A critical time in normal development and in pathology is when the young person attempts to leave home and assume the responsibilities and prerogatives of adult life. It presents opportunities for further growth and integration and corresponding dangers of identity diffusion, stagnation, or serious crisis. The pattern of crisis, which it designate a crisis of separation, will be introduced by a detailed excerpt from the adult life of Mary Yale. The case of Mary Yale illustrates one type of conflict mobilized in study group women by movement into adult roles in marital families of their own. The transitional crises in five additional cases Karr, Price, Low, Arlen and Thorne are sufficiently similar to warrant consideration of the six cases as a group. None of these women experienced a psychotic episode in immediate conjunction with leaving home and marriage. The vicissitudes of their crises were played out in contemporary family contexts which mitigated or intensified their personal conflicts.