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Dr. Arnett’s main area of scholarship is emerging adulthood, the age period from the late teens to the mid-twenties. Dr. Arnett coined the term and presented a theory of emerging adulthood in a widely-cited article in American Psychologist in 2000. According to Dr. Arnett, in the past half century what most people experience during the years from age 18 to 29 has changed dramatically in industrialized societies. Instead of entering marriage and parenthood in their very early twenties, most people now postpone these transitions until at least their late twenties, and spend their late teens through their mid-twenties in self-focused exploration as they try out different possibilities in love and work. Essentially, a new developmental stage has been created between adolescence and young adulthood. Scholarly attention to this period has boomed in recent years, and it is now widely referred to among scholars as emerging adulthood.

Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens  Through the Twenties (2nd Edition)
(2014, Oxford University Press)

On the 10th Anniversary of the publication of his groundbreaking work, the second edition of Emerging Adulthood fully updates and expands Arnett's findings and includes brand new chapters on media use, social class issues, and the distinctive problems of this life stage. Read more about this title. Download the Preface to the Second Edition and Chapter 1.

When Will My Grown-Up Kid Grow Up? Loving and Understanding Your Emerging Adult with Elizabeth Fishel
(2013, Workman Publishing)

I do a lot of public speaking, and I have often had parents approach me after my talk and thank me... Read more about this title. Download the Intro and Chapter 1.

Emerging Adults in America: Coming of Age in the 21st Century
edited by Jeffrey Jensen Arnett and Jennifer Lynn Tanner
(2005, American Psychological Association Press)

This book resulted from the 1st Conference on Emerging Adulthood held at Harvard University in November, 2003. Twelve scholars contributed chapters on a wide range of topics, from cognitive development to mental health to sexuality to media use, and more. All were asked to summarize what is known and to present theoretical ideas about what a paradigm of emerging adulthood might look like with respect to their area. The result is a rich panorama of perspectives on emerging adulthood, covering a wide range of topics.

The psychology of emerging adulthood: What is known, and what remains to be known?  Download this chapter (pdf).

Emerging adulthood: Understanding the new way of coming of age.  Download this chapter (pdf).



Stuck on yourself: Are millennials really more individualistic? Article by Stephanie Kramer in Brain World Magazine, featuring Jeffrey Arnett.  Download this article here (pdf).


Happily stressed: The complexity of well-being in midlife. Journal of Adult Development. Download the chapter here (pdf).

Getting better all the time: Trends in risk behavior among American adolescents since 1990. American Psychological Association. Download the chapter here (pdf).

Are the features of emerging adulthood developmentally distinctive? A comparison of ages 18-60 in the United States. Sage Publishing. Deeya Mitra and Jeffrey J. Arnett, authors. Download the chapter here (pdf).


Life stage concepts across history and cultures: Proposal for a new field on indigenous life stages. Human Development.  Download this chapter here (pdf).


Emerging adulthood and social class: Rejoinder to Furstenburg, Silva, and du Bois-Reymond. Download this article here (pdf).

Does emerging adulthood theory apply across social classes? National data on a persistent question. Download this article here (pdf).

There's more between heaven and earth": Danish emerging adults' religious beliefs and values. With Lene Arnett Jensen. Download this article here (pdf).

Brief report: Danish emerging adults' conceptions of adulthood. With Laura M. Padilla-Walker. Download this article here (pdf).


The new life stage of emerging adulthood: An international perspective. With R. Žukauskienė and K. Sugimura. Download this article here (pdf).

The emergence of emerging adulthood: A personal history. Emerging Adulthood. Download this article here (pdf).

Conceptions of adulthood among migrant women workers in China. (With J. Zhong). Download this article here (pdf).


Confessions of a heretic: My unlikely career as a so-called psychologist. (Brooks-Gunn, J., Lerner, R.M., Petersen, A.C., & Silbereisen, R.K., Editors). Download this chapter here (pdf).

The Evidence for Generation We and Against Generation Me. Download this article here (pdf).

The Dangers of Generational Myth-making : Rejoinder to Twenge. With K. Trzesniewski, &  B. Donnellan.  Download this article here (pdf).


New Horizons in Emerging and Young Adulthood: New York: Springer. (A. Booth & N. Crouter, Editors). Download this chapter (pdf).


Bridging cultural and developmental psychology: New syntheses in theory, research, and policy. (L. A. Jensen, Editor). Download this chapter (pdf).


For articles before 2011, please visit here

For articles on emerging adulthood by other scholars, visit

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