Textbooks and Reading Material

The information below contains summaries of textbooks and other scholarly books that could be used in a class on emerging adulthood development. Summaries are those provided by the publisher. Links under each textbook summary will take you to the publisher’s website for more information.

Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood: A Cultural Approach, Revised, 3/E
Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, University of Maryland

For undergraduate courses in Adolescence and Adolescent Development

Focused on a global cultural perspective that incorporates research on adolescence through emerging adulthood

Grounded in a global cultural perspective (within and outside of the US), this text includes a considerable amount of anthropology, sociology, and international research in addition to the compelling psychological research on adolescent development. This book also takes into account the period of emerging adulthood (ages 18-25), an area sometimes neglected but of particular interest to many students who see themselves reflected in the research.

More Info

Readings on Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood
Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, University of Maryland

For courses in Adolescent Development.
Addressing both the changes in the study of adolescent behavior and the changes in the nature of adolescent development, this informative collection of readings provides a comprehensive cross-cultural look at this pivotal period. Covering every aspect of adolescent development as it takes place in cultures worldwide currently and historically, this text takes a longer age range approach to adolescence by expanding coverage into the early twenties and giving attention to changes and continuities in development that take place during this period of “emerging adulthood.”

More Info

Arrested Adulthood: The Changing Nature of Maturity and Identity
James E Cote

Arrested Adulthood examines the variety of young people's responses to this new situation. James E. Ct shows us adults who allow the profit-driven industries of mass culture to provide the structure that is missing, as their lives become more individualistic and atomized. He also shows adults who resist anomie and build their world around their sense of personal connectedness to others. Finally, Ct provides a vision of a truly progressive society in which all members can develop their potentials apart from the influence of the market. In so doing, he gives us a clearer vision of what it means to be an adult and makes sense of the longest, but least understood period of the life course.

More Info

Emerging Adults in America: Coming of Age in the 21st Century
Edited by Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, PhD and Jennifer Lynn Tanner, PhD

Emerging Adults in America: Coming of Age in the 21st Century portrays the lives of young Americans between adolescence and young adulthood, a distinct developmental stage that editor Jeffrey Jensen Arnett describes as emerging adulthood. Over the past 40 years, the average age of marriage and parenthood has risen dramatically, and the years from the late teens through the mid-20s are no longer dedicated to settling into traditional adult roles. Instead, the focus has shifted to pursuing higher education, self-exploration, and shaping a future that best suits personal goals and desires.

Along with coeditor Jennifer Lynn Tanner, Arnett has compiled a collection of chapters in this groundbreaking work that cover a range of topics from relationships with parents to views about love, sex, and marriage; from experiences in college to those in the work place; and from religious beliefs to beliefs about the concept of adulthood. This insightful book will be a valuable resource for developmental psychologists, therapists, and mental health practitioners who work with emerging adults and will appeal to young people and their families.

More Info

Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens through the Twenties
Jeffery Jensen Arnett

In recent decades, the lives of people in their late teens and twenties have changed so dramatically that a new stage of life has developed. In this provocative work, Arnett identifies emerging adulthood as distinct from both the adolescence that precedes it and the young adulthood that comes in its wake. Rather than marrying and becoming parents in their early twenties, most people in industrialized societies now postpone these transitions until at least their late twenties, spending these years in self-focused exploration as they try out different possibilities in their careers and relationships. Emerging adults face the challenge of defending their new and longer road to adulthood to parents and others who entered adulthood at an earlier age in a different time. In spite of these challenges, Arnett's research shows that emerging adults are particularly skilled at maintaining contradictory emotions - they are confident while being wary, and optimistic in the face of large degrees of uncertainty. Merging stories from the lives of emerging adults themselves with findings from years of research, Arnett covers a wide range of topics, including love and sex, relationships with parents, experiences at college and work, and views of what it means to be an adult.

More Info

Emerging and Young Adulthood: Multiple Perspectives, Diverse Narratives
Series: Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development

Varda Konstam

The delayed onset of maturity from adolescence to adulthood is gaining the considerable attention of scholars, not to mention that of the parents and the young adults themselves. The chapters in this volume examine the experiences of numerous individuals in their 20s and early 30s – as well as parents and employers – the end result of which is a finely nuanced, research-based portrait of today’s aging adolescents and the increasingly high hurdles they must jump to reach full-fledged adulthood.

The chapters of Emerging and Young Adulthood: Multiple Perspectives, Diverse Narratives:

  • Feature scores of narratives told by research subjects in their own words.
  • Represent a broad racial and ethnic cross-section of subjects.
  • Include the experiences of working class individuals, a population that has been ignored in previous studies.
  • Pinpoint specific clinical issues relating to this generation’s behavioral patterns.
  • Challenge much of the conventional wisdom about emerging and young adults.

This volume reaches beyond facile "Gen X" and "quarterlife crisis" constructs to reveal the many diverse voices of young adults – their attitudes toward life, work, relationships, peers, and identities – and incorporates the diverse perspectives of parents and employers. It is a must-have resource for developmental, school, and counseling psychologists and therapists as well as for researchers and graduate-level students.

More Info

The Changing Adolescent Experience: Societal Trends and the Transition to Adulthood
Edited by Jeylan T. Mortimer
University of Minnesota
Reed W. Larson
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

The path adolescents take from childhood to adulthood is a product of social, economic, political, and technological forces. These forces may facilitate youth’s preparation to become healthy adults, or they may leave youth unprepared for adulthood. Knowledgeable projections are vital in shaping the agenda for research; for alerting educators, policy makers, and practitioners to new issues; and for formulating thoughtful responses to emerging dilemmas. This book focuses upon the future of adolescence in postindustrial societies. The authors identify some ominous societal changes that will affect youth: unstable job markets, competition for public resources due to an aging population, and widening income gaps between ‘information workers’ and low-skill workers. But they also observe opportunities created by information technology, innovations in health service delivery and criminal-justice rehabilitation, and the resourcefulness of a new generation. This volume examines these and other macro-structural changes that will impact adolescents’ lives and their futures as adults.

  • Projects adolescence into the future
  • Examines demographic and macro-institutional trends (in the economy, technology, criminal justice, health institutions, etc.)
  • Examines adolescents’ lives and prospects for adulthood in a changing, world-wide context

More Info

Transition to Adulthood
A Resource for Assisting Young People with Emotional or Behavioral Difficulties
Edited by B. Clark, Ph.D., & Maryann Davis, Ph.D.

Passing from adolescence into adulthood is a challenging time for each of us. And these years can be even tougher for young adults with emotional or behavioral difficulties. In this new handbook — from the premier researchers, educators, and practitioners in the field — you'll discover proven methods to help young people move into the world of career-oriented education, work, and independent living. This book emphasizes practices that will enable you to help young people pursue their interests and goals. You'll explore interventions for handling key issues — such as drug and alcohol use, changing peer and family relations, anger and impulse management, crime, and school dropout — in order to facilitate their success across personal and community life. With young adults bringing their own experiences and perspectives to each chapter as co-authors, you'll find this resource both practical and inspiring.

More Info

Romance and Sex in Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood Risks and Opportunities
by Ann C. Crouter (Editor), Alan Booth (Editor)

Crouter and Booth, both affiliated with The Pennsylvania State University, bring together findings from different disciplines to illuminate the evolutionary, cultural, and historical roots of romantic relationships and sexual behavior in adolescence and early adulthood. The book can be used in upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in family sociology, human development, and social work. Material originated at an October 2004 symposium. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

More Info

On the Frontier of Adulthood: Theory, Research, and Public Policy (MacArthur Foundation Series)
by Richard A. Settersten Jr. (Editor), Frank F. Furstenberg Jr. (Editor), Ruben G. Rumbaut (Editor)

On the Frontier of Adulthood reveals a startling new fact: adulthood no longer begins when adolescence ends. A lengthy period before adulthood, often spanning the twenties and even extending into the thirties, is now devoted to further education, job exploration, experimentation in romantic relationships, and personal development. Pathways into and through adulthood have become much less linear and predictable, and these changes carry tremendous social and cultural significance, especially as institutions and policies aimed at supporting young adults have not kept pace with these changes.

This volume considers the nature and consequences of changes in early adulthood by drawing upon a wide variety of historical and contemporary data from the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. Especially dramatic shifts have occurred in the conventional markers of adulthood-leaving home, finishing school, getting a job, getting married, and having children-and in how these experiences are configured as a set. These accounts reveal how the process of becoming an adult has changed over the past century, the challenges faced by young people today, and what societies can do to smooth the transition to adulthood.

More Info

Preparing Youth for the Crossing from Adolescence to Early Adulthood - New Directions for Youth Development S. No. 111
by Sam Piha, Georgia Hall

This volume examines how developmental issues facing older youth impact their crossover into early adulthood, and investigates innovative strategies being employed to better meet the needs of these youth. Implications for policymakers and funders in taking the support of older youth to scale are also considered in this volume. There is a growing concern that young people are reaching the age of eighteen unprepared for the primary challenge of young adulthood: successfully joining the workforce or continuing on to higher education or vocational training. In order to see outcomes improve for older youth, especially low-income youth of color, we must have a better understanding of their developmental needs in order to create supported pathways for their eventual transition to adulthood. This will require new policies to improve coordination at the systems level and increased attention to expanding their access to supportive institutions and services. This is the 111th volume of "New Directions for Youth Development", a quarterly report published by Jossey-Bass.

More Info

Growing Up Fast: Transitions to Early Adulthood for Inner-city Adolescent Mothers - Research Monographs in Adolescence
by Bonnie J.Ross Leadbeater, Niobe Way

At once a scholarly research monograph and an accessible glimpse into the lives of inner-city adolescents mothers, this book will appeal to developmental and social psychologists, family studies scholars, sociologists, and policy makers

More Info

Young People's Transitions from Care to Adulthood
by Mike Stein, Emily R. Munro, Harriet Ward

The transition from care into adulthood is a difficult step for any young person, but young people leaving care have a high risk of social exclusion, both in terms of material disadvantage and marginalization. In "Young People's Transitions from Care to Adulthood" leading academics gather together the latest international research relating to the transition of young people leaving care, outlining and comparing the range of legal and policy frameworks, welfare regimes and innovative practice across 16 countries. The book also highlights the variations that exist between different groups leaving care. Featuring key messages for policy and practice, this book will give academics, practitioners and policymakers valuable insights into how to encourage resilience and improve outcomes for care leavers.

More Info

Changing Transition to Adulthood
by Frances K. Goldscheider, Calvin Goldscheider

This book examines the reasons why children ultimately leave home to live on their own and how the pattern has changed throughout the 20th century. The authors make use of data from the National Survey of Families and Households to: construct patterns for when children leave home; and establish the most important criteria for leaving home amongst different groups in the United States - men, women, blacks, hispanics, whites, and different religious groups and social classes.

More Info

On Your Own without a Net
by D.Wayne Osgood, E. Michael Foster, Constance Flanagan, Gretchen R. Ruth

In the decade after high school, young people continue to rely on their families in many ways. This book documents the challenges facing seven vulnerable populations during the transition to adulthood. It shows the unfortunate repercussions of the termination of support and helps in improving young people's chances of becoming successful adults.

More Info

Transition to Adulthood and Family Relations
by Eugenia Scabini, Elena Marta, Margherita Lanz, Sandy Jackson

This book explores the development of a new path of transition between adolescence and adulthood in recent generations. Whereas traditionally the transition into adulthood was marked by a clear and irreversible change in condition, we are now seeing a continuance in the role and influence of the family on the young adult. What consequences does this have for our society? Is the persistence of emotional bonds which previously loosened during adolescence, inhibiting young people from developing into full adulthood? The authors present a clear and in-depth analysis of the theoretical framework surrounding the transition into adulthood both from a generational point of view and a relationship-centred perspective. The findings of international research are presented and compared across generations, gender and geographical location within Europe. The different research methods of 'family related research' and 'family research' are also distinguished and analysed. This volume offers an original and multi-faceted review of this topic. The family is considered as an organization, and the interdependencies and interconnections between its members, the generations and genders investigated.
It offers a unique contribution to the current literature and will appeal to an international audience of researchers, policy makers and educators both in academic and professional spheres.

More Info

The Boomerang Age: Transitions to Adulthood in Families
by Barbara A. Mitchell

Domestic changes are taking place in the lives of young adults in Western industrialized societies. Today's young people often experience less permanency and more movement in a variety of family-related roles, statuses, and living arrangements. Among the most prominent changes is the phenomenon of "boomerang kids," young adults returning to the parental home after their initial entrance into the adult world. "The Boomerang Age" explores the implications of this development in a changing sociocultural, economic, and demographic landscape. Mitchell begins by addressing definitional, conceptual, and measurement issues relevant to the "boomerang age." She then places the issues in historical perspective by considering trends in family organization - the nuclear family, marriage and divorce rates and fertility - over the past hundred years with emphasis on the 1950s family as a cultural benchmark, evaluating the issues by means of cross-cultural comparisons. The book then turns to the contemporary trajectory of home leaving and returning, analyzing the "launch" and return phases with regard to economic factors, regional differences, and racial and ethnic backgrounds. Mitchell then explores the more personal dimensions of how a return to the family is complicated by partnership (marriage, divorce, cohabitation, homosexuality) and parenthood among young couples. Moving outside the home, she looks at how public issues such as globalization, the decline of the welfare state, and various forms of social inequality affect the circumstances of young adulthood. Here Mitchell offers specific social policy recommendations pertaining to education, housing and dependency issues, childcare, and gender and racial equality. The book concludes by critically evaluating the advantages and drawbacks of two possible future scenarios: increased individualization in the pursuit of social goals, or a more or less permanent return to the traditional, extended family. The theoretical contributions and empirically based research presented in "The Boomerang Age" will provide key knowledge on historical and contemporary youth transitions in an international perspective.

More Info

Transitions to Adulthood in a Changing Economy: No Work, No Family, No Future?
by Alan Booth, Ann C. Crouter, Michael J. Shanahan

In recent years the factors influencing young people's transition to adulthood have become much more problematic. This edited collection of papers from Pennsylvania State University's fifth annual Family Symposium explores the main issues involved in this transition, such as the widening gap between rich and poor, downsizing, global competition, and technological change. These factors have made jobs scarce in many areas, especially inner cities, and have profoundly affected family formation, making cohabitation, delays in marriage and parenthood, and prolonged residence with parents, the life choices of many young adults. These and other issues are explored by scholars from a wide variety of disciplines, who focus on four main questions: alterations in the structure of opportunity, prior experiences in the family, prior experiences in the workplace, and career development and marriage formation.

More Info

Transforming Young Adult Services
Edited by Anthony Bernier

For courses in Library and Information Science students.

In this vigorous call to action that encourages LIS students, researchers, and practitioners to question some of the underlying assumptions of their discipline, Bernier initiates an open discussion about how YA professionals perceive young adults. Exploring the question of what an LIS-specific vision of young adults should be, this book offers a wide array of provocative positions with implications for libraries in literacy initiatives, YA space, intergenerational interactions, and civic life. Research-based articles and essays from leading scholars and practitioners examine young adults in historical and conceptual contexts, such as the ways in which social theory is rapidly changing the essence of YA librarianship. The variety of perspectives and analyses offered will launch a vigorous new debate on how libraries and those in the field think of and serve young adults.

More Info