Blogs by MidAmerica Nazarene University staff and faculty.
Emerging Adulthood: More Than a Decade Later
In 2000 Jeffrey Arnett wrote a seminal article entitled Emerging Adulthood. In the article he proposed a theory stating that in industrialized cultures the transition from adolescence to adulthood was actually precluded by a several year period (age 18-25) which he called emerging adulthood. He noted significant changes in the last several decades in the average age of marriage, occupational beginning, and parenthood, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Census. Arnett proposed it would be more accurate and beneficial to recognize the emerging adulthood stage as a distinct time period of development. While one is of legal age, often one is not yet involved in marriage, desired occupation, or parenthood.
My question is what are the advantages and disadvantages of recognizing emerging adulthood as a distinct and separate period of development between adolescence and young adulthood?
Arnett, J. J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. American Psychologist, 55(5), 469-480. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.55.5.469