Talk:Emerging adulthood and early adulthood

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Editing initiative[edit]

An advanced course in adolescent development/developmental psychology is working on a major expansion of this article. Initial work should be completed in late October 2012. This will encompass not just Arnett's research, but become an article on normative development on the late adolescence/early adult period (approximately ages 18-30). It should include normative information on biological, social, and cognitive development. In addition, it will have information on how adulthood and the transition to adulthood is defined. We hope to bring in work from an international perspective and one sensitive to social class differences because of the wide variation in how this transition is experienced. Nancydarling (talk) 13:25, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

It seems like there should be some sort of merge between this article and the Young adult (psychology) article. Flyer22 (talk) 19:07, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Even though there is quite some overlap between both articles, emerging adulthood both starts and finished earlier than young adult. For instance, the age 30 transition and settling down of the middle and late thirties don't belong in this article. Therefore I am not in favor of a merge. Lova Falk talk 19:19, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for weighing in, Lova Falk. Like I stated on your talk page, I didn't want a merge. It was just a suggestion that maybe a merge of some sort should be done. Like a merge with a new name to go along with it. But, yeah, I'm not hard-pressed on that. As for "emerging adulthood [starting] and finish[ing] earlier than young adult," I take it that you are speaking of the age ranges given. I state that because the emerging adulthood concept deals with young adults as well; it just doesn't extend past age 26 apparently. This article states that "Emerging adulthood is a phase of the life span between adolescence and full-fledged adulthood, proposed by Jeffrey Arnett" that "primarily applies to young adults in developed countries who do not have children, do not live in their own home, or do not have sufficient income to become fully independent in their early to late 20s" and that "Jeffrey Arnett says emerging adulthood is the period between 18 and 26 years of age where adolescents become more independent and explore various life possibilities." And as the lead of the Young adult (psychology) article states, the age that one is considered a young adult varies. Despite Erik Erikson's argument that young adulthood starts at age 20, most countries consider 18 to be the start of young adulthood, legally anyway. Flyer22 (talk) 16:08, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
I had to attribute some text specifically to Arnett; things like "there are a few reasons why the term young adulthood is not fit to describe the developmental period of the late teens and early twenties" and "it is nonsensical to combine the late teenage years, twenties, and thirties together because the 18‑25 age period and the thirties are very distinct from one another" should not be written as definitive statements when they are the view of only one person or one small group. The rest of the section even currently points out that "emerging adulthood" is not a common term because late adolescents and early to mid 20-somethings are considered young adults. Flyer22 (talk) 16:40, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm an editor of the Journal of Adolescence (which covers to age 25), have been in the Society for Research in Adolescence since the year of it's founding, and have published more than 50 professional articles/chapters on adolescent development and made well over 100 professional presentations on the topic, so this is an area I know a fair amount about. You are absolute right - it is hard to put a hard and fast line around the ages of adolescence and adulthood. There is also a small amount of controversy around the term 'emerging adulthood'. Nonetheless, it has become probably the most commonly used descriptor to refer to that gray area between fully dependent adolescence and the period when people take on those roles that have traditionally been associated with the transition to adulthood. Those markers include completing school, leaving the parent home, entering the workforce (for men), financial independence, marriage, and childbearing. This period has become very extended in many countries - both Western and non-Western. Cross-cultural research shows clear support for an indeterminate period when people have made some, but not all, of these transitions. This is also defined as a time when many people are relatively loosely tied to jobs, to relationships, or to fixed living arrangements. All of these things have come to be seen as defining qualities of emerging adulthood (hence the term). There is a conference on this area and a learned society ( It is a standard term in textbooks and journals. The idea was definitely pushed by Arnett. It is no longer defined by his work.
Erikson was a very influential theorist and clinician and has some interesting descriptive ideas. His work is not considered current in the developmental literature and I don't think he should be considered as the basis for defining an age period. The term 'young adulthood' is also used to define the period from roughly the late teen years though . . . maybe 35? That is exactly the problem, from a developmental perspective, with defining developmental periods by age. Biologically, people are adults when they can reproduce. Physically, they grow several years after that. Neurologically, you get normative growth into the 20's. Psychologically, self-identification as an adult can range over several decades and is often context specific (I might feel an adult sexually but not financially). From a sociological perspective, the assumption of adult roles is often considered definitive. You are an adult when you work, support yourself, marry, have children, etc. You can do that at age 5 or may never take on all those roles. Many papers/chapters have discussed exactly this point. But this is an encyclopedia whose goal is to provide information organized in ways that people can find it.
PERSONALLY, I would like to take this article and call it Emerging Adulthood/Early Adulthood or Emerging and Early Adulthood. 'Emerging Adulthood' is the most common way to refer to this period in the developmental psychology/adolescence literature. 'Early Adulthood' is the more traditional and still common way to refer to it in the literature on adult development and aging. I would then make the Emerging Adulthood article the basis for that article. I would take the very brief article on Young Adulthood, take the small amount of unique material in it, and redirect searches on Emerging Adulthood, Young Adulthood, Young Adult, and Early Adulthood here.
At some later date, material on the later part of young adulthood could be expanded. The latter part of this period is outside the realm of our class's work Nancydarling (talk) 19:08, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
As always, I appreciate the response, Nancy. You stated that "the idea [of emerging adulthood] was definitely pushed by Arnett. It is no longer defined by his work." I have to state that if this is the case -- that this concept is no longer defined by Arnett's work -- then this article needs WP:Reliable sources for the concept outside of Arnett's view on it. Most of the sources in the article are not using the term "emerging adulthood"; they are using "adolescence," "adulthood," "young adulthood" and "early adulthood." I didn't understand your "You can do that at age 5" comment, since 5-year-olds can't do that (except for the case of child labour or minor work such as school work or chores, child marriages...which are not the child's doing anyway, or the have-a-child part...which has only occurred with Lina Medina from what I know). I also see that you left a note at Wikipedia:WikiProject Psychology; just so you know, you aren't likely to get any replies from there. That project is very inactive. I mention, though, that I like the title Emerging and early adulthood. And merging the Young adult (psychology) article here would of course have to happen before it's redirected here. There's no reason that the material in that article should be discarded. Flyer22 (talk) 03:09, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Did you see the recent article on child brides in National Geographic that do involve girls as young as 5? That was where that was coming from. Bottom line - role transitions are culturally variable and only one aspect of the transition. Arnett is a completely reliable source - well published in scholarly circles, author of textbooks, defined and invented the term 'emerging adult'. He DID define the term. He is simply not now the only person who uses it. This piece, when we got to it, seemed to have two purposes that were not well combined. First, it defined 'emerging adulthood' as a concept introduced was by Arnett. Second, it discussed normative change that occurred during this age period. We have been transitioning this piece towards a normative development piece parallel to the piece on Adolescence. That's why I think it would be well merged with Early Adulthood. The title itself is not important to me, but having accurate information about the age period is.Nancydarling (talk) 19:18, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
No, Nancy, I didn't see that article. I was only making a point, which is of course why I referred to the Child marriage article. And I wasn't disputing that Arnett is a completely reliable source for this information or that he defined the term; I was only pointing out that if the concept -- using the term "emerging adulthood"/"emerging adult" -- has expanded beyond him, then this article needs reliable sources using the term...apart from him. Otherwise, it's only a concept attributed to him and is very WP:FRINGE. It needs other sources using the term either way...per WP:SECONDARY. As for merging the Young adult (psychology) article with this one, I was stating that because the material in that article is notable, it should not be discarded. It's not a true merge if the material is discarded; it's only a redirect. Flyer22 (talk) 20:15, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
I see that an editor moved this article to its current title -- Emerging adulthood and early adulthood. I feel that it should be changed so that the first instance of "adulthood" is not in the title. Other than that, the Young adult (psychology) article still exists. And since this article is more about early adulthood, while the Young adult (psychology) article is more about early to mid-adulthood, and the psychology that goes on with that, I'm now thinking that article should not be merged with this one. Flyer22 (talk) 20:32, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

Multiple references[edit]

Please, whoever it was that put in the same reference behind each sentence, check the guideline on multiple references! Thank you! Lova Falk talk 09:49, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

And by the way, first the period sign and then the reference. Lova Falk talk 09:51, 6 October 2012 (UTC)[edit]

Currently, the entire Sexual relationships section is sourced to I have to state that I don't feel that this source counts as a WP:Reliable source and certainly not with regard to WP:MEDRS, at least not for this information. Flyer22 (talk) 19:01, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

The author of that piece - Sex in Emerging Adulthood: A Decade in the Sexual Gap - is a reputable expert in the field ("Marla E. Eisenberg is an assistant professor of general pediatrics and adolescent health in the School of Medicine and an adjunct assistant professor of epidemiology and community health in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota.") That article also contains a really nice annotated bibliography at the end from very good sources. HOWEVER, I agree that it would be much better to go to those original sources (from which the material in that essay came) and cite them instead of a page on Christian approaches to counselling. Especially for sexuality it undermines the credibility of the material, even if it is accurate. Nancydarling (talk) 19:28, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
I see, Nancy. I can only go by our guidelines and policies on this. does not count as a WP:Reliable source and it should not be used for medical information...per WP:MEDRS, although there are sometimes exceptions if material is coming from an expert in his or her field. You appear to know about the expert-in-their-field part, but I still note that the guideline and policy pages go over this. This doesn't appear to be a case where such a source is appropriate for this material. Using the original sources would be okay, but it is better to go with secondary sources...per WP:SECONDARY. Flyer22 (talk) 03:09, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Flyer22 - we're saying the same thing in different ways because of how language is used in different fields. In psychology and other sciences, a scholar writing up a published paper in Science or Developmental Psychology is a primary source. A secondary source is a review article summarizing many scientific articles. A textbook can be a secondary or tertiary source. What I was suggesting was that the article written and published on (which I agree is not what should be cited) is what I would call a secondary source and the students should cite the original research articles on which it relied. Wikipedia would call an analysis of data (the original studies) a secondary source. So we are in agreement about the substance of what you said. Nancydarling (talk) 20:10, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, we're on the same page about this, Nancy. Flyer22 (talk) 20:32, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

"Young adult" photo[edit]

The "young adult" photo on the right of the article just seems so generic and unnecessary, it almost begs the question, "Why is this here?" Just strikes me as very odd when first viewing the page. G90025 (talk) 19:25, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

G90025, that image was added with this edit; I agree with you about that image, except that it doesn't strike "me as very odd when first viewing the page." Feel free to remove it. Flyer22 (talk) 19:42, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
I have removed the image. Another thing about it was that the image did not seem representative of young adults in general as the individual was wearing highly stylized clothing and the file name was "hipster.jpg" or something of that nature. Regardless, I'm pretty sure most people could recognize a young adult without needing a picture for reference. G90025 (talk) 12:25, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

This article should mostly be restricted to Arnett's concept/theories[edit]

This article should mostly be restricted to Arnett's concept/theories and those who think like him about the subject. Right now, many parts of the article are very similar to the Adolescence article, Young adult (psychology) article and other Wikipedia articles about adolescence, and a lot of the sources are about adolescence or young adulthood, not Arnett's concept/theories. We should not be housing a WP:Content fork like this. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:46, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

Permstrump, any ideas? Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:47, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

Based on the talkpage and edit summaries, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the students editing this article unintentionally put in some synthesis/original research being unfamiliar with WP's policies/guidelines. Are there specific sections you had in mind? PermStrump(talk) 19:21, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
No, not any specific sections. The first section of the "Distinction from young adulthood and adolescence" section is mainly based on Arnett, but a lot of stuff afterward is based on sources about adolescence and/or young adulthood. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 01:33, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
Before your edit, that section was entirely about Arnett. I'm wondering whether this article should be kept and retain the stuff based on adolescent and young adult sources, or if it should mainly be about Arnett's ideas/beliefs. My point is that we already have the Adolescence article, the Young adult (psychology) article, and similar articles, for a lot of the content that this article includes. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 01:42, 16 August 2016 (UTC)