Chapter

Sequences of Early Adult Transitions

Ted Mouw

in On the Frontier of Adulthood

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780226748894
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226748924 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226748924.003.0008
Sequences of Early Adult Transitions

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The transition from adolescence to adulthood is “demographically dense” in that it involves a number of significant demographic transitions: leaving home, finishing school, starting work, marriage, and childbearing. The evidence suggests that over the first half of the twentieth century the transition to adulthood became more age stratified and occurred over a shorter period of time. Recent evidence, however, suggests that since 1970 it has taken birth cohorts longer to achieve these demographic markers of adulthood. Using longitudinal data from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), this chapter explores how many different pathways to adulthood there are and whether the transition has become less structured over time. It asks whether adult transitions can be characterized by diverse pathways and is “disordered” compared to some normative sequence of events, and whether the different pathways affect adult outcomes.

Keywords: adolescence; adulthood; adult transitions; demographic transitions; National Longitudinal Survey of Youth; adult outcomes; marriage; childbearing

Chapter.  11925 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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