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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

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Russ Reglin is an associate professor of psychology at MidAmerica Nazarene University.

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Guest Friday, 11 July 2014

About This Blog

OhBehave is the outreach blog of the MNU Behavioral Sciences Department. In matters related to Psychology, Sociology, and Criminal Justice you will find information and updates geared to keep students and professionals abreast of the latest research, professional developments, and important trends in each field. As we seek a life of purpose, the material presented in this blog is meant to enhance and deepen our understanding of people and our world so that we may intentionally reflect the grace and peace of our creator.