The Challenges of Emerging Adulthood
As many struggling twenty-somethings will tell you, freedom to explore has both advantages and costs. Emerging adults use mental health services at high rates than those older or younger than themselves. They have more mood disorders, greater anxiety, and higher rates of substance use.
Though many struggle to prepare themselves for gainful employment, it can be difficult for young adults to establish stable careers. The average emerging adult will experience eight job changes between 18 and 29 and experience at least that many changes of romantic partners. Change, for most, is stressful.
On the other hand, this is a decade characterized by optimism – change can also be change for the better. Emerging adults typically describe their future as one of possibilities and are optimistic about their long term success. One of the advantages having few ties is the freedom to explore. This decade is typically seen in which youth spend relatively less time helping others and more time focusing on themselves.
References:Arnett, J. J., Zukauskiene, R., & Sugimura, K. (2014). The new life stage of emerging adulthood at ages 18-29 years: implications for mental health. Lancet Psychiatry, 1(7), 569-576. doi:10.1016/s2215-0366(14)00080-7