Debating Emerging Adulthood: Stage or Process?

ISBN : 9780199757176

Jeffrey Jensen Arnett; Marion Kloep; Leo B. Hendry; Jennifer Lynn Tanner
192 ページ
163 x 241 mm

The transition from adolescence to adulthood has undergone significant changes in recent decades. Unlike a half century ago, when young people in industrialized countries moved from adolescence into young adulthood in relatively short order at around age 20, now the decade from the late teens to the late twenties is seen as an extended time of self-focused exploration and education in pursuit of optimally fulfilling relationships and careers. Recognition of this new period is stronger than ever, but an important question remains: should emerging adulthood be considered a developmental stage, or a process? In Debating Emerging Adulthood: Stage or Process? two pairs of developmental psychologists take sides in a debate that is central to the very concept of emerging adulthood. Arnett and Tanner argue that as young people around the world share demographic similarities, such as longer education and later marriage, the years between the ages 18 and 25 are best understood as entailing a new life stage. However, because the experiences of emerging adults worldwide vary according to cultural context, educational attainment, and social class, these two scholars suggest that there may not be one but many different emerging adulthoods. An important issue for this burgeoning area of inquiry is to explore and describe this variation. In contrast, Hendry and Kloep assert that stage theories have never been able to explain individual transitions across the life course; in their view, stage theories-including the theory of emerging adulthood-ought to be abolished altogether, and explanations found for the processes and mechanisms that govern human change at any age. This engaging book maps out the argument of "stage or process" in detail, with vigorous disagreements, conflicting alternatives, and some leavening humor, ultimately even finding some common ground. Debating Emerging Adulthood is an absolute must-read for developmental psychologists as well as anyone interested in this indisputably important time of life.


Jeffrey Jensen Arnett is a Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA. He is the editor of the Journal of Adolescent Research and author of the book Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens Through the Twenties, published in 2004 by Oxford University Press. Marion Kloep is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Glamorgan, Scotland. She has conducted research projects on human development in Scandinavia, Germany, Great Britain, Turkey and Albania. For the last fifteen years, she has worked in close co-operation with Leo B. Hendry. Leo B. Hendry is Professor of Psychology at the University of Glamorgan and Emeritus Professor at the University of Aberdeen. He has written over 150 research journal articles, 30 book chapters and 15 books, which have been published in several languages including Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian and Danish. Jennifer L. Tanner is a Visiting; Assistant Research Professor at The Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research at Rutgers University, USA. Dr. Tanner has contributed theoretical work on emerging adulthood, specifically the theory of recentering, and has contributed empirical research on pathways of mental health problems through emerging adulthood and beyond.