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What does it feel like to be an adult?. When do you feel like an adult? 

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Presentation on theme: "What does it feel like to be an adult?. When do you feel like an adult? "— Presentation transcript:

1 What does it feel like to be an adult?

2 When do you feel like an adult?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVwX1AR5wbY

3 Class expercise  To what extent do you feel like an adult most of the time  Not at all like an adult  Somewhat like an adult  Entirely like an adult  Describe an instance in which you feel like an adult

4 When do you feel like an adult

5 Defining Adult experiences: Methods :  Studied a large, diverse sample of young adults between the ages of 18 and 35 (N = 726), including:  both UMass Boston students (n = 517)  young adults who were neither attending nor had graduated from college (n = 209)  Used open-ended questions to solicit incidences in which participants “really felt like an adult,” and coded for the traditional and non- traditional roles and experiences  investigated variation by age and college status to explore how young adults’ subjective experiences of adulthood relate to developmental maturity and context.

6 Subjective Adulthood  Much research in the last decade suggests an “in between,” or “not quite adult” status period for those aged 18-25 (Arnett, 2000).

7 In between status  Researchers have measured experiences that youth feel “must be achieved before a person can be considered an adult” Items on this scale have been organized into five subscales:  individualism (e.g., “accept responsibility for the consequences of your actions”),  family capacities (e.g., “capable of caring for children”),  norm compliance (e.g., “avoid drunk driving”),  legal/chronological transitions (e.g., “reached age 18”),  role transitions (e.g., “have at least one child”).  Arnett consistently has found that young adults emphasize three criteria reflective of individualism: responsibility for one’s self, independent decision making, and financial independence.

8 New way of asking  more open-ended interviews might yield a different breakdown of roles that youth associate with adulthood.  processes are likely to be shaped by individuals’ age and life circumstances.  we asked participants to describe a specific event in which they felt like an adult--a different lens into subjective experiences of adulthood.

9  Belief systems that underlie cultural patterns of thought and behavior—The Ethic of Autonomy  Independence and self-sufficiency should be obtained before entering adult commitments  Romantic love the basis for marriage-soul mate, 60% arranged marriage Romantic love  Work should be an expression of identity Work  Late teens through mid-twenties should be a time of fun and leisure Cultural Psychology of Emerging Adulthood

10  individualism (e.g., “accept responsibility for the consequences of your actions”)  family capacities (e.g., “capable of caring for children”),  norm compliance (e.g., “avoid drunk driving”), legal  chronological transitions (e.g., “reached age 18”)  role transitions (e.g., “have at least one child”). What roles must roles and experiences “must be achieved before a person can be considered an adult”

11  (1) not at all like an adult,  (2) somewhat like an adult  (3) entirely like an adult. Describe an instances when you really feel like an adult To what extent do you feel like an adult most of the time

12  Students (n = 625) were recruited through introductory and advanced psychology classes during the Fall 2007, Spring 2008, and Fall 2008 semesters, as well as through tables at a central location on campus.  Non-college young adults (n = 265) were recruited through the Craigslist website for the same metropolitan area as the university. Participants responded to a survey advertisement, indicating their age (18- to 35 years old) and college status (i.e., whether they were attending or had graduated from a four-year university). Method

13  Subjective Adult Status  37.9% reported feeling “entirely like an adult  56.9% “somewhat like an adult”  4.3% not at all like an adult in their everyday lives.  college subsample (n = 517)  32.2% reported feeling “entirely like an adult  62.7% “somewhat like an adult,”  4.5% “not at all like an adult.”  non-college sample (n = 209)  52.7% reported feeling “entirely like an adult,”  43.5% “somewhat like an adult,”  3.8% “not at all like an adult.”  Non-college students had greater subjective adulthood than college students, and older participants had significantly greater subjective adulthood than younger  Asian participants had significantly lower subjective adulthood than non-Asian participants Results

14 International Patterns: Does one size fit all?  The 5 features were based on 300 Americans 20-29  To what extent does it apply internationally?  Developed countries: 18%  US, Canada, Western Europe, Japan, Skoriea, Austrail and New Zealand  Developing:, comprise most of the world’s population

15 Developed Countries  Postsecondary ed  Manufacturing-Information, IT  Increase in age of marriage/parenthood  In Europe, emerging adulthood is even later  One in three still live at homestill live at home  Govt. pays for college, provide generous unemployment  Asisa different—collective, family obligation

16 Developing  Only a minority experience “emerging adulthood”  Vast majority marry around 20 and finish educaiton by late teens or earlier  EA exists only among small but growing urban middle class

17 Cultural Psychology of EA: 4 beliefs  Independence and self-sufficiency should be attained before entering into adult commitments  Romantic love should be the basis of marriage  Arranged marriage vs. soul mate  Work should be an expression of one’s identity  Need to make peace with dreams  The years from late teens through mid-twenties should be a time of self-focused leisure

18 Furstenberg—new Schedule

19 Living at home

20 Married

21 Female, ever-married w child

22 Enrollment in college

23 STILL RELEVANT  Planners  Delay entry as response to longer transition  College, obstacles to establishing self-sufficient home  Metropolitan areas  More cohabitation  Naturalists  Traditional, rural, logical next step

24 Background  Age risen, proportion that ever marry has fallen  Rise in cohabitation  Increase rates of divorce  Growth of unmarried mothers  Increase women in workforce, higher ed, access to contraception

25 Marriage decline vs. Resilience perspectives  Decline  Sees as negative, signs of a culture that overvalues indivual happiness and devalues commitment  Resilience  People can escape dysfunctional and abusive relationships

26 Three eras of Marriage  Early 20 th century—  institutionalize marriage-Love secondary to marriage itself  Roles sharply defined  Mid-Century  Compassionate love, derive satisfaction from building family  1960’s onward  Individualized love, weakening of norms

27 Young people’s Perspectives  Naturalists (18%)  Fast starters, happens without much thought, shotgun weddings  Many break up, many see as mistake  View as inevitable outcome of romantic relationships  Marriage and kids high priority

28 Planners  Have a different marriage mentality  Don’t accept norm of inevitable marriage  Race/ethicity, gender, and class matter less than SES and normative contexts  Geography important determinant

29 College and graduation  http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2012/04/23/the- 13-most-useless-majors-from-philosophy-to- journalism.html#slide_3 http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2012/04/23/the- 13-most-useless-majors-from-philosophy-to- journalism.html#slide_3  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJJ5z78GE5A


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