A New Lens on Emerging Adulthood

Shmuel Shulman
Publication date: November 3, 2023

In recent years fewer young people make a smooth and linear transition to adulthood, and their lives seem to be characterized by instabilities and lack of commitment. However, when approaching the age of 30, the majority of people are likely to have settled down. The major aim of this book is to understand how young adults bridge this gap between the instabilities and fluctuations of the twenties and the stabilization when approaching the thirties.

Based on a twelve-year longitudinal study that followed 185 emerging adults from age 23 to age 35, six assessments, and two in-depth interviews, A New Lens on Emerging Adulthood proposes a constructive understanding of the journey that young people take throughout their twenties and early thirties. Conceptualized within the Developmental Systems Theory, this book argues that emerging adulthood instabilities and missteps actually reflect progress toward developmental reorganization. Furthermore, fluidity and instabilities experienced by emerging adults during this period are evidence of the efforts to navigate toward a successful transition to adulthood.