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Social Sci LibreTexts

8: Early Adulthood

Emerging adulthood is a phase of the life span between adolescence and full-fledged adulthood which encompasses late adolescence and early adulthood, proposed by Jeffrey Arnett in a 2000 article in the American Psychologist. It primarily describes people living in developed countries, but it is also experienced by young people in urban wealthy families in the Global South. The term describes young adults who do not have children, do not live in their own home, or do not have sufficient income to become fully independent in their early to late 20s. Arnett suggests emerging adulthood is the distinct period between 18 and 25 years of age where adolescents become more independent and explore various life possibilities.