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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a critical guide to understanding years 18 to 25
This book is a critical guide. It is useful for understanding the experiences, the challenges, and the potential of those who have left adolescence and have not yet entered adulthood.

I have read this book thoroughly and have recommended it to many. As a professor of psychology, I assigned this book to my students last semester. The reviews of the book were...
Published on January 17, 2005 by JLT

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3.0 out of 5 stars Helpful
This is a helpful study on modern young people in the unique challenges and opportunities they face within our culture and it's current economy.
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer


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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a critical guide to understanding years 18 to 25, January 17, 2005
By 
JLT (Boston, MA USA) - See all my reviews
This book is a critical guide. It is useful for understanding the experiences, the challenges, and the potential of those who have left adolescence and have not yet entered adulthood.

I have read this book thoroughly and have recommended it to many. As a professor of psychology, I assigned this book to my students last semester. The reviews of the book were unanimous-- Dr. Arnett 'has some how stepped inside my brain, experienced my 21-year-old life, and has written a book about exactly....me.'This book is not a self-help book, but instead provides emerging adults with research and information about development during these years. Students found the most helpful aspect of this book to be the way that Dr. Arnett has described emerging adulthood as a normative stage of development, rather than a cohort experience (think "Gen X") associated with low productivity and apathy.

Many students have told me that their Baby Boomer parents found this book most helpful in understanding what their emerging adult children were going through. Students also told me that they "made" their friends and boyfriends and girlfriends read the book and that it helped them to understand what they were all going through collectively.

If nothing else, this is a book that makes you think, encourages you talk, and really makes you want for more on this very interesting topic.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must" for parents, August 27, 2004
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I am the mother of two daughters, ages 22 and 17. I have always read parenting books in order to understand the stages of development my children were going through. But until Dr. Arnett's book came out, I knew of nothing to help me comprehend "emerging adulthood," a very confusing life stage I never experienced myself. (I knew exactly what I wanted to study when I started college, married at 21, and got a full-time job in my field immediately after graduation.) The attitudes of my older daughter and her friends often baffled me during her college years, and they continue to do so now that she has graduated. I was also surprised by the behavior I observed when visiting the university my younger daughter will be attending soon.

In general, I try not to be judgmental or to give my children advice unless they ask for it. This strategy has worked well in the past. But until I read Dr. Arnett's book, I found it increasingly difficult to "keep my mouth shut" as I listened to my daughters talk about their lives. Now that I have read "Emerging Adulthood," I have more of a grasp on where my children are psychologically. The book has given me the tools to be a better mother.

I think Dr. Arnett's work can be useful to emerging adults themselves by validating their own experiences. It can also be helpful to grandparents, who may find the behavior of their EA grandchildren incomprehensible.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very engaging and informative book, July 28, 2005
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GenMe (San Diego, California) - See all my reviews
The biggest surprise about Emerging Adulthood is that it wasn't published by a trade press -- it should have been. Although also chock full of great research, this is a very accessible and engaging read. The interviews with young people are suburb, as are the illustrations and the surveys on important issues. The "Twixter" phenomenon of young people taking longer to find their way has been around for awhile, and this is the first book to really capture it in all its facets. The chapter on religion alone is worth the price of the book -- it cuts through media hype about growing fundamentalism to show that actually, most young people aren't all that religious. Parents or teachers, buy this book if you want to understand your twentysomething kids. Twentysomethings, buy this book to see that you are not alone.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very interesting book, February 18, 2008
Ever wonder why there are so many young adults who have no idea where they're going and no idea what to do with their lives? Those aimless drifters you encounter all too often? This book tells you why this is so.

For me, the most interesting chapters are 6 & 7, the ones on the college experience and work experience. Here we find out how the current educational system is structured so as to NOT provide students with the help they need to find a suitable educational & career direction. I feel sorry for all those students who bob along like a cork in the ocean until, by sheer luck, they find their major. After graduation (or as Arnett points out, after flunking out or dropping out) they drift along some more and then eventually, 'fall' into the right job. Some never do any career exploration and never find their true calling. so sad. So much wasted time and so much wasted tuition money.

Where are the high schools in all this? Where are the guidance counselors trying to help students discover their strengths/weaknesses and find a suitable job orientation? Nowhere, that's where.

Overall, book is very good at showing the negative aspects of too much choice and too much freedom.

I will have to deduct one star for Arnett's discussion of the causes of the 'emerging adult' phenomenon. In chapter one he incorrectly ascribes it to a rise in the median age of marriage & parenthood, amongst other factors. The increasing age of marriage is a SYMPTOM not a cause. The rise of emerging adulthood has to be due to the structural change in the U.S. economy over the past 50-60 years. He does, correctly, mention the other main driver: the birth control pill & sexual revolution and changing role of women in U.S. society.

He covers the labor market change on pages 144-5 but, again, puts the cart before the horse when he writes "The rise of emerging adulthood has changed the nature of work for young people in their late teens and early twenties." No No No. This sentence should read "The changing nature of work has given rise to emerging adulthood for young people in their late teens and early twenties." He notes that those with a high school education have seen their real wages decline steeply from the early 1970s to the late 1990s. If he were to graph this and compare to his figure 1.1 (median US marriage age from 1950 to 2000) emerging adulthood can easily be explained - people are delaying marriage because in order to have a decent paying job they need more education than in the past. Marriage/parenthood and a post-secondary education are very difficult to combine as noted on p.154.

Jan. 2011 update to this review: Another similar book entitled "Not Quite Adults: Why 20-Somethings Are Choosing a Slower Path to Adulthood, and Why It's Good for Everyone" by Richard Settersten & Barbara E. Ray has just been published.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reading for self-reflection, December 30, 2013
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As a person in their mid-20's, I really enjoyed reading this book. Often times, I'll ask myself "am I the only one thinking... [insert question!]". This book confirmed that a lot of my questions are universal in my age group. Some of the interviews and professional opinions were very interesting and invoked a lot of self-reflection on my end. Although the book begins with the late-teen years, I would hold off on reading it until you reach your early- to mid-20s.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Helpful, July 7, 2013
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This is a helpful study on modern young people in the unique challenges and opportunities they face within our culture and it's current economy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, September 27, 2014
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The book is in amazing condition!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Standard, December 12, 2011
I've read a lot about emerging adulthood over the past few years. I am a college administrator and my masters level work was in studying the transition from college to "adulthood" and the years after College. Arnett is THE authority on the subject and this is the best book I've found on the subject. This is the first place you should go to for information.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, November 25, 2014
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A reassuring book for 20 somethings, April 9, 2011
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This is the classic book on the subject, and for good reason. The author has done his research -- he is the defining figure on the subject -- and his insights and findings prove pretty accurate. As the typical, upper-middle class 20 something, it is valuable to read about the 20 something experience from multiple perspectives and backgrounds, including race, income, education. The reader will realize that despite society's tendency to segment the population into these stereotypical buckets, at the end of the day, we 20 somethings are all undergoing the same themes and challenges, at different paces and places moving toward our 30s and beyond. Strongly recommended.
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