Lifestyles in Emerging Adulthood: Who Needs Stages Anyway?

Leo B. Hendry and Marion Kloep

in Debating Emerging Adulthood

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199757176
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199863389 | DOI:
Lifestyles in Emerging Adulthood: Who Needs Stages Anyway?

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A theory, describing ”many different emerging adulthoods” as a normative stage, is not particularly insightful. This chapter takes a global view of transitions to adulthood from studies of non-Western cultures, ethnic minorities and sub-cultures suggesting that generalisations about emerging adults do not capture the variations that exist within individuals and across cultures. To understand the developmental changes that have occurred for young people individually, the changes that have occurred on the macro-level of their societies, how this is mediated by governmental and institutional policies and micro-system factors are discussed. The experience of approaching adulthood appears to depend on whether or not a prolonged moratorium results from cultural and economic forces, policies, prevailing values, parental styles, self-agency and non-normative shifts, which give individuals either choices or constraints.

Keywords: economics; cross-cultural differences; changing values; social policies; parenting; varying pathways

Chapter.  12000 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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