Does emerging adulthood theory apply across social classes? National data on a persistent question
The theory of emerging adulthood has been criticized as not applying across social classes. This article presents data from a national survey of 18- to 25-year-olds in order to test this critique. There were consistencies across social classes in the five features proposed in the theory of emerging adulthood: positive and negative perceptions of the time period; views of education and work; and views of love, sex, and marriage. Important social class differences were found in rates of feeling depressed and access to financial support for education. It is concluded that there are many commonalities in the experience of emerging adulthood across social classes in the United States and that emerging adulthood and other life stages can be useful guides to understanding development, provided that they are understood to be grounded in a social, cultural, and historical context.
Arnett, Jeffrey Jensen, "Does emerging adulthood theory apply across social classes? National data on a persistent question" (2016). Psychology. 707.