Emerging adulthood

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Who are Emerging Adults? Those 18-30s who are in limbo between adult responsibility and autonomy and parental dependency. Have a job but still get $ from parents. Unemployed after college and still living with parents but “trying to find their calling”. Working a temporary job while they “figure it out”.

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Emerging adulthood

  1. 1. EMERGING ADULTHOOD A NEW LIFE STAGE FOR FIRST WORLD BRANDSFriday, February 3, 12
  2. 2. NEW LIFESTAGE DISCOVERED: EMERGING ADULTS Defined by Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, psychology professor at Clark University in the 2000s Age: 18-30 Young Adults who are in limbo between adult responsibility and autonomy and parental dependency -- Have a job but still get $ from parents -- Unemployed after college and still living with parents but “trying to find their calling” -- Working a temporary job while they “figure it out”(“WHAT IS IT ABOUT 20-SOMETHINGS?” NYT 2010)Friday, February 3, 12
  3. 3. THE IDEA HAS BEEN GAINING TRACTION 2005 2010Friday, February 3, 12
  4. 4. WHAT DO WE CALL THEM? GENERATION D YOUNG ADULTS GENERATION NEXT THE THUMB GENERATION THE FIRST TWIXTERS GENERATION Y NEXTERS AND NESTERS DIGITALS YOUTHHOOD MILLENNIALS THRESHOLDERS ADULTESCENCE THE DOTCOMS 20SOMETHINGS THE ECHO-BOOMERS KIDULTS SOCIAL MEDIA GENERATION FLEDGLINGS BOOMERANG KIDS THE NET GENERATION THE DIGITAL GENERATIONFriday, February 3, 12
  5. 5. WH0 DECIDES WHEN AN ADULT IS AN ADULT? brain considered mature by NIMH vote median age of marriage rent a car last years to be on parents’ health insurance drink legally 18 21 25 26 28 30 34(“WHAT IS IT ABOUT 20-SOMETHINGS?” NYT 2010)Friday, February 3, 12
  6. 6. HOW DO WE DEFINE THIS PHASE OF LIFE? YOUNG ADULT YOUTH EMERGING ADULT Defined in the 1950s Defined in the late 1960s Defined in the 2000s Age: 20-40 Age: Post-Adolescent Age: 18-30 A stage of human Characterized by pervasive Young Adults who are in ambivalence toward self and development, faced with the society, and enormous value limbo between adult hurdle of intimacy vs. placed on change, transformation, responsibility & autonomy and isolation and movement parental dependency(“WHAT IS IT ABOUT 20-SOMETHINGS?” NYT 2010)Friday, February 3, 12
  7. 7. SCIENCE SUPPORTS “EMERGING ADULTHOOD” DEFINITION The brain keeps changing up until 25 From 18 to 25 the most significant changes happen in the prefrontal cortex (emotional control) and cerebellum (higher order cognitive function) The weighing of the future keeps changing into the 20s and 30s “The prefrontal part is the part that allows you to... answer the question ‘What am I going to do with my life?’” Jay Giedd, Director of NIMH study(“WHAT IS IT ABOUT 20-SOMETHINGS?” NYT 2010)Friday, February 3, 12
  8. 8. WHY SHOULD MARKETERS CARE? DECISIONS AND ACTIONS DURING THIS TIME HAVE LASTING RAMIFICATIONS Most people are accumulating formal education, meeting future spouses, making friends they will keep, and starting on careers that will last during this time Adventures, experiments, travels, relationships are embarked on with an abandon that will not happen again tio n enters their On ce this genera st b e in the highe 30s, they will index categor y g cons umer spendin e 55) (+270 until agSource?Friday, February 3, 12
  9. 9. EMERGING ADULT PSYCHOLOGICAL PROFILE CHARACTERIZED BY self-focus identity exploration a sense of possibilities feeling in-between instability the “age 30 deadline” ambivalence(“WHAT IS IT ABOUT 20-SOMETHINGS?” NYT 2010)Friday, February 3, 12
  10. 10. SELF-FOCUS The task of “finding yourself” while struggling against someone else’s idea of who you should be requires some focus College students today are 40% less empathetic than those of 30 years ago, with the numbers plunging primarily after 2000 (NYT, 6/10)Friday, February 3, 12
  11. 11. IDENTITY EXPLORATION The curiosity and desire for self- expression that are part of growing up are especially strong in this generation (Roper, 2009) Identity issues arise in young people’s answers to many different questions, suggesting that these issues are so prominent that they pervade many areas of life (Arnett, 2006)Friday, February 3, 12
  12. 12. A SENSE OF POSSIBILITIES They have not yet tempered their idealistic visions of what awaits 42% say chances are very good they will achieve “the good life” (Roper, 2009)Friday, February 3, 12
  13. 13. FEELING IN-BETWEEN 60% say they feel like both grown- ups and not-quite-grown-ups at the same time(“WHAT IS IT ABOUT 20-SOMETHINGS?” NYT 2010)Friday, February 3, 12
  14. 14. INSTABILITY Instability is the hallmark of Emerging Adults’ school and work life “Across the country, the American Dream seems increasingly out of reach. But nowhere is it in greater danger than among today’s unemployed young people, who threaten to become a lost generation” (Huffington Post, 9/24)Friday, February 3, 12
  15. 15. THE AGE 30 DEADLINE “This isn’t your mother’s 30. Buffet-of-life choices come with the pressure to not only have it all, but to make it perfect.In addition to the pressure for perfection, today, we also have the added anxiety of living our lives more publicly than ever before.” “People have two primary questions as they near 30: Is this what it feels like to be an adult? And am I normal?”(“20-somethings -- get ready for a ‘Thrisis’” CNN 11/9/10Friday, February 3, 12
  16. 16. AMBIVALENCE They are less certain of the future, yet also more optimistic 96% say they are very sure that someday they will get to where they want to be in life But there is also a distinct sense of dread, frustration, uncertainty, and not quite knowing the rules of the game(“WHAT IS IT ABOUT 20-SOMETHINGS?” NYT 2010)Friday, February 3, 12
  17. 17. NEW INSIGHTS AND EMOTIONS FOR BRANDS TO CONSIDER { Excitement vs. Uncertainty } { Wide open possibility vs. Confusion } { New Freedom vs. New Fears }Friday, February 3, 12
  18. 18. EXCITEMENT VS. UNCERTAINTY { trying new things } { am i taking the right path? } { will i succeed? } { starting something new }Friday, February 3, 12
  19. 19. WIDE OPEN POSSIBILITY VS. CONFUSION { not held back by what’s socially acceptable } { what do i want to do? } going to scho { getting a job, star ting an ol, } { how can i do it? } adventureFriday, February 3, 12
  20. 20. NEW FREEDOM VS. NEW FEARS { no one is telling me what i have to do } { am i makin g the right choic es? } { will they have negative consequences? }Friday, February 3, 12
  21. 21. RESTLESSNESS AND MOBILITY They go through an average of 7 jobs in their 20s more job changes than in any other stretch 1/3 of people in their 20s move to a new residence every year(“WHAT IS IT ABOUT 20-SOMETHINGS?” NYT 2010)Friday, February 3, 12
  22. 22. OPPRESSIVE IDEAS OF SUCCESS “It’s somewhat terrifying to think about all the things I’m TO DO! supposed to be doing in order to ‘get somewhere’ successful. When is there time to just be and enjoy?” Volunteer Live your dreams Take risks Think about or go to grad school Fall in love Be financially responsible Network with Find mentors the right people Follow your Work passions Maintain personal well-being, mental health, and nutrition “There is pressure to make decisions that will form the foundation for the rest of your life in your 20s. It’s almost as if having a range of limited options would be easier.”(“WHAT IS IT ABOUT 20-SOMETHINGS?” NYT 2010)Friday, February 3, 12
  23. 23. DID WE MISDIAGNOSE GENERATION X?Friday, February 3, 12
  24. 24. NEW TIMETABLE OF EXPECTATIONS Early 20s Late 20s 30s THEIR PARENTS EMERGING ADULTS(“WHAT IS IT ABOUT 20-SOMETHINGS?” NYT 2010)Friday, February 3, 12
  25. 25. COMMITMENT COMING LATER AND LATER 2/3 spend at least some time living with a romantic partner without being married SHIFT IN MARRIAGE AGE 1970s: 21 for women and 23 for men 2009: 26 for women and 28 for men Anthropologically speaking cultures all over the world have shared a common belief that marriage marks not only the life-long joining of two people in a partnership,(“WHAT IS IT ABOUT 20-SOMETHINGS?” NYT 2010) but also the attainment of full adult statusFriday, February 3, 12
  26. 26. 5 TRADITIONAL MILESTONES OF ADULTHOOD 1 Complete School 2 Leave Home 3 Financial Independence Have a Baby 5 Get Married 4Friday, February 3, 12
  27. 27. FEWER HITTING ALL 5 “TRADITIONAL” MILESTONES 65% of men hit all 5 in 1960 33% of men hit all 5 in 2000 77% of women hit all 5 in 1960 <50% of women hit all 5 in 2000(“WHAT IS IT ABOUT 20-SOMETHINGS?” NYT 2010)Friday, February 3, 12
  28. 28. WHAT MAKES “ME” AN ADULT? TOP 4 Accept responsibility for the Decide on personal beliefs and values TONES MILES 20- consequences of my actions independently of parents or other influences to according s so mething Become less self-oriented, develop Financially independent from parents greater consideration for others(“Emerging Adulthood,” Jeffrey Jensen Arnett)Friday, February 3, 12
  29. 29. ONE THEORY: BOOMERS WON’T GROW UP, SO NO ONE ELSE CAN “ Aging in America is like LaGuardia on a Monday morning. A long line of traffic and no one can take off!! The Boomers have the departures ” blocked for the younger generations. (Marian Salzman, Futurist)Friday, February 3, 12
  30. 30. FAILURE TO LAUNCH Boomers not wanting Young Adults to let go not ready to grow up Helicopter parents problem solve for children long past 40% when children should be problem solving for themselves move back home Parents regret having jumped with their parents into marriage or career, so at least once they push their children to make more considered choices(“WHAT IS IT ABOUT 20-SOMETHINGS?” NYT 2010)Friday, February 3, 12
  31. 31. BOOMERS HOLD ON EMOTIONALLY Helicopter parents need their center of gravity Parents’ sense of well-being depends largely on how close they are to their grown children and how their children are faring -- Karen Fingerman, Developmental Psychologist, Purdue University MORE SUPPORTIVE THAN EVER { 86% month had provided advice in the previous Less than half had done so in 1988 { { 2 in 3 had given their son or daughter practical assistance in the previous month 1 in 3 had in 1988 {(“WHAT IS IT ABOUT 20-SOMETHINGS?” NYT 2010)Friday, February 3, 12
  32. 32. BOOMERS HOLD ON FINANCIALLY American parents give an average of 10% of their income to their 18-21 year--old children This percentage is basically the same no matter the family’s total income, meaning that upper-class kids tend to get more than working-class ones(“WHAT IS IT ABOUT 20-SOMETHINGS?” NYT 2010)Friday, February 3, 12
  33. 33. IS THIS TEMPORARY OR A PERMANENT CHANGE? CULTURAL, LEGITIMATE NEW ECONOMIC vs. LIFE STAGE THAT IS FORCES UNIVERSALFriday, February 3, 12
  34. 34. SOCIO-ECONOMIC FORCES CREATED ADOLESCENCE Adolescence was made in America Created by psychologist G. Stanley Hall in 1904 With the passage of child labor laws, children under 16 were forced to stay in secondary school, prolonging the period of dependence And now it’s global This distinct stage is characterized by emotional upheaval (storm and stress) and a curve of dependency that starts at age 11 and wanes over time(“WHAT IS IT ABOUT 20-SOMETHINGS?” NYT 2010)Friday, February 3, 12
  35. 35. SOCIO-ECONOMIC FORCES ARE CREATING “EMERGING ADULTS” The need for more education to survive in an information-based economy Fewer entry-level jobs even after all that schooling Less rush to marry because of general acceptance of premarital sex, cohabitation, and birth control Women can delay pregnancy beyond their most fertile years due to wide range of career options and access to reproductive technologyFriday, February 3, 12
  36. 36. A FIRST WORLD SELF-ACTUALIZATION PHENOMENON? Emerging Adults are at liberty to pursue more elevated goals since their basic needs of food, shelter and sex Self- are being met actualization Esteem Love/Belonging Safety So urc e: M as Physiological lowFriday, February 3, 12
  37. 37. WILL EMERGING ADULTHOOD GO GLOBAL? WILL IT BE AN EXPORT ECONOMY FOR THE FIRST WORLD? First World Young people are allowed to forestall adult obligations without fear of public censure - so the rate of societal maturation can finally fall into better sync with the maturation of the brain “It is a double-edged sword, because on the one hand I am so blessed with my experience and endless options, but on the other hand, I still feel like a child.” “Walking home, in the shoes my father bought me, I still feel I have yet to grow up.” Industrial and Developing World More often, people are forced to adopt adult responsibilities early, whether or not their brains are ready. Is this changing?(“WHAT IS IT ABOUT 20-SOMETHINGS?” NYT 2010)Friday, February 3, 12
  38. 38. APPENDIXFriday, February 3, 12
  39. 39. YOUNG ADULTS Defined by Erik Erikson in 1950 as a stage of human development in Childhood and Society Age: 20-40 The primary conflict is intimacy vs. isolation During this stage, Young Adults decide whether to commit to a lifelong intimate relationship and choose the person to commit toFriday, February 3, 12
  40. 40. YOUTH Defined by Yale psychologist Kenneth Keniston in the late 1960s Age: Post-Adolescent Post-adolescents who have not settled questions whose answers once defined adulthood: questions of relationship to the existing society, vocation, social role and lifestyle. Characterized by pervasive ambivalence toward self and society, and enormous value placed on change, transformation, and movementFriday, February 3, 12

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