Emerging Adulthood. A Theory of Development From the Late Teens Through the Twenties

Am Psychol. 2000 May;55(5):469-80.

Abstract

Emerging adulthood is proposed as a new conception of development for the period from the late teens through the twenties, with a focus on ages 18-25. A theoretical background is presented. Then evidence is provided to support the idea that emerging adulthood is a distinct period demographically, subjectively, and in terms of identity explorations. How emerging adulthood differs from adolescence and young adulthood is explained. Finally, a cultural context for the idea of emerging adulthood is outlined, and it is specified that emerging adulthood exists only in cultures that allow young people a prolonged period of independent role exploration during the late teens and twenties.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Development*
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Role
  • Self Concept
  • Socialization