Debating Emerging Adulthood: Stage or Process?

Hardcover | January 28, 2011

byJeffrey Jensen Arnett, Marion Kloep, Leo B. Hendry

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The transition from adolescence to adulthood has undergone significant changes in recent decades. Unlike a half century ago, when young people in industrialized countries moved from adolescence into young adulthood in relatively short order at around age 20, now the decade from the late teensto the late twenties is seen as an extended time of self-focused exploration and education in pursuit of optimally fulfilling relationships and careers. Recognition of this new period is stronger than ever, but an important question remains: should emerging adulthood be considered a developmentalstage, or a process? In Debating Emerging Adulthood: Stage or Process? two pairs of developmental psychologists take sides in a debate that is central to the very concept of emerging adulthood. Arnett and Tanner argue that as young people around the world share demographic similarities, such as longer education andlater marriage, the years between the ages 18 and 25 are best understood as entailing a new life stage. However, because the experiences of emerging adults worldwide vary according to cultural context, educational attainment, and social class, these two scholars suggest that there may not be one butmany different emerging adulthoods. An important issue for this burgeoning area of inquiry is to explore and describe this variation. In contrast, Hendry and Kloep assert that stage theories have never been able to explain individual transitions across the life course; in their view, stage theories - including the theory of emergingadulthood - ought to be abolished altogether, and explanations found for the processes and mechanisms that govern human change at any age. This engaging book maps out the argument of "stage or process" in detail, with vigorous disagreements, conflicting alternatives, and some leavening humor,ultimately even finding some common ground. Debating Emerging Adulthood is an absolute must-read for developmental psychologists as well as anyone interested in this indisputably important time of life.

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The transition from adolescence to adulthood has undergone significant changes in recent decades. Unlike a half century ago, when young people in industrialized countries moved from adolescence into young adulthood in relatively short order at around age 20, now the decade from the late teensto the late twenties is seen as an extended ...

Jeffrey Jensen Arnett is a Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA. He is the editor of the Journal of Adolescent Research and author of the book Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens Through the Twenties, published in 2004 by Oxford University Press. Ma...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:192 pages, 6.42 × 9.29 × 0.79 inPublished:January 28, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199757178

ISBN - 13:9780199757176

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Jeffrey J. Arnett, Leo B. Hendry, Marion Kloep, and Jennifer L. Tanner: The curtain rises: A brief overview of the bookSection I: Arguments for a stage2. Jennifer L. Tanner and Jeffrey J. Arnett: Presenting "emerging adulthood": What makes it developmentally distinctive?3. Jeffrey J. Arnett and Jennifer L. Tanner: Themes and variations in emerging adulthood across social classesSection II: Arguments for a process4. Marion Kloep and Leo B. Hendry: A systemic approach to the transitions to adulthood5. Leo B. Hendry and Marion Kloep: Lifestyles in emerging adulthood: Who needs stages anyway?Section III: Rejoinders6. Marion Kloep and Leo B. Hendry: Rejoinder to Chapters 2 and 3: Critical comments on Arnett's and Tanner's approach7. Jeffrey J. Arnett and Jennifer L. Tanner: In defense of emerging adulthood as a life stage: Rejoinder to Kloep's and Hendry's Chapter 4 and 5Conclusion8. Bringing down the curtainPart I: Jeffrey J. Arnett: One stage, many pathsPart II: Marion Kloep: What we can learn from polar bears: Changing a stage or staging a change?Part III: Leo B. Hendry: "As John McEnroe used to say..."Part IV: Jennifer L. Tanner: It's not about winning, it's how you play the game