Emerging Adulthood: A College Student, Middle Class Perk?
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research
Arnett (2000) postulated that, in industrialized nations, many people between 18 and 29 experience the stage of emerging adulthood (EA). Researchers including Arnett have suggested that EA might be limited to individuals of certain education and income levels. We investigated how income and education influence EA traits. Participants completed the Inventory of the Dimensions of Emerging Adulthood (IDEA) to measure the extent to which they exhibited EA traits. The IDEA and demographic survey were distributed through our university’s general psychology subject pool and social media. Results from the study indicated that participants with more education exhibited more EA traits, F(6, 346) = 6.94, p < .001, partial R2 = .11. Furthermore, there was a significant interaction between family and/or personal income and EA traits, F(42, 303) = 2.03, p = .006, partial R2 = .11. Participants who reported lower personal incomes expressed more EA traits. Likewise, participants who grew up in families that earned around $75,000 exhibited more EA traits compared to families with lower or higher income levels. The results suggested that emerging adulthood is experienced by individuals with more education and a middle class financial background.
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Smith, Rebecca L., Ann M. Carroll, Kathryn T. Callaghan, Mara A. Rowcliffe, Molly A. Sullivan, and Debra C. Steckler. “Emerging Adulthood: A College Student, Middle Class Perk?” Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research 20, no. 2 (2015): 80–85. https://doi.org/10.24839/2164-8204.JN20.2.80.