1st Edition

Journeys through Emerging Adulthood An Introduction to Development from Ages 18-30 Around the World

By Alan Reifman Copyright 2023
    232 Pages 11 Color & 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    232 Pages 11 Color & 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    232 Pages 11 Color & 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Journeys through Emerging Adulthood takes the reader on a tour of contemporary transitions to adulthood, reporting on the latest cross-national and cross-cultural research into young adulthood and separating fact from fiction about this important life phase. Alan Reifman shows how today’s youth are taking more time to enter traditional adult roles, and explores the benefits and disadvantages of this gradual emergence into adulthood.

    This essential textbook navigates the research that reveals the substantial variety in young people’s paths to adulthood. It covers the spectrum of the young adult experience, examining the influence that parents have on their grown children’s progress and identity as adults, and considering the impact of traditional milestones such as higher education, establishing a career, forming romantic relationships and becoming a parent. It examines key topics including mental health in emerging adults and the likelihood of substance abuse, and how young adults might reach out into the community through volunteerism, religious involvement and political activism. Each section includes examples and studies conducted in a range of countries, exploring how the journey to adulthood can vary according to cultural context as well as individual circumstance. The book affirms that while there is great variety in how one transitions to adulthood, there is no correct path, and most people fare well – or even thrive – in adulthood.

    Featuring end-of-chapter summaries, quizzes and activities, Journeys Through Emerging Adulthood provides an accessible yet comprehensive overview of this significant life stage, connecting fundamental psychological theories with modern social phenomena. Reifman’s text is essential reading for both undergraduate and graduate students of psychology, human development and sociology, as well as students and researchers of any discipline interested in the path to adulthood.


    1. Introduction 

    2. Cultural and Demographic Variation 


    3. Relations with Parents, "Boomerang Kids," and "Helicopter Parents" 

    4. Identity 

    5. Brain, Decision-Making & Risk-Taking


    6. Education in Young Adulthood 

    7. Careers, Occupations, and Finances 

    8. Romantic Relationships 

    9. Becoming a Parent


    10. Mental Health & Substance Use 

    11. Engagement with Broader Society 

    12. Government Policies to Regulate and Assist Emerging Adults 

    13. Conclusion


    Alan Reifman is a Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences at Texas Tech University, USA. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and was inducted into Texas Tech’s Teaching Academy in 2008, reflecting his skill and commitment in the classroom.

    "Alan Reifman’s book is comprehensive, easy to read, and covers almost all the domains one would need to know about to understand emerging adulthood. The breadth of this work is outstanding. This book is a must-read for parents, educators, policy makers, and emerging adults themselves."

    Seth J. Schwartz Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

    "In this book, Dr. Reifman takes us on a journey through emerging adulthood – the developmental processes, cultural variations, and multiple domains of the lives of emerging adults. The book captures the key aspects of the fast-growing research in emerging adulthood in recent decades. As a long-time researcher in emerging adulthood, Dr. Reifman masterfully translates research into this easy-and-fun-to-read book to a broader audience."

    Ming Cui Ph.D., Florida State University