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Emerging AdulthoodThe Winding Road from the Late Teens through the Twenties$
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Jeffrey Jensen Arnett

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195309379

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195309379.001.0001

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What Is It Like to Be an Emerging Adult?

What Is It Like to Be an Emerging Adult?

Four Profiles

(p.27) 2 What Is It Like to Be an Emerging Adult?
Emerging Adulthood

Jeffrey Jensen Arnett

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the lives of four emerging adults in order to see what it is like to be an emerging adult and how it is reflected in individual lives. The persons were chosen so because they represent a broad range of backgrounds and experiences in emerging adulthood. Two are male and two are female; two are white and two are members of ethnic minorities; two are college graduates and two are not; and the four of them grew up in several different parts of the United States. They range in age from twenty-one to twenty-seven. These studies give a taste of the diversity that exists among emerging adults, as well as some of the qualities that are common to hem. None of those studied here are married, and none of them have children. None of them are firmly settled into a career path. Rather, the persons in the profiles were chosen because they exemplify the characteristics that define emerging adulthood as a distinct period of life: the age of explorations, instability, the self-focused, of feeling in-between, and of possibilities.

Keywords:   emerging adulthood, emerging adults, adult behavior, instability, work, self-focused, explorations

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