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Emerging AdulthoodThe Winding Road from the Late Teens Through the Twenties$
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Jeffrey Jensen Arnett

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199929382

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199929382.001.0001

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What Is It Like to Be an Emerging Adult?

What Is It Like to Be an Emerging Adult?

Four Profiles

(p.30) Chapter 2 What Is It Like to Be an Emerging Adult?
Emerging Adulthood

Jeffrey Jensen Arnett

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents profiles of four diverse emerging adults, age 21–27. Two are male and two are female, two are White and two are members of ethnic minorities, two are college graduates and two are not, and the four of them grew up in several different parts of the United States. Although the persons in the profiles are diverse, they were not chosen to be representative of all persons in the original study, much less all persons in their twenties. Rather, the persons in the profiles were chosen because they exemplify the five features that define emerging adulthood as a distinct life stage: identity explorations, instability, self-focus, feeling in-between, and a sense of possibilities. The profiles presented in this chapter will serve to illustrate the essential characteristics of emerging adulthood described in Chapter 1, by connecting them to the real lives of emerging adults.

Keywords:   identity explorations, instability, self-focus, case studies, emerging adulthood

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