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emerging adulthood

a developmental stage that is neither adolescence nor young adulthood but is theoretically and empirically distinct from them both, spanning the late teens through the twenties, with a focus on ages 18 to 25. Emerging adulthood is distinguished by relative independence from social roles and from normative expectations. Having left the dependency of childhood and adolescence, and having not yet taken on the responsibilities that are normative in adulthood, emerging adults engage in identity exploration, a process of trying out various life possibilities (e.g., in love, work, and worldviews) and gradually moving toward making enduring decisions. During this period, individuals have the highest rates of residential instability (change) of any age group and see themselves neither as adolescents nor entirely as adults. [proposed in 2000 by U.S. developmental psychologist Jeffrey Jensen Arnett]

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Psychology term of the day

March 1st 2024