Published Papers - Abstract 217

Lee C & Gramotnev H. Emerging adulthood and lifestyle diversity among young Australian women: Will they ever grow up? Journal of Research on Adolescence, ; :

Emerging adulthood has been identified as a flexible period of time between adolescence and “full” adulthood in Western cultures, characterized by change and diversity in the assumption of adult roles. This paper builds on previous work with the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women’s Health to examine role transitions and combinations among 7790 women, who completed surveys three years apart when aged 22-27, and 25-30, respectively. Transitions in residential status, marital status, employment status and motherhood status demonstrate a high level of change and diversity. While the majority have moved away from home and into the workforce by their late twenties, most have yet to form permanent relationships, or become parents. No single combination of statuses can be considered normative, with no combination accounting for more than 16% of respondents. These findings support research showing that emerging adulthood is extending, and raise the question of whether it is a transitional stage, or whether instability and change may have become a characteristic of normal adult life.