Charleston, South Carolina June 4-6, 2025

charleston at night
Charleston, South Carolina, USA skyline over the Ashley River.

Beautiful Charleston, South Carolina, USA, is home of SSEA’s 12th conference on emerging adulthood.

Thriving in Complexity

Emerging adulthood is always a time of change, growth, and challenge, and today’s generation is arguably experiencing this stage in an unprecedentedly complicated era. They’re entering a workforce drastically altered by the COVID-19 pandemic and a shift away from traditional employment; politics in many nations are polarized and divisive; wars and poverty are driving record-breaking forced migration; and climate change is a source of dread about the future for young people, with social media providing constant reminders about these issues. As a result, some emerging adults do experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, yet many are thriving. They are protesting perceived injustices, using technology to connect and create, and vowing to make a better world than their elders. Emerging adults are choosing diversity while they aim to defend their rights and the rights of others. It is a time in which we are not giving voice to others when we should be opening spaces where any voice can be listened to. This conference will explore the challenges today’s emerging adults face and their empathy, understanding, and passion that contribute to their resilience and even thriving.

Presidential Lecture, Dr. Carolyn Barry

Carolyn Barry earned her B.S. in Psychology from Ursinus College and her Ph.D. in Human Development from University of Maryland-College Park. She is a professor of Psychology at Loyola University Maryland; since 2019 she has been the Associate Dean for Social Sciences and Graduate Programs. Widely published on emerging adults’ close relationships and adjustment, as well as their meaning-making, she serves on the editorial board for Emerging Adulthood and Journal of Youth and Adolescence. She is the 2023 recipient of Ursinus College Alumni Professional Achievement Award, and the 2011 Faculty Award for Excellence in Service-Learning and Engaged Scholarship.

Keynote Address, Dr. Lene A. Jensen

Lene Arnett Jensen is the originator of the “cultural-developmental” theoretical approach to research on human psychology. This approach encompasses what is universal and what is culturally distinctive about human development. Unlike one-size-fits-all psychological theories of the 20th century, the cultural-developmental approach provides a flexible way to think about psychological development in today’s global world. Dr. Jensen authors college textbooks on child, adolescent, and lifespan development (with J. J. Arnett, all published by Pearson). Dr. Jensen is a Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Psychology at Clark University.

Master Lectures, Invited Symposium


Conference Committee

SSEA - Itzel Eguiluz

Itzel Eguiluz

SSEA - Karla Vermeulen

Karla Vermeulen


State University of New York at New Paltz

SSEA - Julia Passini

Julia Passini

SSEA - Samuel McKay

Samuel McKay


University of Melbourne

SSEA - Alan Meca

Alan Meca


Old Dominion University, USA

SSEA - Wairimu Muchiri

Wairimu Muchiri


University of Zurich, Switzerland

SSEA - Tushar Siingh

Tushar Siingh


Banaras Hindu University, India

SSEA - Anna Wieradzka-Pilarczyk

Anna Wieradzka-Pilarczyk


Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland