Freaky Finding Friday: Emerging adulthood?

Add "emerging adulthood" to your concept of human development. Put down the basket of dirty laundry that I can only hope does not belong to your twenty-something living in the basement and try to think back to Psycholgy 101. Remember the theories explaining how humans develop from helpless infants to empty nesters with kids who come to visit then leave? Yep you're going to have to revise the faded memories to take into account the still helpless twenty-something in the basement. It's official because as of last March, the new stage has it's own journal, Emerging Adulthood. The reality show is scheduled to be...oh wait, it's here already.

Somehow Erik Erikson, Jean Piaget and Sigmund Freud, the granddaddies of human development didn't forsee the stage between high school graduation and living in a third-floor 1BR apartment without a washer/dryer, free Wifi or EIK. It's unfortunate because I would have luved to hear their comments about our kiddie-adult hybrids who readily commit to piercings and body ink but not traditonal markers of maturity.

Some researchers believe a significant portion of twenty-somethings are stuck between adolescence and adulthood. True there are some exceptions like this very considerate man-child. Of course it's also possible adults might be getting carried away with all this talk and study of emerging adulthood, aka extended adolescence, aka The Boomerang Generation, the latter causing me some concern a while back at Psychology Today.

For those of you already well-versed in the phenomenon, take heart, you are not alone, even noted New York Times columnists feel the pain. Over 400 parents feel the pain and commented on Charles Blow's parenting article. For those not there yet, well, fingers crossed it won't be a recognized psychiatric disorder in a decade and thus reason to make you feel even more ambivalence or guilt about shoving your son or daughter out of the nest.

You can even get your own annual subscription to Emerging Adulthood for a mere $129.00. I'd hate for you to miss potentially life-changing articles such as  Late Nest Leaving in PortugalIts Effects on Individuation and Parent–Child Relationships.

Evidently our European neigbhors can't pin this one on us. 


Awesome Mom said...

Wow just wow. I pray that my kids do figure this one out and decide to milk it.

Polly Palumbo, Ph.D. said...

Awesome, so you don't want them to leave?

I have a couple kids who still don't like to go on playdates (at what age do we stop using that term?). I suspect I'll be pushing them out of the house someday. The other kid is counting the years until she can get her driver's license, own car, apartment and dog. Which means I'll probably have all three of them plus a dog living with hubby and me.

Barbara TherExtras said...

Your back!

Wish I could say something to succinctly expand on this post...bringing a child who does not naturally create their own independence requires special effort, I think. For the child who seems to want it, withdraw funding anything, on a plan.

Best I can do today.

Polly Palumbo, Ph.D. said...

Barbara, so good to "see" you! I know, it's a huge topic, right?

"...a child who does not naturally create their own independence requires special effort."

Love that. Think I know some of those kids. In fact I'll be exerting some special effort in about three minutes here.