On the Frontier of AdulthoodTheory, Research, and Public Policy

On the Frontier of AdulthoodTheory, Research, and Public Policy

Richard A. Settersten Jr., Frank F. Furstenberg, and Ruben G. Rumbaut

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226748894

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

This book reveals a new fact: adulthood no longer begins when adolescence ends. A lengthy period before adulthood, often spanning the twenties and even extending into the thirties, is now devoted to further education, job exploration, experimentation in romantic relationships, and personal development. Pathways into and through adulthood have become much less linear and predictable, and these changes carry tremendous social and cultural significance, especially as institutions and policies aimed at supporting young adults have not kept pace with these changes. This book considers the nature and consequences of changes in early adulthood by drawing upon a wide variety of historical and contemporary data from the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. Especially dramatic shifts have occurred in the conventional markers of adulthood—leaving home, finishing school, getting a job, getting married, and having children—and in how these experiences are configured as a set. These accounts reveal how the process of becoming an adult has changed over the past century, the challenges faced by young people today, and what societies can do to smooth the transition to adulthood.

Table of Contents

Part One On the Frontier of Adulthood

Chapter 1 On the Frontier of Adulthood

Frank F. Furstenberg Jr., Rubén G. Rumbaut, and Richard A. Settersten Jr.

Part Two Comparisons Over Time and Place

Chapter 2 The Transition to Adulthood During the Twentieth Century

ELIZABETH FUSSELL AND FRANK F. FURSTENBERG JR.

Chapter 4 Historical Roots of Family Diversity

LAWRENCE L. WU AND JUI-CHUNG ALLEN LI

Part Three Passages to Adulthood

Chapter 7 Subjective Age Identity and the Transition to Adulthood

MICHAEL J. SHANAHAN, ERIK J. PORFELI, JEYLAN T. MORTIMER, AND LANCE D. ERICKSON

Chapter 9 Off to a Good Start?

GARY D. SANDEFUR, JENNIFER EGGERLING-BOECK, AND HYUNJOON PARK

Chapter 10 Six Paths to Adulthood

D. WAYNE OSGOOD, GRETCHEN RUTH, JACQUELYNNE S. ECCLES, JANIS E. JACOBS, AND BONNIE L. BARBER

Chapter 11 Is IT Getting Harder to Get Ahead?

MARY CORCORAN AND JORDAN MATSUDAIRA

Chapter 13 Early Adult Transitions and Their Relation to Well-Being and Substance Use

John Schulenberg, PATRICK M. O̓MALLEY, JERALD G. BACHMAN, AND LLOYD D. JOHNSTON

Chapter 14 The Ever-Winding Path

JOHN MOLLEN KOPF, MARY C. WATERS, JENNIFER HOLDAWAY, AND PHILIP KASINITZ

Part four Policy and Practice for Lives in Transition

End Matter