Regarding Emerging Adulthood
The progression of life through stages is a concept that has been around for decades. However, as society continues to develop and the average age is prolonged, adjustment to the current stages may be necessarily. The creation of a new classification of an aging stage may allow for a clearer illustration of contemporary society. Adjusting the staging model will help accommodate the changes that in society and to reflect the already existing adjustment within ages. The author will examine defining emerging adulthood, the emerging adults’ impressions of adulthood, cultural variances and gaps in current literature.
Emerging adulthood is a relatively new concept in psychology. Emerging adulthood was first conceptualized by Arnett in 2000. He proposed that emerging adulthood be added as a stage of human development. “Emerging adulthood is proposed as a new conception of development for the period from the late teens through the twenties, with a focus on 18-25” (Arnett, 2000). This new stage of development would be an addition to the stages of development originally proposed by psychologists like Erik Erikson. Emerging adulthood would land between the stage of “adolescence” and “young adulthood”. Tanner presented emerging adulthood as “the process during which emerging adults make the transition from dependent adolescents to independent young adults” (as cited in Salmela-Aro, 2007). Arnett argues this new stage of emerging adulthood must be added because people are delaying the characteristics usually associated with the age range of 18-25, such as marriage and parenthood (2000). As characteristics for this age range are changing, the previous definit...
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...cept in developmental psychology. However, the preliminary research and data surrounding this stage are remarkably compelling. Emerging adulthood accurately covers the characteristics and qualities of young people between the age range of 18-25. Accepting this developmental stage would allow for a greater understanding of a large portion of the population and may allow a decrease in the risky behaviors of this age range. However, emerging adulthood would greatly benefit from further studies and research. “Emerging Adulthood is relatively new area of development in comparison to the study of childhood and even adolescence as a separate life stage.” (Jablonski, 2013). Only recently have studies been expanding to different cultures outside of the United States. Better determining the universality of emerging adulthood would greatly increase its credibility in psychology.
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