Who or What is a Young Adult


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Discusses the definitions and characteristics of the age group (12-18) that librarians call young adults.

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Who or What is a Young Adult

  1. 1. LIB 617 Research in Young Adult Literature Fall 2014 Who or What is a Young Adult?
  2. 2. 2 That Depends! • "Young adult" is a euphemism for an adolescent. The usage was introduced in the late 20th century / early 21st century due to a growing reluctance on the part of some people to refer to this age group as children, or even by older terms for the intermediate period between adulthood and such as adolescent, youth or teenager. • Older Wikipedia entry “Young Adult” Now changed—see slide 2!
  3. 3. 3 Wikipedia disambiguation page for “Young Adult” Young adult may refer to: • Young adult (psychology) • Young-adult fiction, works targeted at ages 14 to 21 • Young Adult (film), a 2011 film • Youth – Wikipedia entry “Young Adult”
  4. 4. 4 Who are young adults, then? • The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) defines them as individuals between the ages of 12 and 18.1 – 1. Young Adult Library Services Association. Directions for Library Service to Young Adults. 2nd ed. ALA, 1993. • No Limits: READ! Young Adult Reading Club and Programming Manual Introduction
  5. 5. 5 Isn’t that adolescence? • Adolescence is one of the most fascinating and complex transitions in the life span: a time of accelerated growth and change second only to infancy; a time of expanding horizons, self-discovery, and emerging independence; a time of metamorphosis from childhood to adulthood. . . . The events of this crucially formative phase can shape an individual’s life course and thus the future of the whole society. – Great Transitions: Preparing Adolescents for A New Century: Introduction
  6. 6. 6 Who are our adolescents? • Generation Y – a cohort of individuals characterized as Generation X on steroids. – Generation Y includes those born between the second half of the 1970s and the first half of the 1990s, although some experts believe these dates to be debatable. Several other terms for this group have been tossed around, including Echo Boomers, Millenium Generation, iGeneration, Einstein Generation and Google Generation. • Understanding Generation Y by Sophia Yan
  7. 7. 7 Or maybe they’re Generation Z? • The earliest children of Generation Z are those born in and after 1990 and are often the children of generation X. They are unique as they have grown up with the internet. This generation is very networked with social networks and many means of communication and means of entertainment at their finger tips such as Cell Phones, iPod, Facebook, YouTube and IM. Digital networking and sharing is common and many have not known a time without the internet and are often referred to as digital natives. – by xSpartan117x Jan 7, 2010 – Urban Dictionary Generation Z (definition 2)
  8. 8. 8 AKA “Millennials” • Born between 1982 and 2000, the millennials are described as the hard-driving, heavily scheduled children of so-called “helicopter” parents, who have a tendency to hover. The millennials have been characterized as . . . “More Confident, Assertive, Entitled — and More Miserable Than Ever Before” (in the subtitle of the recent book Generation Me by San Diego State University associate professor of psychology Jean M. Twenge). – The Millennials: Always On by Anne Taubeneck
  9. 9. 9 What about them? • They’re a group of fast-paced, multi-taskers walking around with camera phones and iPod headphones in their ears. The minute they walk in the door, they open their laptops and hop on MySpace while watching a reality TV show, instant messaging friends and doing homework all at the same time. – My Generation: Is Life a cake walk for Millenials by Allison Casassa » OCTOBER 25, 2005 03:34 PM
  10. 10. 10 Now they’re talking Generation M2 ! Published online: 26 Jan 2013
  11. 11. 11 Some statistics • By only their seventh birthday, most children in the United States will have talked on a cell phone, played a computer game and mastered a TV-on-demand device like TiVo, much to the amazement of technically challenged parents. By 13, researchers say, the same children will have gone through several software editions of instant messaging, frequented online chat rooms and downloaded their first illegal song from BitTorrent. – The 'millennials' usher in a new era – By Stefanie Olsen Staff Writer, CNET News.com November 18, 2005 4:00 AM PT
  12. 12. 12 Characteristics of millennials • Far more direct • More nomadic • Confident • Direct • Experimental • More liberal & more conservative at same time • Multitaskers • Experiential learners • Delay choice (question, question, question) – List from The Kids are Alright! Millennials and their Information Behavior in lauren’s library blog posted June 27th, 2006
  13. 13. 13 Confirmed by Pew Research • The Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change. – 24 Feb 2010 – Generations, like people, have personalities, and Millennials – the American teens and twenty-somethings currently making the passage into adulthood – have begun to forge theirs: confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and receptive to new ideas and ways of living.pewsocialtrends.org
  14. 14. 14 But—there are problems • With all the innovative gadgets and information at the click of a button, this generation is built on instant gratification. It’s hard for them to think long-term and anything that doesn’t produce immediate results bores them. • “I think we really value convenience and crave instant results,” says Mallory Brown, a 16- year-old San Rafael High School student – My Generation
  15. 15. 15 Adolescence: a transition •
  16. 16. 16 Point to Ponder •
  17. 17. 17 Quiz: See How You Compare to the Millennial Generation • Take our 14 item quiz and we’ll tell you how "Millennial" you are, on a scale from 0 to 100, by comparing your answers with those of respondents to a scientific nationwide survey. You can also find out how you stack up against others your age.