In psychology, maturity is the ability to respond to the environment in an appropriate manner. This response is generally learned rather than instinctive, and is not determined by one's age. Maturity also encompasses being aware of the correct time and place to behave and knowing when to act appropriately, according to the circumstances and the culture of the society one lives in. Adult development and maturity theories include the purpose in life concept, in which maturity emphasizes a clear comprehension of life's purpose, directedness, and intentionality which, contributes to the feeling that life is meaningful.
The status of maturity is distinguished by the shift away from reliance on guardianship and the oversight of an adult in decision-making acts. Maturity has different definitions across legal, social, sexual, emotional, and intellectual contexts. The age or qualities assigned for each of these contexts are tied to culturally-significant indicators of independence that often vary as a result of religious or social sentiments. The concept of psychological maturity has implications across both legal and social contexts, while a combination of political activism and scientific evidence continue to reshape and qualify its definition. Even so, both principles of maturity and immaturity share a long history in human evolution and have far-reaching implications for the timing and duration of sexual and physical development.
Jerome Bruner proposed the purpose of the period of immaturity as being a time for experimental play without serious consequences, where a young animal can spend a great deal of time observing the actions of skilled others in coordination with oversight by and activity with its mother. The key to human innovation through the use of symbols and tools, therefore, is re-interpretive imitation that is “practiced, perfected, and varied in play” through extensive exploration of the limits on one’s ability to interact with the world. Evolutionary psychologists have also hypothesized that cognitive immaturity may serve an adaptive purpose as a protective barrier for children against their own under-developed meta-cognition and judgment, a vulnerability that may put them in harm’s way. For youth today, the steadily extending period of ‘play’ and schooling going into the 21st century comes as a result of the increasing complexity of our world and its technologies, which too demand an increasing intricacy of skill as well as a more exhaustive set of pre-requisite abilities. Many of the behavioral and emotional problems associated with adolescence may arise as children cope with the increased demands placed on them, demands which have become increasingly abstracted from the work and expectations of adulthood.
Other articles related to "psychological, maturity":
... of majority While older persons are generally perceived as more mature, psychologicalmaturity is not determined by one's age ... However, the relationship between psychologicalmaturity and age is a difficult one, and there has been much debate over methods of determining maturity ...
Famous quotes containing the word maturity:
“When a man reaches his maturity in understanding and in years, the feeling comes over him that his father was wrong to beget him.”
—Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900)