The Quarter-life Time Period: An Age of Indulgence, Crisis or Both?
- 1.9k Downloads
A new developmental stage called the quarter-life is proposed, extending from approximately 18–29 years of age and sometimes later. The emergence of this period is believed to be the result of several social, historic and economic factors that occurred post WWII. This article explores these changes in terms of the experiences of affluent young people in today’s Western society. A typology of adaptational responses are presented and explored as the quarter-lifers attempt to navigate their way to adulthood within the context of this ‘new’ affluent society. Implications for family therapists are considered.
KeywordsStage of development Late adolescent issues Quarterlife time period Affluent society Typology of quarterlifers Therapy implications
A special note of thanks to Ian Nichols who assisted in the initial stages of this work.
- Adams, J. (2004). The kids aren’t all right. Retrieved February 2005 from http://saqonline.smith.edu/article.epl?issue_id=4&article_id=141.
- Arnett, J. (2004). Emerging adulthood: The winding road from the late teens through the twenties. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Bateson, G. (1972). Steps to an ecology of mind. New York: Ballantine Books.Google Scholar
- Becvar, D., & Becvar, R. (1999). Systems theory and family therapy: A primer. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.Google Scholar
- Berger, P., & Luckman, T. (1966). The social construction of reality: A treatise in the sociology of knowledge. New York: Anchor.Google Scholar
- Bordo, M., Taylor, A., & Williamson, J. (2005). Globalization in historical perspective. National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report.Google Scholar
- Day, D., Peterson-Badali, M. & Shea, B. (2002). Parenting style as a context for the development of adolescent’s thinking about rights. Retrieved February 12, 2008, from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED464746&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED464746.
- de Shazer, S. (1998). Clues: Investigating solutions in brief therapy. New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
- Draut, T., & Silva, J. (2004). Generation broke: The growth of debt among young americans. Borrowing to make ends meet series. Retrieved May 2005 from http://www/demosusa.org/pubs/Generation_Broke.pdf.
- Durkheim, E. (1898; 1951). Suicide. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.Google Scholar
- Epston, D., & White, M. (1990). Consulting your consultants: The documentation of alternative knowledges. Dulwich Center Newsletter, p. 4.Google Scholar
- Erikson, E. (1950). Childhood and society. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
- Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity: Youth and crisis. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
- Freedman, J., & Combs, G. (1996). Narrative therapy: The social construction of preferred realities. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
- Gordon, L. P., & Shaffer, S. M. (2004). Mom, can I move back in with you? A survival guide for parents of twenty some things. New York: Tarcher.Google Scholar
- Grossman, L. (2005). Grow up? Not so fast. Time. January, pp. 42–54.Google Scholar
- Hall, G. S. (1904). Adolescence, its psychology and its relations to physiology, anthropology, sociology, sex, crime, religion and education. New York: Appleton.Google Scholar
- Infoplease. (2000–2005). Household and family statistics. Retrieved October 13, 2005 from http://wwwinfoplease.com/ipa/A0922218.html.
- Jonsson, B. (1994). Youth life projects and modernization in Sweden: A cross-sectional study. San Diego, CA: The Society for Research on Adolescence.Google Scholar
- Kamenetz, A. (2005). Rich little ‘poor’ kids. Village Voice. Retrieved November 2005, from http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0530,kamenetz,66195,6.html.
- McNamee, S. (2002). Reconstructing identity: The communal construction of crisis. In S. McNamee & K. J. Gergen (Eds.), Therapy as social construction (pp. 186–199). London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Merton, R. K. (1938). Social structure and anomie. American Sociological Review, 672–682.Google Scholar
- Mills, M., & Blossfeld, H. (2003). Globalization, uncertainty and changes in early life courses. Springerlink, 6(2), 188–218.Google Scholar
- Mintel Report. (2004). Lifestyles of young adults. Chicago: Mintel International Group, Ltd.Google Scholar
- Montemayor, R., Brown, B., & Adams, G. (1985). Changes in identity status and psychological adjustment after leaving home and entering college. Toronto, Canada: Society for Research on Child Development.Google Scholar
- National Marriage Project. (2000). Sex without strings, relationships without rings: Today’s singles talk about mating and dating. Retrieved February 17, 2008, from http://marriage.rutgers.edu/Publications/Print/Print%20SEX%20WITHOUT%20STRINGS.htm.
- O’Hanlon, B., & Bertolino, B. (1998). Even from a broken web: Brief, respectful solution-oriented therapy for sexual abuse and trauma. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Robbins, A. (2004). Conquering your quarterlife crisis: Advice from twentysomethings who have been there and survived. New York: Berkeley Group.Google Scholar
- Robbins, A., & Wilner, A. (2001) Quarter life crisis: The unique challenges of life in your twenties. New York: Tarcher/Putnam.Google Scholar
- Seeman, M. (1976). On the meaning of alienation. In L. A. Coser & B. Rosenberg (Eds.), Sociological theory (pp. 401–414). New York: MacMillan.Google Scholar
- Taffel, R. (2001). The second family. New York: St Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
- U.S. Census Bureau. (2003). American community survey summary tables. American Fact Finder, Tables P004. P005.Google Scholar
- Walsh, F. (1998). Strengthening family resilience. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Watts, A. (1972). The art of contemplation. New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
- Watzlawick, P. (1978). The language of change: Elements of therapeutic communication. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
- White, M., & Epston, D. (1990). Narrative means to therapeutic ends. New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
- World Youth Report. (2003). Young people in a globalizing world. Retrieved July 15, 2006, from http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unyin/wyr03.htm.