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Title: Understanding and supporting young adults through the 'quarterlife crisis'
Author: Duara, Raginie
ISNI:       0000 0004 6351 7947
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2017
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Introduction: Transitions to adulthood typically involve searching for a life partner, settling on an occupation, and discovering ‘who one is’. Some find this transition difficult and experience panic, loss, and uncertainty. The term ‘quarterlife crisis’ has been applied to such experiences. Aim: This thesis aimed to understand the experience of ‘quarterlife crisis’ among young people from two cultural groups: UK and India. The objectives were to identify the triggers for, and forms of, ‘quarterlife crisis’, responses and coping strategies to crisis; and how we may prevent ‘quarterlife crises’ and / or lessen its burden on young people. Methods: Young people aged 22-30 years from India (n=8) and the UK (n=16), who identified with experiencing challenges making their ‘transitions to adulthood’, were recruited. Data generation was highly participant-led, supported through a novel combination of photo-elicitation and time-line interviewing. Data was subjected to Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, supported through use of participant generated images. Findings: Four themes were generated explicating the crisis experience - Smooth navigation and self-fulfilment, Perceived standards and unfulfilled expectations, Becoming and knowing oneself and Forced ‘adulthood’/independence. Participants’ expectations about the transition to adulthood were often not met. At the crux of the crisis experience was feeling stagnant, unprepared and overwhelmed, experienced differently based on cultural and educational background. People deployed both personal and social resources in response to their crisis. Getting reassurance about their personal capabilities or skills and developing new perspective of their transitional experiences appeared particularly helpful. Conclusion: Findings appeal for greater sensitivity to social, cultural, economic and political contexts that influence the ‘quarterlife crisis’, and call for rethinking of development theories which propose a linear progression to adulthood. How we can best support young people in their transition should be the responsibilities of policy-makers, educational institutions, families and young people themselves.
Supervisor: Madill, Anna ; Hugh-Jones, Siobhan Sponsor: Leeds International Research Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available