Late adolescence begins when young people are able to feel both lust and intimacy toward the same person, and it ends hi adulthood when they establish a lasting love relationship. Late adolescence embraces that period of self-discovery when adolescents are determining then preferences in genital behavior, usually during secondary school years, or about ages 15 to 17 or 18.
The outstanding feature of late adolescence is the fusion of hithnacy and lust. The troubled attempts at self-exploration of early adolescence evolve into a stable pattern of sexual activity hi which the loved one is also the object of lustful interest. People of the other gender are no longer desired solely as sex objects but as people who are capable of behig loved nonselfishly. Unlike the previous stage that was ushered hi by biological changes, late adolescence is completely determined by interpersonal relations.
Successful late adolescence includes a growhig syntaxic mode. At college or in the workplace, late adolescents beghi exchanging ideas with others and having their opinions and beliefs either validated or repudiated. They learn from others how to live hi the adult world, but a successful journey through the earlier stages facilitates this adjustment. If previous developmental epochs were unsuccessful, young
people come to late adolescence with no intimate interpersonal relations, inconsistent patterns of sexual activity, and a great need to maintain security operations. They rely heavily on the parataxic mode to avoid anxiety and strive to preserve self-esteem through selective inattention, dissociation, and neurotic symptoms. They face serious problems hi bridging the gulf between society's expectations and their own inability to form intimate relations with persons of the other gender. Believing that love is a universal condition of young people, they are often pressured
During late adolescence, young people feel both lust and intimacy into "falling ill love " toward one other person.
However, only the mature person lias the capacity to love; others merely go through the motions of being "in love" in order to maintain security (Sullivan, 1953b).
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