Study: 18-29-Year-Olds are Still Awaiting Adulthood

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  • A new survey found that many young people do not consider themselves as adults just yet.

    The survey conducted by Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts recruited over a thousand people ages 18-29 regarding this life stage. About 60 percent of the respondents admitted that adulthood would be more exciting than their current lifestyle.  

    Study responses were collected from an online questionnaire as well as phone interviews. Fifty-six percent of the respondents said that they often feel anxious, 33 percent admitted that they often feel depressed, and 65 percent of those surveyed said that this phase of their life is filled with uncertainty. However, 82 percent still hold an optimistic view about their future.

    Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a research professor in psychology at Clark University has coined this life phase as “emerging adulthood.” He explains that this particular age group starts with Gen X’ers, those born in the 1960’s through the 1980’s, and has permeated into the Millennials.

    Arnett feels that delayed social stages such as marriage, parenthood, and careers have contributed to this age group.

    The survey also found that: 

    – 52 percent of emerging adults maintain daily or almost daily contact with their parents via text, e-mail, phone or in person.

    -34 percent of young adults said that their parents are engaged in their lives more than they would like them to.  

    -38 percent of emerging adults said that they receive little to no financial support from their family; 16 percent admitted that they receive it often; another 16 percent receive financial support regularly, and 31 percent rarely receive it.  

    Thirty percent of the young participants related complete adulthood as total financial independence from their parents.

    "I'm about to be 24. I should feel like an adult, but I don't," said Alana Prant, 23. "My parents completely support me." Prant is a recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin and is currently an unpaid intern for a Chicago startup company.

    Completing a degree program has also become less of a priority for many emerging adults. The survey found that only 19 percent of respondents considered finishing school an essential life marker.

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