Published May 17, 2021
Congratulations to Associate Professors Elizabeth Bowen, Annahita Ball, and Annette Semanchin Jones and PhD alum Berg Miller on the publication of their article, "Toward many emerging adulthoods: A theory-based examination of the features of emerging adulthood for cross-systems youth" in Emerging Adulthood.
Bowen, E. A., Ball, A., Semanchin Jones, A., & Miller, B. (2021). Toward many emerging adulthoods: A theory-based examination of the features of emerging adulthood for cross-systems youth. Emerging Adulthood.
Although it is widely acknowledged that emerging adulthood is experienced differently by various groups, few studies have directly examined the theoretical features of emerging adulthood in vulnerable subpopulations of low-income young people in the United States. This study addressed this gap by exploring the salience of the five features proposed in emerging adulthood theory—identity exploration, instability, feeling in-between, sense of self-focus, and optimism for the future—for cross-systems youth. Two samples from prior qualitative studies of young people age 18–24 who had experienced homelessness, child welfare involvement, and/or educational disadvantage were combined for the analysis (N = 50). We noted important divergences and nuances in the ways in which the theoretical features resonated with the sample. For example, most participants sought financial stability and independence, rather than identity and career exploration. The findings speak to the importance of further research to establish features of emerging adulthood in diverse populations.