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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.

The Oxford Handbook of Emerging Adulthood

(2015, Oxford University Press)

Dr. Arnett first proposed his theory of emerging adulthood in 2000, and the new academic field has since exploded with research and practical applications of findings. This handbook draws together for the first time the most important theoretical and research perspectives on this burgeoning field and is
part of the Oxford Library of Psychology Series.

In recent decades, the lives of people in their late teens and twenties have changed so dramatically that a new stage of life has developed. In an original paper published in 2000, Jeffrey Jensen Arnett identified this period, coining it "emerging adulthood," and he distinguished it from both the adolescence that precedes it and the young adulthood that comes in its wake. His new paradigm received a surge of scholarly attention after his first book on the topic launched the field, and both a flourishing society and journal developed to further expand this area of research. Studies and publications on emerging adulthood now abound, and the leading research has yet to be organized into a single handbook that covers the field. For more information, visit Oxford University Press' website.

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.



Life choices of emerging adults in India.  With Deeya Mitra. Download the article here.


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


Emerging adulthood(s): The cultural psychology of a new life stage. Download this chapter (pdf).


For articles before 2011, please visit here

For articles on emerging adulthood by other scholars, visit

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