Saturday, July 12, 2008

Early Marriage for Collegians?

An article from this past May in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Daily Cardinal discusses the pros and cons of students' getting married during (or shortly after completing) their college education, as opposed to waiting longer.

Whereas much of the article talks about stress and relationship skills (e.g., communication), the part that appears to fit most directly with Emerging Adulthood theory involves the sense of self-focus. The Daily Cardinal article quotes Darald Hanusa, who is described as a "senior lecturer in the school of social work" at UW, as follows:

“[Many students are] still in a very … ‘me’ focus versus ‘us’ focus,” Hanusa said. “Those relationships aren’t going to do well but those people are probably going to have difficulty in any relationship, no matter how long they wait.”

The online column "Lifehacker" (scroll down to section FOUR when the new page comes up) quotes Jeffrey Arnett discussing his 2004 book, Emerging Adulthood: The winding road from late teens through the twenties, and the self-focused aspect of EA in particular:

"In my book, I call emerging adulthood a 'self-focused' age," says Arnett. "Not selfish, but self-focused. They now have the freedom to focus on their own development, more so than when they were younger, and had adults telling them what to do, or when they become older, and have a spouse, and kids, and long-term job to tend to."

Friday, July 4, 2008

Book "The Price of Independence" Tackles Econcomic Issues Facing Young Adults

Continuing with a recent theme I've developed on this blog, the economic situation facing young adults today in the U.S., I wanted to mention the recent book The Price of Independence: The Economics of Early Adulthood. Princeton University posted an interview with Cecilia Rouse, a co-editor of the book. In addressing trends of young adults living with their parents or with other, non-marital roommates, Rouse's answer encompasses more than just economic features:

When the [book's] authors looked at the different potential economic factors — debt, housing costs, the economy, etc. — they found that these factors do play some role in some of these changing trends... But you could also argue that in all of these countries, including the U.S., there have been big changes in the social norms.

I encourage everyone to read the full interview, which is available at the above link. Another good source for studies of the economics of young adults is the "Demos" research organization (list of articles by this group).

Happy Fourth of July everyone, and enjoy the fireworks!