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Emerging Adulthood

Emerging adulthood is the period of life between adolescence and young adulthood, ranging from age 18 years through the third decade of life. The psychologist Jeffrey Arnett first introduced the concept of emerging adulthood in a seminal theoretical article published in American Psychologist in 2000. He defined emerging adulthood as ages 18–25 years, although more recently, both ages 25 and 29 years have been used as endpoints. Before Arnett’s 2000 article, researchers had not formally recognized emerging adulthood as a distinct developmental period of life. Rather, researchers expected that individuals transitioned directly from adolescence to young adulthood. Arnett observed, however, that societal changes in developed nations had changed how young people experienced the transition to adulthood. The shift to a technology- and service-based economy created ...

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