Emerging Adults, 18-29, Not There Yet

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Monday, July 30, 2012

Emerging Adults, 18-29, Not There Yet

A new nationally representative survey of 1,029 people ages 18-29 found almost 60% say "adulthood will be more enjoyable than my life is now."

More than half (56%) say they often feel anxious; 33% often feel depressed; 65% say "this time of my life is full of uncertainty." Yet 82% say "it still seems like anything is possible."

The responses are based on data collected online and through cell and landline phone interviews, commissioned by Clark University in Worcester, Mass., with people ages 18-29 as part of an ongoing study of a relatively new life stage dubbed "emerging adulthood."

Among survey findings:
• 49% say they don't feel they have reached adulthood yet.
• 52% have daily or almost daily contact with parents via text, email, phone or in person.
• 34% say "my parents are more involved in my life that I really want them to be.
• 16% say they get "frequently" get financial support from parents, 16% "regularly," 31% "occasionally," and 38% "little or none".

To feel more like a grown-up, Alana Prant, 23 says she wants to become financially independent. That's the response of 30% of those surveyed who said financial independence is the most important factor in becoming an adult. "I'm about to be 24. I should feel like an adult, but I don't," she says. "My parents completely support me."

The survey was conducted by Clark University, where Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a research professor, coined the phrase "emerging adulthood" as a phase of human development for the period of late teens through the 20s.

Source: USA Today