Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts has conducted a national survey of 18-29-year-olds as part of ongoing study into a relatively new life stage that is being referred to as ‘emerging adulthood’.
Research professor Jeffrey Jenson Arnett, coined the term to describe those in their late teens through to those in their 20s, carried out the research as a means of better understanding those within this age group. Arnett and his team interviewed more than a thousand people via telephone calls and online questionnaires.
‘Emerging adulthood’ was spawned by several social factors, things like the later age at which people establish their careers, later marriage and later parenthood. It has long been noted that these days, people seem to take longer to become adults so to speak and Arnett’s study gives us an insight as to the kind of things that are on their minds!
56% of those questioned admitted to experiencing feelings of anxiousness, 33% say they often feel depressed and 65% express feelings of uncertainty about their lives.
Interesting, it is almost as if the age group understands that adulthood is a tricky term to define, especially in this day and age. Whilst 48.6% said that they believed that they had reached ‘adulthood’, nearly half of those questioned (46.8%) said that in some ways they did feel as though they had reached adulthood, but in other ways they didn’t.
In the 18-29-year-old’s view, the defining factor of becoming an adult was ‘accepting responsibility for yourself’, with 36% choosing this option. ‘Becoming financially independent’ was chosen by 30% of interviewees and only 16% classified finishing education as marker of adulthood. A miniscule 4% said that getting married meant that you had become an adult.
Almost 60% of those questioned said that they believed ‘adulthood will be more enjoyable than my life is now’ suggesting that they didn’t quite see themselves as adults yet.
(Via USA Today)