Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens Through the Twenties / Edition 1

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Overview


Recently the lives of people from age 18 to 29 have changed so dramatically that a new stage of life has developed, emerging adulthood, that is distinct from both the adolescence that precedes it and the young adulthood that comes in its wake. Rather than marrying and becoming parents in their early twenties, most people in industrialized societies now postpone these transitions until at least their late twenties, and instead spend the time in self-focused exploration as they try out different possibilities in their careers and relationships.

In Emerging Adulthood, Jeffrey Jensen Arnett identifies and labels, for the first time, this period exploration, instability, possibility, self-focus, and a sustained sense of being in limbo. An increasing number of emerging adults emphasize having meaningful and satisfying work to a degree not seen in prior generations. Marrying later and exploring more casual sexual relationships have created different hopes and fears concerning long-term commitments and the differences between love and sex. Emerging adults also face the challenge of defending their non-traditional lifestyles to parents and others outside their generation who have made much more traditional choices. In contrast to previous portrayals of emerging adults, Arnett's research shows that they are particularly skilled at maintaining contradictory emotions--they are confident while still being wary, and optimistic in the face of large degrees of uncertainty.

As the demographics of American youth, the American workplace, and adulthood continue to evolve, Emerging Adulthood is indispensable reading for anyone wanting to understand the face of modern America.

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Editorial Reviews

Frank Furstenberg
… Arnett deserves credit for helping to chart a new terrain that is only likely to grow in the 21st century. His sense of optimism and advocacy for young adults are infectious. This work is likely to help build a field of scholarship that is urgently needed to renovate policies, programs and general understanding of the lengthy and arduous process of becoming an adult in American society.
The Washington Post
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Thomas P. Guck, Ph.D.(Creighton University Medical Center)
Description: This is a comprehensive presentation of the author's theory of development of the late teens through twenties based on his own research and reading of existing literature.
Purpose: The purpose is to contribute to the scholarship on emerging adulthood readable by professionals and nonprofessionals. The authors have accomplished this worthy objective.
Audience: This book is written for those emerging as adults and their parents. Clinicians and researchers in the fields of medicine, psychology, education, and business who deal with life cycle issues will find this an excellent book.
Features: In the opening chapter, the developmental stage of emerging adulthood is described. Subsequent chapters address issues such as parents, love, sex and marriage, college, work, and religion. The book is well organized and contains excellent notes and references.
Assessment: As a psychologist and parent of children in this age group, I found this book to be a scholarly and readable discussion of this important phase of life. It is a valuable resource for parents and anyone working with individuals who are emerging adults.
From the Publisher
"Engaging....informative and insightful....charts a new terrain that is only likely to grow in the 21st century. His sense of optimism and advocacy for young adults are infectious. This work is likely to help build a field of scholarship that is urgently needed to renovate policies, programs and general understanding of the lengthy and arduous process of becoming an adult in American society."—The Washington Post

"This is a book worth reading..."—NACADA Journal


4 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195309379
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2006
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 404,815
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Jensen Arnett is a Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. During 2005 he was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He originally proposed the theory of emerging adulthood to describe the lives of today's 18-29-year-olds, and he is the Founding President and Executive Director of the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood. Among his many books is an advice book for parents of emerging adults, Getting to 30 (with Elizabeth Fishel).

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Table of Contents

1 A longer road to adulthood 3
2 What is it like to be an emerging adult? : four profiles 27
3 From conflict to companionship : a new relationship with parents 47
4 Love and sex 73
5 Meandering toward marriage 97
6 The road through college : twists and turns 119
7 Work : more than a job 143
8 Sources of meaning : religious beliefs and values 165
9 The age of possibilities : four case studies 189
10 From emerging adulthood to young adulthood : what does it mean to become an adult? 207
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