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

Overview

In recent decades, the lives of people in their late teens and twenties have changed so dramatically that a new stage of life has developed. In his provocative work, Jeffrey Jensen Arnett has identified the period of emerging adulthood as distinct from both the adolescence that precedes it and the young adulthood that comes in its wake. Arnett's new paradigm has received a surge of scholarly attention due to his book that launched the field, Emerging Adulthood.

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

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Overview

In recent decades, the lives of people in their late teens and twenties have changed so dramatically that a new stage of life has developed. In his provocative work, Jeffrey Jensen Arnett has identified the period of emerging adulthood as distinct from both the adolescence that precedes it and the young adulthood that comes in its wake. Arnett's new paradigm has received a surge of scholarly attention due to his book that launched the field, Emerging Adulthood.

On the 10th Anniversary of the publication of his groundbreaking work, the second edition of Emerging Adulthood fully updates and expands Arnett's findings and includes brand new chapters on media use, social class issues, and the distinctive problems of this life stage. In spite of the challenges they face, Arnett explains that emerging adults are particularly skilled at maintaining contradictory emotions—they are confident while being wary, and optimistic in the face of large degrees of uncertainty. Merging stories from the lives of emerging adults themselves with decades of research, Arnett covers a wide range of topics, including love and sex, relationships with parents, experiences at college and work, and views of what it means to be an adult. He also refutes many of the negative stereotypes about emerging adults today, finding that they are not "lazy" but remarkably hard-working in most cases, and not "selfish" but rather concerned with making a contribution to improving the world. As the nature of American youth and the meaning of adulthood further evolve, Emerging Adulthood will continue to be essential reading for understanding 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: 9780199929382
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/25/2014
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 216,598
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (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

Preface to the Second Edition

Preface to the First Edition

1. A Longer Road to Adulthood

2. What Is It Like to Be an Emerging Adult? Four Profiles

3. From Conflict to Companionship: A New Relationship with Parents

4. Love and Sex: New Freedoms, New Problems

5. Meandering Toward Marriage

6. The Road Through College: Twists and Turns

7. Work: More than a Job

8. Digital Natives: Emerging Adults' Many Media Uses

9. Sources of Meaning: Religious Beliefs and Values

10. How Important is Social Class?

11. Wrong Turns and Dead Ends

12. Sometimes Goodbye is a Second Chance: Resilience in Emerging Adulthood

13. Beyond Emerging Adulthood: What Does It Mean to Become an Adult?

Notes
References
Index

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2004

    A 'must' for parents

    I am the mother of two daughters, ages 22 and 17. I have always read parenting books in order to understand the stages of development my children were going through. But until Dr. Arnett¿s book came out, I knew of nothing to help me comprehend 'emerging adulthood,' a very confusing life stage I never experienced myself. (I knew exactly what I wanted to study when I started college, married at 21, and got a full-time job in my field immediately after graduation.) The attitudes of my older daughter and her friends often baffled me during her college years, and they continue to do so now that she has graduated. I was also surprised by the behavior I observed when visiting the university my younger daughter will be attending soon. In general, I try not to be judgmental or to give my children advice unless they ask for it. This strategy has worked well in the past. But until I read Dr. Arnett¿s book, I found it increasingly difficult to 'keep my mouth shut' as I listened to my daughters talk about their lives. Now that I have read 'Emerging Adulthood,' I have more of a grasp on where my children are psychologically. The book has given me the tools to be a better mother. I think Dr. Arnett¿s work can be useful to emerging adults themselves by validating their own experiences. It can also be helpful to grandparents, who may find the behavior of their EA grandchildren incomprehensible.

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