PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT
Most young adults aged 18 and over will:

Complete the process of physical maturation, usually attaining full adult height (Secondary sexual characteristics, such as size of penis and breasts, are completed.)

COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
Most young adults aged 18 and over will:
Move into adult roles and responsibilities and may learn a trade, work, and/or pursue higher education
Fully understand abstract concepts and be aware of consequences and personal limitations
Identify career goals and prepare to achieve them
Secure their autonomy and build and test their decision making skills
Develop new skills, hobbies, and adult interests

EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Most young adults aged 18 and over will:
Move into adult relationships with their parents
See the peer group as less important as a determinant of behavior
Feel empathetic
Have greater intimacy skills
Complete their values framework
Carry some feelings of invincibility
Establish their body image

SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT
Most young adults aged 18 and over will:
Enter into intimate sexual and emotional relationships
Understand their own sexual orientation, although they may still experiment
Understand sexuality as connected to commitment and planning for the future
Shift their emphasis from self to others
Experience more intense sexuality

WHAT FAMILIES NEED TO DO TO RAISE SEXUALLY HEALTHY CHILDREN
To help young adults ages 18 and over develop a healthy sexuality, families should:
Keep the lines of communication open and accept that the person is an adult, not a child.
Offer choices, acknowledge responsibilities, and avoid dictates.
Continue to offer physical and emotional closeness, but respect their need for privacy and independence.
Appreciate them for their strengths and qualities.
Facilitate their access to sexual and reproductive health care.
Continue offering guidance and sharing values.
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