Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Risky Behavior and EA

The "Life" section in today's USA Today featured an article entitled "Walking the tightrope of the 20s: Risky behavior doesn't end with teen years."

Those of you who've studied Emerging Adulthood (EA) in some depth probably will find little that is new in this article. However, for those seeking an introduction to the themes of EA, I think the article could be very useful.

Three of the main themes touched upon include:

*Demographic trends: "Young people today are delaying settling down into careers and marriage..."

*How individuals in the early 20-ish, EA years are largely free from constraints. One observer is quoted as saying that, "There are no parents telling them, 'You can't do this.' It's pretty much a free-for-all." The article also notes that, "All sorts of research suggests that by the late 20s, risky behavior drops among young adults, largely because that's when they pair up and begin to settle down with a career and a partner."

*The brain-development aspect: "Over the past several years, brain studies by researchers around the country... have found that the area that controls impulses takes longer to mature than previously thought."

Jeffrey Arnett and a number of other researchers also are quoted.

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