Psychological maturity: signs, levels, criteria

Human mental health is a very broad topic and includes many aspects. Just because a person is healthy, whole and fulfilled in some way, this does not indicate his personal maturity. What can be considered an indicator of a person’s maturity?

One of the necessary conditions for personality maturity is the quality, or ability, of a person to rely on himself. Personal maturity manifests itself well in relationships.

For example, in our society it is believed that a happy marriage is one in which the partners satisfy each other's needs. A person is sure that his partner should take care of him, create comfort, console him, protect him, and he is ready to give something in return. But if this does not happen, then the person becomes disappointed in his partner and looks for someone who can satisfy his needs. This shows quite clearly where divorces come from.

An indicator of a person’s maturity is a person’s willingness to take care of himself. He himself is able to provide himself with security, care for himself, this person is able to love himself. This is manifested in the fact that he can heal himself if necessary, he has the ability to self-regulate, he is able to console himself, create comfort for himself, and is able to protect himself. In a relationship, such a person, instead of expecting something from a partner, can share it with the person himself. Those. An indicator of a person’s maturity is a person’s ability not to shift all responsibility to another person, to be able to independently resolve their emotional problems, to cope with their anxieties and fears.

What doesn't a mature person do? He tries to settle his fears, settle his anxieties, sometimes in a violent way, at the expense of another person.

Psychological maturity is also manifested in the fact that a person is able, despite his emotional problems, not only not to attack another, but also is able not to ignore him or withdraw. He maintains contact, is present with his partner.

Another important quality of a person’s psychological maturity is the ability to respond to the emotional problems of another person. This translates well into partnerships. When a person is able, seeing the problems of another person, not to start saving him, not to start attacking him. But at the same time, do not distance yourself from him, do not leave, do not leave him alone. He is able to simply be in contact, to be present, to be able to reflect it, to be nearby, to maintain contact.

A mature person is also a person who is able to be flexible. An immature person is quite cruel in his assessments, in his worldview, in his attempt to defend his rightness. He receives inner strength from his beliefs and rules received from the outside, which he is accustomed to follow.

Thus, an immature person gains strength not within himself, but at the expense of his family, at the expense of the country, at the expense of some organization.

An indicator of a person’s maturity also lies in the fact that when a person is flexible, when everything is in order with him, he can allow another person to convince himself of something, he can allow himself to accept the point of view of another person, but at the same time, without destroying himself, preserving myself. He can even allow himself to be influenced, again preserving himself and his integrity.

What else can be considered an indicator of a person’s maturity? A person’s ability to feel some painful feelings meaningfully, for growth, the ability to consciously leave their comfort zone. The ability to show another person your wound, your vulnerability, your pain, to open up, to trust, to admit some of your limitations, i.e. take some risk, go through some discomfort.

Humans are naturally programmed to avoid pain and seek pleasure and comfort. Therefore, unfortunately, not everyone manages to solve their problems, even if they have the desire. You can see why this happens in our article on the topic “About people who are not helped by coaching” from Olga Tereshchenko.

Definition of the concept

Psychological maturity of an individual is a person’s ability for self-realization, based on his ability to adequately perceive the situation and effectively interact with other people. Naturally, to achieve maturity a person must have physical and mental health.

An example of the maturity of the characters of two adults is a happy marriage in which spouses take care of each other, meet each other’s needs, and help their partner develop. Mature spouses do not demand anything from each other, but find happiness in doing something for the chosen one on their own initiative, responding to each other’s emotional needs.

Approaches to determining personality maturity criteria

Bibliographic description:

Voyushina, E. A. Approaches to determining criteria for personality maturity / E. A. Voyushina. — Text: immediate // Current issues of modern psychology: materials of the IV International. scientific conf. (Krasnodar, February 2021). — Krasnodar: Novation, 2021. — pp. 11-14. — URL: (access date: 01/29/2021).

The article highlights the approaches of domestic and foreign authors to defining the concept of “personal maturity” and highlighting its criteria.

Key words: maturity, personality maturity, psychological maturity, domestic and foreign approaches

For a long time, practically no attention was paid to the period of maturity in Russian psychology. Most researchers turned to the study of issues of childhood and adolescence and practically did not cover the problems of personality changes in adulthood and old age. In Russian psychology, maturity was studied mainly from the standpoint of professional and personal development (A. A. Derkach, V. G. Zazykin, A. A. Bodalev, etc.). Some issues of personality development in adulthood have been studied within the framework of foreign psychology - the concept of personality development (A. Maslow, K. Hall, F. Perls, etc.), age periodizations of G. Allport and E. Erikson, descriptions of cases from psychotherapeutic practice (K Jung, I. Yalom, J. Hollis, etc.). However, both foreign and domestic research is not yet sufficiently complete and substantiated. The difficulties of studying this problem are caused by the uncertainty of terminology, variability of views on the description of time boundaries and characteristics of the stages of adulthood and specifically the period of mid-life. In this regard, personality development during the period of maturity can be considered one of the most multifaceted and insufficiently developed problems.

The authors have very contradictory views on adulthood. Some believe that with the onset of maturity, development stops, only a simple change in some psychological characteristics occurs. Thus, the Swiss psychologist E. Claparède believed that “mature age is tantamount to a stop in development, fossilization. In the Committee on Human Development at the University of Chicago, development tasks are not formulated in any way specifically in relation to a mature personality” [6, p. 51]. Most likely, such ideas are associated with the understanding of maturity as a result of development and at the same time its end. Other researchers (both domestic and foreign) are of the opinion that the process of human development is endless, because development is the main way of individual existence. Like any other stage of personal development, maturity has its own psychological characteristics - first of all, these are changes in physical health and intellectual indicators, a change in the family environment (children leaving for independent lives, and often the appearance of grandchildren), reaching the pinnacle of a professional and social career.

The current stage of development of society - a period of accelerated social transformations - has also influenced the trajectory of a person’s life path. In the past, a person made a significant part of vital choices (choice of education, professional activity, lifestyle, etc.) until adulthood; now, in order to successfully adapt to society, this has to be done constantly.

In psychology, the concept of maturity is usually viewed from two points of view: as an age stage and as a level of development. It also happens that mature age is not an indicator of a person’s psychological maturity. This raises an important question: determining objective criteria for human maturity.

In this work we will try to analyze approaches to determining the criteria of personality maturity from the point of view of domestic and foreign scientists.

Foreign psychologists consider the phenomenon of “personal maturity” as a set of certain characteristics: the ability for self-regulation, the desire for awareness, responsibility, independence, independence, freedom of choice, the desire for self-improvement, creativity, an active life position, understanding and acceptance of others and oneself.

So, for example, according to E. Thorndike, maturity is considered from the perspective of the health of the individual, an adequate response to a stimulus. In the psychoanalytic theory of S. Freud, reliance is also placed on the physiological state: health - unhealthy personality (neurosis). According to Freud's periodization of mental development, a mature person is at the genital stage - the final stage in the biological maturation of mental and sexual development. The main characteristics of this period are: activity, self-determination, planning and creating your own family, constructive interaction with the outside world. For J. Anderson, a representative of cognitive psychology, a mature personality represents awareness and understanding of oneself, one’s positive and negative qualities, the achievement of high intelligence, development in physical and psychological terms [2, p. 89].

In Russian science, the term “maturity” was first used in the works of B. G. Ananyev. He is one of the founders of an integrated approach in which personality, its characteristics, characteristics of criteria are studied from the position of maturity. Investigating this problem, B. G. Ananyev pointed out that it was the difficulties in determining the criteria of maturity that contributed to the substitution of the concepts of “maturity” and “adulthood”. The scientist himself proposed separating physical, mental, civic and labor maturity.

Following B.G. Ananyev, A.A. Rean also proposed to distinguish the components in the concept of “personal maturity” - intellectual, emotional and personal. A. A. Rean identifies four criteria of personal maturity, which are basic, fundamental, structure-forming: responsibility, tolerance, self-development, and an integrative component that covers all the previous ones and is present in each of them - positive thinking, a positive attitude towards the world, which determines a positive view of the world [7].

Acmeology stands out separately as a scientific direction that studies the phenomenology of human development, its highest personal and professional achievements at the stage of maturity. This science examines a person not only in a psychological aspect, but also in social and professional aspects, trying to find out the possibilities of harmonizing his various hypostases. Acmeology is based on ideas about the uniqueness and value of human life, human ability for creativity and self-development.

A. A. Bodalev, as a prominent representative of acmeology, defines personal maturity as a complex of characteristics formed at different periods of human development, and allowing him to organize his life in such a way that he can successfully express himself during adulthood. The cognitive sphere is characterized by an active reflection of reality and the ability to navigate it well. A productively working intellect allows one to record all the main connections in this reality at a high level of objectivity, and impartially subordinate the processes that occur in it according to the degree of importance. At the same time, a person’s personal potential is determined by the social effectiveness of his behavior and activities [1, p. 48].

E. B. Shtepa points out that personal maturity is not always associated with chronological age, the development of the personality and the individual can proceed heterochronically and personal maturity must be considered as a dynamic personal structure, the content of which is “personality traits that mutually activate each other” [4, With. 24–25].

A. Yu. Malenov and Yu. V. Potapov, based on the works of R. V. Ovcharova, E. S. Shtepa, G. S. Sukhobskaya, S. L. Bratchenko, M. R. Mironova, A. A. Rean , B. S. Bratusya, I. S. Kona K. Whitaker, V. Frankl, B. Weinhold, J. Weinhold, I. Grinberg, conducted a theoretical analysis of the views of these authors on personality maturity [4, p. 25]. Having summarized the results obtained, the researchers identified the following criteria for a “mature personality”:

  1. responsibility
  2. humanity, social orientation
  3. activity (self-motivation, ability to set a goal and follow it)
  4. harmonious relationships with others
  5. harmonious relationship with yourself, acceptance and understanding of yourself
  6. independence and free choice of personality, the ability to resist influence and dependence
  7. integrity of the individual.

A similar study was carried out by V.R. Manukyan [3, p. 68]. She divides the obtained criteria of personality maturity into intrapersonal (items 1–9) and interpersonal (items 10–11):

  1. responsibility
  2. awareness, reflexivity
  3. focus on self-development
  4. self-acceptance, self-respect
  5. autonomy
  6. vitality
  7. self-government and life organization
  8. integrity, congruence
  9. breadth of connections with the world
  10. tolerance, moral consciousness, humanistic values
  11. positive interpersonal relationships - the ability to build interpersonal relationships.

Based on the study of the same approaches, we formulated our vision of the criteria for personality maturity. In our opinion, the criteria for personality maturity can be divided into psychological and social.

Table 1

Personal maturity criteria

Subsections Criteria
Psychological maturity Motivation
Self-esteem (self-attitude)
Social maturity Extensity-intensity
Social intelligence
Humanistic values

The analysis of theoretical approaches to the problem of maturity allows us to summarize that the achievement of maturity, as an integrative characteristic of the individual, is the central direction of development during early adulthood. During early adulthood, the foundation is laid for achieving maturity in subsequent periods of personality development.


  1. Bryukhova N. G. Developmental psychology and acmeologization of the personality of a mature person // Psychology and pedagogy: methodology and problems of practical application. - 2011. - No. 18. - P. 46–50. (3)
  2. Gorbunova O. V. On the problem of defining the concept of “personal maturity” // Vector of Science TSU. - 2014. - No. 2. - P. 88–91.
  3. Dermanova I. B., Manukyan V. R. Personal maturity: towards the definition of psychological content // Bulletin of St. Petersburg University. Episode 12. Sociology. - 2010 - No. 4. - P. 68–73.
  4. Malenova A. Yu., Potapova Yu. V. Personal maturity and its criteria as predictors of studying the situation of separation // Bulletin of Omsk University. Series "Psychology". - 2014. - No. 2. - P. 21–29.
  5. Nosko I.V. Developmental psychology and developmental psychology. - Vladivostok: TIDOT DVGU, 2003. - 131 p.
  6. Porkhacheva L. V., Dzhus K. Ya. Features of personality development during early adulthood // Modern problems of personality psychology: theory and practice. - 2008. - No. 3. - P. 51–53.
  7. Rean A. A., Kolominsky Ya. L. Social educational psychology. - St. Petersburg: Peter, 2007. - 480 p.

Key terms
(automatically generated)
: mature age, personal maturity, criterion of personality maturity, personality development, Ananyev, achievement of maturity, mature personality, domestic psychology, psychological maturity, early adulthood.


Mandatory components of psychological maturity are:

  • understanding the emotions and moods of others;
  • sincerity and openness in expressing your emotions and thoughts;
  • adequate self-esteem and natural behavior;
  • flexibility in communication and assessments;
  • empathy, willingness to help a person;
  • the ability to find a common language with any interlocutor;
  • developed sense of humor;
  • the ability to make a request to someone;
  • the ability to unconditionally accept another person and sincere high love;
  • tolerance;
  • law-abidingness, compliance with norms and ethical rules of behavior in society;
  • refusal to use reproaches, accusations, aggression, insults, manipulation, criticism in interpersonal communication;
  • the ability to admit one’s mistakes and accept the point of view of a communication partner;
  • self-sufficiency and independence in judgments, actions, assessments;
  • self-acceptance, systematic work to correct negative character traits;
  • independence in making decisions and meeting needs;
  • the ability and willingness to take responsibility for one’s life;
  • the ability to clearly define one’s personal boundaries, respect the personal boundaries of another person;
  • the ability to refuse a person and not feel guilty;
  • the need to realize one’s creative and intellectual potential;
  • the need to learn new things, the desire for self-development and self-improvement;
  • low level of anxiety, lack of fear of loss;
  • weak need for approval from strangers and management;
  • the ability to feel comfortable both in the company of people and alone;
  • recognition of one's own uniqueness, refusal to compare oneself with other people.

Levels of psychological maturity

The level of psychological maturity is related to the level of social maturity and the degree of socialization of the individual, since the signs of a mature person are largely related to the characteristics of his interaction with other people. The wider the circle of a person’s social contacts, the higher the level of maturity of his character.

Psychologists distinguish the following levels of psychological maturity of an individual, which are also criteria for its diagnosis:

  1. High level. It is possessed by tolerant and responsible people who strive for self-development and learning new things. These are extroverts who have positive thinking. Such people come out of conflict situations with dignity.
  2. Average level. This level is characteristic of people who are able to easily express their emotions and correctly understand the emotional state of their communication partners. However, in controversial situations, they are not ready to take the position of the interlocutor. They lack tolerance. To successfully resolve conflicts, they need to overcome their stubbornness and develop flexibility.
  3. Low level. People with a low level of personal maturity are infantile, they often become the initiators of conflicts. In a decision-making situation, they prefer to follow the instructions of an authoritative person.

Development of a mature personality

It often happens that in a relationship one person develops and opens up a new space, a new level for himself, his needs in the relationship change, while his partner remains in place. On this basis, a conflict arises. What to do in this case?

First, you need to understand that conflict in relationships is part of the path to psychological maturity. Conflict in relationships is always normal, it is not a problem, it is development. When we find ourselves in a relationship, in a conflict, we always have a choice - to escape from this conflict or to live through it and grow. Living through conflicts, remaining in contact, is where learning occurs and internal supports are nurtured. We cannot buy internal supports from training, books, or another person. It is in these conflicts of maturity that supports are grown. In living through these conflicts in contact with yourself, with your feelings, with your partner, this ability to love yourself, the ability to console yourself, is cultivated. Of course, you can’t do this without dealing with trauma. Because it is obvious that many things are blocked in a person. This is not acquired through knowledge, it is acquired through living, through acceptance, through healing. The NLP practitioner course at the Academy can also help in solving these problems.

In other words, a person’s mental health is directly affected by healing internal traumas

Sometimes people are born with a high level of maturity, sometimes this happens as a result of deliberate work on themselves, for example, trauma therapy, and sometimes it is the result of growth in relationships.

Of course, everything starts in childhood, when parents teach and help the child cope with difficulties on his own. Not by attacking him and not leaving him alone to be torn apart by this world, but by being with him, helping him grow the ability to act on his own.

For example, if we take coaching, it is a tool that allows a person to cope with his own difficulties, problems and tasks. This is also a wonderful method that helps to look for answers within yourself, to look for resources within yourself, to look for strength within yourself, to grow it within yourself. We also train people in coaching through our Academy.

What is the difference between psychological and social maturity

Today, psychologists have come to understand that psychological maturity is the psychosocial age of the individual. However, this does not mean that psychological maturity is identical to social maturity. The level of development of an individual determines a person’s social success.

Personal maturity presupposes a high level of development in a person of socially significant qualities: willpower, responsibility, activity, initiative. It constitutes the moral and ethical basis of the individual and determines his readiness for independent life, for creating a strong family and for the proper upbringing of children.

Social maturity characterizes the degree of development of an individual’s communication skills and his ability to interact. It manifests itself in the form of predictability, adequacy and mental stability of the individual during communication. Outside of a communication situation, social competence cannot be demonstrated. The psychological competence of an individual is manifested in any activity in which a person is engaged: in work, in everyday affairs.

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