When Are You Really An Adult? | The Atlantic

When Are You Really An Adult?; Julie Beck; In The Atlantic; 2016-01-05.
Teaser: In an age when the line between childhood and adulthood is blurrier than ever, what is it that makes people grown up?

tl;dr → 7000 words; it depends; ultimately <concept>when one is secure with ones self</concept>

Occasion

Recent book releases

Similar

  • What is it about 20-Somethings; Robin Marantz Henig; In The York Times (NYT), Magazine, 2010-08-18.
    Teaser: Why are so many people in their 20s taking so long to grow up?
    tl;dr → 8000 words, basically the same as this article, except done by someone else, and appearing in the NYT and executed five years ago.
    Mentions

Mentions

  • Failure to Launch
  • Steven Mintz
  • Kelly Williams Brown
    • age 31
    • bloggist
  • Generational Model
    • Millennial
    • Generation X
    • Baby Boomer
  • Social Constructions
    • Chlidhood
    • Adulthood
  • Noel Cameron
    • professor, human biology, Loughborough University, U.K.
    • quoted
  • Laurence Steinberg
  • James Griffin
    • deputy chief, Child Development and Behavior Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
    • is quoted on emotions
      <quote>the four Fs—fight, flight, feeding, and fuckfooling around.</quote>
  • Jeffrey Jensen Arnett
    • research professor, psychology, Clark University
    • Emerging Adulthood
      a new category, proposed & defended by him (see the book)
    • The Big Three, a framework
      1. taking responsibility for yourself
      2. making independent decisions
      3. becoming financially independent
  • James Côté
    • sociology
    • “The Dangerous Myth of Emerging Adulthood: An Evidence-Based Critique of a Flawed Developmental Theory”; In Applied Developmental Science; Volume 18, Issue 4; 2015; paywalled.
  • <quote>Of the Big Three, two are internal, subjective markers. You can measure financial independence, but are you otherwise independent and responsible? That’s something you have to decide for yourself. </quote>
  • Erik Erikson
    • psychologist, development
  • Anthony Burrow
    • assistant professor, human development, Cornell University
    • Rachel Sumner, Anthony L. Burrow, Patrick L. Hill; “Identity and Purpose as Predictors of Subjective Well-Being in Emerging Adulthood; In Emerging Adulthood; 2014-04-30, updated 2015-01-08; paywall.
  • <quote>In other words, the flailing isn’t fun, but it matters.</quote>
    • Four-box model (not shown)
    • Something about Taylor Swift, lyrics from “22.”
      <quote>We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time.</quote>
  • Robert Havighurst
    • education researcher
    • era “the 20th-century”
    • A Life Stage model, with tasks
      • Finding a mate
      • Learning to live with a partner
      • Starting a family
      • Raising children
      • Beginning an occupation
      • Running a home.
  • The “Leave it to Beaveradulthood”, branding due to the reporter, Julia Beck.
    • <quote?These are the things Millennials are all-too-often criticized for not doing and not valuing.</quote>
    • Something about how this was a brief golden age that came and went.
      • Wasn’t thus before.
      • Isn’t thus now.
      • It’s a fiction of the Baby Boomers.
  • <quote>When people who are in their 50s, 60s, 70s now look at today’s emerging adults, they compare them to the yardstick that applied when they were in their 20s, and find them wanting. But to me that’s, ironically, kind of narcissistic, frankly, because that’s one of the criticisms that’s been made of emerging adults, that they’re narcissistic, but to me it’s just the egocentricity of their elders.</quote>, attributed to Jeffrey Jensen Arnett.
  • Rachel Sumner
    • graduate student, Anthony Burrow
    • Rachel Sumner, Anthony L. Burrow, Patrick L. Hill; “Identity and Purpose as Predictors of Subjective Well-Being in Emerging Adulthood; In Emerging Adulthood; 2014-04-30, updated 2015-01-08; paywall.
  • Denoument, Counterpoint & Onward
    • Many ways to become an adult
      but then the category means nothing; this rebuttal is rebutted.
    • Adulthood is
      • independence, but loneliness,
      • Responsibility causes stress.
    • Chroniclers & fictionalists
      • Saul Bellow
      • Mary McCarthy
      • Philip Roth
      • John Updike
    • Avatars & Actrons
      • old Hollywood visions of adulthood
      • Cary Grant
      • Katherine Hepburn
    • <quote>We live in a youth culture that believes life goes downhill after 26 or so. When I argue that we need to reclaim adulthood, I don’t mean a 1950s version of early marriage and early entry into a career, What I do mean is it’s better to be knowing than unknowing. It’s better to be experienced than inexperienced. It’s better to be sophisticated than callow.</quote> attributed to Steven Mintz,
    • <quote>[Adulthood is] taking care of people, taking care of things, and taking care of yourself.</quote>, attributed to Kelly Williams Brown.

Definition

largely by discursion & negation, the “post-modern” explanation.

  • not physical maturation, that varies by age
  • not by education, which is demarked by age anyway.
  • not by cultural (religious) rites, in theory only.
  • many paths
  • Milestones & Experiences

Exemplar

  • Henry David Thoreau
    • Harvard (undergrad)
    • odd jobs
    • A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
      • age 31
  • Maria Eleusiniotis
    • testifies
  • Stephen Grapes
    • testifies
  • Anonymous
    • testifies
    • roles
      • OB/GYN
      • mom
  • Anonymous
    • testifies
    • role
      • then-intern
      • (now?) doctor
    • <concept>You become an adult when you are in charge, responsible, accountable.</quote>
    • <quote>The question of when a tree becomes a tree and no longer a sapling is obviously impossible to determine. Same with any slow and gradual process. All I can say is that the adult potential was there, ready to grow up and be responsible and accountable. I think personal industry, devotion to something bigger than oneself, part of a historical process, and peers who grow with you all play roles.Without focus, work, hardship, or a pathway with other humans, I can imagine someone still believing they are a child at 35-45: I meet them sometimes! And it is horrific.</quote>
  • Deb Bissen
    • testifies
    • a new mom
  • Anonymous
    • age 53
    • testifies
    • manages
      • her parent’s transition ot managed care via “micro betrayals” (white lies)
      • the parent’s subsequent death, 2013.
  • Anonymous
    • testifies
    • 1st-generation immigrant
    • milestones
      • age 27
      • married
      • living alone (with spouse?)
      • employed, as a manager, stable.
    • adulthood came too quickly
  • Anonymous
    • testifies
    • quibbles with the term ‘adult’ as being synonymous with “reserved” or “passionless.”
  • Anonymous
    • testifies
    • milestones
      • age 56
      • married
      • masters degree
      • stable job, apparently a teacher (has students).
      • has traveled
      • no children
    • charged with “You never really grew up, did you?”
    • rebuts
      • have experienced death
      • have made end-of-life decisions (of a pet)
      • takes care of elderly parents
      • care about retirement
      • grey hair
      • knees hurt

Previously

Referenced

  • Some Statistic, Bureau of the Census, United States
    evidence towards marriage age
  • Some Statistic, Bureau of the Census, United States.
    evidence towrds marriage age occurring later in life
  • The Case for Delayed Adulthood; Laurence Steinberg; In The New York Times (NYT); 2014-09-21.
    tl;dr → a book promotion
    Laurence Steinberg

  • Some Statistic, Department of Labor, United States.
    evidence for the statement: <quote>kids can hold a job as young as 14, depending on state restrictions</quote>
  • Some Statistic, Department of Labor, United States.
    evidence for the statement: <quote>[children can] deliver newspapers, babysit, or work for their parents even younger than that</quote>.
  • Some Statistic, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), United States.
    evidence for the statement: <quote>9 and 14 for boys, and still be considered “normal.”</quote>
  • Some Statistic, Department of Education?, United States; WHEN?
    evidence for the statement: <quote>by 1918, every state had compulsory [school] attendance laws.</quote>
  • Leo B. Hendry, Marion Kloep; “How universal is emerging adulthood? An empirical example”; In Journal of Youth Studies, Volume 13, Issue 2, 2010; paywalled.
  • James Côté; “The Dangerous Myth of Emerging Adulthood: An Evidence-Based Critique of a Flawed Developmental Theory”; In Applied Developmental Science; Volume 18, Issue 4; 2015; paywalled.
  • Rachel Sumner, Anthony L. Burrow, Patrick L. Hill; “Identity and Purpose as Predictors of Subjective Well-Being in Emerging Adulthood; In Emerging Adulthood; 2014-04-30, updated 2015-01-08; paywall.
  • Koen Luyckx, Luc Goossens, Bart Soenens, Wim Beyers; “Unpacking commitment and exploration: Preliminary validation of an integrative model of late adolescent identity formation”; In Journal of Adolescence; Volume 29, Issue 3; 2006-06; pages 361–378; paywall.
    tl;dr → something about forming an identity
  • Koen Luycks, Seth J. Schwartz, Luc Goossens, Sophie Pollock; “Employment, Sense of Coherence, and Identity Formation: Contextual and Psychological Processes on the Pathway to Sense of Adulthood”; In Journal of Adolescent Research; Vol. 23, No. 5; 2008-09; pages 566-591; paywall.
    tl;dr → something about how people who’ve committed to an identity are more likely to see themselves as adults.

Via: backfill.