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.
"Finishing school has become like a given. It barely felt like an accomplishment," Prant said.
Many young people believe that you don’t have to have a degree to get a job. According to the survey findings, 66 percent of respondents believe that it is possible to land a good job without a college education.
"I know many people who did not go to college and are doing just fine," said Liz Marz, 27, a New York makeup stylist and a graduate of the University of Indiana at Bloomington.
The study also showed that 36 percent said that the most important factor of being an adult is accepting responsibility for yourself.
Brandon Smith, a 20-year-old junior at Texas A&M University at College Station said his parents helped him learn this valuable trait by allowing him to make his own decisions.
"They're right over your shoulder watching to make sure you don't ruin yourself but not jumping in every five seconds like when you were younger," Smith said.
This national study is not the first time this new life stage has been the topic of discussion. The Society for the study of Emerging Adulthood is fully dedicated to researching this new age group.
"Now that this has emerged, it will not go away," said Jennifer Tanner of Rutgers University and the society’s vice chair. "It reached peak mass."