From Publishers Weekly
Settersten, a professor of human development and family sciences at Oregon State University, and Ray, communications director of the Network on Transitions to Adulthood, funnel the findings of the eight-year MacArthur Research Network's study of 20-somethings into a portrait of a generation. Drawing on more than 500 interviews and foraying into their subjects' debts, regrets, and ambitions, the authors reveal that the cohort is making a slower transition to adulthood--they are slower to leave the nest, slower to find a full-time job, slower to marry and have children--but that their choices are hardly regressions; they are often necessary adaptations to a world vastly different from their parents'. "Slaying misperceptions," the authors show that young people are some of the most debtphobic individuals in the country, that they are delaying--not abandoning--marriage, that friends play larger and more influential roles in their lives and assist with "critical life decisions," and that they continue to regard having children as meaningful, "even salvation." Aside from enjoying a panoramic perspective on one generation, readers will be able to glean tips on everything from dating to parenting from this admirably lucid and fair-minded study that, in describing what is happening, reveals what is working. (Dec.) (c)
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“There are three huge strengths that set this book apart from anything else available on the transition to adulthood. First, it is written in a lively and jargon-free style by two rare social scientists who are familiar with the English language. Second, its scope is stunning, including challenges to becoming an adult created by dramatic changes in education, relations between young adults and parents, marriage and its precursors, civic life, and the world of work. Third, the tone is relentlessly upbeat about the advantages these changes are opening up for young people. This book proves that it is possible to write an interesting book about a big social problem that reflects research knowledge while nonetheless being accessible to the American public.” –Ron Haskins, co-director of the Brookings Institution’s Center on Children and Families
“Based on interviews with 500 young adults and extensive research, this outstanding book offers a fresh and compelling view of why it is taking this generation longer to make career and family decisions. The message here is about the value of “slowing down,” and it makes sense not just for young adults, but also for their parents and educators, who are “fast tracking children” into a lengthy period of being nearly, but not quite, adults. Learn about today’s young adults, why they are making the life choices they are, and why we should feel good about it.” –Barbara Schneider, author of the Ambitious Generation
, John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University
"Not Quite Adults
is perhaps the most important contribution to date about the strange new life of America's twentysomethings. Settersten and Ray are able to combine a deep grasp of the research with common sense advice for "not quite adults" and their parents. The slower path to adulthood is here to stay; thanks to the authors, we are n...