Transition to Adulthood

pp 87-94



  • Richard A. YoungAffiliated withDepartment of Educational, Counselling Psychology and Special Education, University of British Columbia Email author 
  • , Sheila K. MarshallAffiliated withSchool of Social Work, University of British Columbia
  • , Ladislav ValachAffiliated with
  • , José F. DomeneAffiliated withUniversity of New Brunswick
  • , Matthew D. GrahamAffiliated withOrion Health
  • , Anat Zaidman-ZaitAffiliated withUniversity of British Columbia

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Although identity is seen as important to all phases of life, it has long been understood as an integral aspect of psychosocial development during adolescence and the transition to adulthood (e.g., Erikson, 1963, 1968). It is during the transition to adulthood that individuals in late modern societies face personal and social pressures to make decisions about their future, work, intimate relationships, and their general “place” within the adult world. Since people are expected to individually pursue their life projects with few institutional supports (e.g., tenuous school to work transitions) (see Baumeister & Muraven, 1996; Côté & Levine, 2002), many problems have been conceptualized around issues of identity and the self (e.g., Chandler, 1994; Hernandez, Montgomery, & Kurtines, 2006; Wheeler, Adams, & Keating, 2001).