higher in their indicators than their chronological age.

Or, say, if a person has the makings - the natural prerequisites for the development of abilities, training him in a system that ensured their extraordinary development, and his upbringing, which favored the formation of a sustainable focus on creativity - indicators of his psychological age will usually overtake his chronological age. Examples of entry into science L.D. Landau and A.D. Sakharov, and their number is easy to increase, having in mind other young people who have shown themselves relatively clearly in other fields relatively early, confirm the validity of the stated position.

As regards the correspondence of the indicators of psychological age to the indicators of biological age at the beginning of early adulthood, here, in addition to the mutual correspondence of these ages, not only, so to speak, a shortage in the indicators of psychological age compared with indicators of biological age is possible, as evidenced by cases of extreme infantilism, but and the variant of inconsistency due to a violation of the normal course of development of the human body, when, for example, its mental development is accelerated and does not appear due for bots about his physical health and, in particular, ensuring mandatory motor activity, which inevitably leads to disruption of the cardiovascular system and other disorders.

The mismatch of the chronological, biological, social and psychological ages when people enter and pass the stage of early adulthood indicates that usually such a global feature of a person as his maturity is a phenomenon whose substantial characteristics are not only not uniform, but also from case to case can vary greatly in their degree of formation. So, one person, reaching the stage of adulthood, may not be physically mature, but socially and psychologically mature, and another may, on the contrary, be physically mature, but socially and psychologically immature, etc.

At the same time, when determining the degree of formation of a person’s physical, social and psychological characteristics and their conformity to the standard of maturity, one should always bear in mind that the maturity criterion, the specific meaningful content of this concept are not the same for peoples belonging to different cultures and living in different historical eras.

As the conducted studies show, this picture of a greater or lesser discrepancy between indicators of chronological, biological, social and psychological ages, which is usual for almost every person passing the stage of early adulthood, persists even further, at the stage of middle and late adulthood. But which of these ages, formally speaking, will lead, which one will lag behind in this development when compared with the chronological age, this, as before, is determined by the specific circumstances in which a person falls and which he voluntarily or involuntarily creates for himself, passing your life path.

For example, demographers now claim that over the past 10 years, the average life expectancy of men in Russia has decreased by seven years and equals 58 years. Along with doctors, demographers predict that half of Russian youths, who are now 16 years old, will live to be only 60 years old. This means that due to the sharply worsened living conditions in Russia, the imposition of a significant part of young people, pseudo-values ​​and related behaviors that do not contribute to maintaining health, numerous stresses, the biological age potential of this part of youth will rapidly decrease, and old age, if we evaluate the state of the body in its representatives will advance much earlier.


For acmeology, the development of man, measured in the unity of all its components, is of paramount importance throughout his life.

However, when analyzing this process over the entire length of a person’s life, acmeology pays special attention to its development at the stage of adulthood, because, having passed it, most people, as a rule, reach their acme as individuals, personalities and realize themselves as professionals.

И как раз потому, что, став взрослым и пребывая в этом качестве до наступления старости, большинство людей активно осуществляют свои гражданские обязанности, производят на свет и воспитывают на смену себе новое поколение и своим трудом приумножают в их материальном и духовном выражении основные ценности жизни и культуры, эту ступень в развитии человека часто обозначают как зрелость.

Вместе с тем прослеживание и сравнение степени сформированности индивидных, личностных и субъектных ипостасей человека, а также образующих их структуры компонентов и свойств как в начале взрослости, так и дальше, неизменно выявляет очень протяженный континуум степеней этой сформированности у разных людей, что не позволяет содержательно отождествлять взрослость и зрелость.

Хронологически достигнутому возрасту взрослости у разных людей обычно соответствуют до неодинаковой степени развитые индивидные, личностные и субъектные характеристики, в одних случаях больше, в других случаях меньше совпадающие, а иногда и вовсе несовпадающие с эталонами зрелости, сформировавшимися у народа, к которому принадлежат эти люди.
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Взрослость и зрелость как важнейшая для акмеологии ступень жизненного цикла человека

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