College students as emerging adults: The developmental implications of the college context
In this commentary to the special issue of Emerging Adulthood edited by Reifman and Grahe, I seek to provide a broader developmental context for the studies. I begin by describing the rise in college participation over the past century, noting that even now only about 20% attend 4-year residential colleges and universities. Then, I describe some of the distinctive characteristics of these students, such as that they tend to be from higher socioeconomic status families and they are disproportionately White and female (which is true of the present student samples as well). I apply this lens briefly to the articles in the special issue, noting some of the ways the college context is important for interpreting the results. Finally, I discuss some possible future directions for this line of research, for example, in comparisons of students such as these to noncollege samples and in cross-national comparisons.
Arnett, Jeffrey Jensen, "College students as emerging adults: The developmental implications of the college context" (2016). Psychology. 708.