Early Adulthood: Age 17–45

An important aspect of achieving intimacy with another person is first being able to separate from the family of origin, or family of procreation. Most young adults have some familial attachments, but are also in the process of separating from them. This process normally begins during Daniel Levinson's early adult transition (17–22), when many young adults first leave home to attend college or take a job in another city.

By age 22 young adults have attained at least some level of attitudinal, emotional, and physical independence. They are ready for Levinson's entering the adult world (22–28) stage of early adulthood, during which relationships take center stage.