Rejoinder to Chapters 2 and 3: Critical Comments on Arnett’s and Tanner’s Approach

Marion Kloep and Leo B. Hendry

in Debating Emerging Adulthood

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199757176
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199863389 | DOI:
Rejoinder to Chapters 2 and 3: Critical Comments on Arnett’s and Tanner’s Approach

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This chapter critically examines elements of Arnett’s “theory”. As has been demonstrated the concept of emerging adulthood is not relevant for many young people globally. Even in Western societies, simply presenting a concept, which selectively focuses on young people who have a lengthy early adulthood without having to assume adult roles and responsibilities, reduces the numbers for whom this new framework is valid. Many of those with a prolonged moratorium are forced to remain within their parents’ household, having neither access to university education nor to well-paid jobs. They are neither happy nor optimistic of their future and are not archetypes of Arnett’s “emerging adults”. This is equally true for those who have married young and have their own families or for young professionals. The aim of a good theory should be to explain developmental variability instead of trying to explain it away!

Keywords: cross-cultural comparisons; developmental theory; moratorium; arrested adulthood

Chapter.  5953 words. 

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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