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Title: Emerging adulthood : 'identity crisis' of a forgotten generation?
Author: Gillbanks, Natalie
ISNI:       0000 0004 8502 6348
Awarding Body: University of Wolverhampton
Current Institution: University of Wolverhampton
Date of Award: 2019
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Emerging adults are defined by Arnett's (2000) theory as between the ages of 18-25 with five main features of this developmental period; identity exploration, instability, self-focus, feeling "in-between" and possibilities (Arnett, 2006; Cote, 2014). There is contention within the literature about whether emerging adulthood can be seen as a separate part of the lifespan and be generalised from a student population to across different cultures. There are also concerns about how emerging adults cope with the difficult identity and role transition processes during this period with many thought to turn to health risk behaviours such as using alcohol and drugs in order to cope. The aim of the current study was to see whether the notion of Emerging adulthood can be applicable to young adults in the UK. Another aim of this study was to explore the extent to which emerging adulthood themes would have an impact upon their well-being and health risk behaviour. A total of 227 UK citizens aged between 18 and 29 were recruited In this study. Participants were asked to fill out demographic information and eight questionnaires which included the Inventory of Dimensions of Emerging Adulthood (IDEA), Dimensions of Identity Scale (DIDS), Alcohol use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), Frequency of Drug use (FOD) and Youth Behaviour and Risk Scale (YBRS), Psychological well-being scale (PWS), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HAADS) and Self-Esteem Scale (SES). A total of 9 hierarchical regressions were used as the analysis to test the current hypotheses. Results showed that the participants in the current UK sample identified with emerging adulthood themes. However, several of these increased with age and did therefore did not support emerging adulthood as a separate part of the lifespan. There was no significant difference between students and non-students across all scales suggesting emerging adulthood themes were experienced similarly across these two groups. Also as previously found those who explored their identity in a ruminative style or re-evaluated their identity had poorer outcomes. These results suggest that explorations into what distinguishes these emerging adults categorically from other lifespan phases is not as informative as examining the process of how they conduct their identity exploration process to promote positive wellbeing.
Supervisor: Wilson, J. Chen ; Nicholls, Wendy ; Platt, Tracey Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Prof.Couns.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available