On the Frontier of Adulthood: Theory, Research, and Public Policy (John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Mental Health and ... Transitions to Adulthood and Public Policy)

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9780226748894: On the Frontier of Adulthood: Theory, Research, and Public Policy (John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Mental Health and ... Transitions to Adulthood and Public Policy)
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On the Frontier of Adulthood reveals a startling new fact: adulthood no longer begins when adolescence ends. A lengthy period before adulthood, often spanning the twenties and even extending into the thirties, is now devoted to further education, job exploration, experimentation in romantic relationships, and personal development. Pathways into and through adulthood have become much less linear and predictable, and these changes carry tremendous social and cultural significance, especially as institutions and policies aimed at supporting young adults have not kept pace with these changes.

This volume considers the nature and consequences of changes in early adulthood by drawing upon a wide variety of historical and contemporary data from the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. Especially dramatic shifts have occurred in the conventional markers of adulthood—leaving home, finishing school, getting a job, getting married, and having children—and in how these experiences are configured as a set. These accounts reveal how the process of becoming an adult has changed over the past century, the challenges faced by young people today, and what societies can do to smooth the transition to adulthood.
 
"This book is the most thorough, wide-reaching, and insightful analysis of the new life stage of early adulthood."—Andrew Cherlin, Johns Hopkins University
 
"From West to East, young people today enter adulthood in widely diverse ways that affect their life chances. This book provides a rich portrait of this journey-an essential font of knowledge for all who care about the younger generation."—Glen H. Elder Jr., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
 
"On the Frontier of Adulthood adds considerably to our knowledge about the transition from adolescence to adulthood. . . . It will indeed be the definitive resource for researchers for years to come. Anyone working in the area—whether in demography, sociology, economics, or developmental psychology—will wish to make use of what is gathered here."—John Modell, Brown University
 
"This is a must-read for scholars and policymakers who are concerned with the future of today's youth and will become a touchpoint for an emerging field of inquiry focused on adult transitions."—Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Columbia University

 
 
 

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About the Author:

Frank F. Furstenberg is the Zellerbach Family Professor of Sociology Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of many books, most recently Destinies of the Disadvantaged: The Politics of Teenage Childbearing

Review:

"With all of its uncertainties and consequences, the young adult transition remains a source of great fascination and concern. How one enters adulthood matters, and we know surprisingly little about how children make their way to adult roles. On the Frontier of Adulthood tells us a story of remarkable variation in this transition by historical time and across contemporary societies. From West to East, young people today enter adulthood in widely diverse ways that affect their life chances. This book provides a rich portrait of this journey-an essential font of knowledge for all who care about the younger generation." (Glen H. Elder Jr. Glen H. Elder Jr. 2004-10-26)

"This book is the most thorough, wide-reaching, and insightful analysis of the new life stage of early adulthood. It emphasizes the diversity of young adults' experiences today and explores the different life paths they follow. It concludes with some valuable lessons for public policy." (Andrew Cherlin Andrew Cherlin 2004-10-26)

"On the Frontier of Adulthood adds considerably to our knowledge about the transition from adolescence to adulthood, in the hope that the information may also be used to affect policy. It will indeed be the definitive resource for researchers for years to come. Anyone working in the area-whether in demography, sociology, economics, or developmental psychology-will wish to make use of what is gathered here." (John Modell John Modell 2004-10-26)

"On the Frontier of Adulthood is a remarkable and timely volume on that often ignored and sometimes misunderstood transition between adolescence and adulthood. The editors focus on the myriad choices that youth have available to them and the difficulties associated with negotiating the challenges of being twenty-something in our society. The complexity of life paths, the unequal distribution of opportunities, and the patchwork nature of institutions and policies directed toward serving twenty-somethings are all described in arresting detail. This is a must-read for scholars and policymakers who are concerned with the future of today's youth and will become a touchpoint for an emerging field of inquiry focused on adult transitions." (Jeanne Brooks-Gunn Jeanne Brooks-Gunn 2004-10-26)

"Start with 14 massive longitudinal data sets, add analysis and insight from 35 academics . . . stir in MacArthur Foundation funding for this network to meet and collaborate, and let the mix mature and take shape for several years. The result: sixteen chapters, most of them quite good and some excellent, in a very large volume that is, arguably, the most definitive overview yet of the emerging phenomenon of early adulthood in North America." (Harvey Krahn Canadian Journal of Sociology)

"The breadth and depth of this volume make it an invaluable guide for scholars, policymakers, and program officers. . . . The book's strengths lie in its comprehensive treatment of the contemporary experience of becoming adult, the variety of data sets and methods used, and its ability to look both backward to how adulthood was achieved by earlier generations and forward to how we as a society can smooth the transition for future generations." (Ann Meier Journal of Marriage and Family)

"The strength of the book lies in the vast detail provided on what it takes to be an adult in contemporary western society written by talented scholars, most of whom are the leading figures in their subdisciplines. The coverage of topics and the theoretical and empirical insights are almost exhaustive." (Monica A. Longmore Contemporary Sociology)

"This volume is really at the frontier of research on young adulthood and makes a very important contribution to the literature on the transition to adulthood. As such, it is compulsory reading for anyone with a serious interest in this life phase." (Aart C. Liefbroer European Journal of Population)

"This work amply demonstrates that changing social conditions have also changed the way young people transition to adulthood. . . . This is the initial effort of a large, important, and continuing project." (Harris Chaiklin Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease)

"The strengths of this text include its broad scope, use of rigorous, empirical research to explicate the themes, clear writing, and sophisticated grasp of the multiple perspectives necessary for understanding the changes in early adulthood over the past century. . . . On the Frontier of Adulthood  is highly recommended for students, researchers, and policymakers who are interested in the emerging field of early adulthood. It is comprehensive, yet readable, and would be an appropriate graduate course text, and a welcome addition to a more experienced scholar's library." (Sarah Taylor Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare)

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9780226748900: On the Frontier of Adulthood: Theory, Research, and Public Policy (John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Mental Health and ... Transitions to Adulthood and Public Policy)

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