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"Are we there yet?" : investigating factors associated with youths’ self-concepts of adulthood Lin, Cynthia


In the past, research on young adulthood has concentrated on the study of specific traits and characteristics, with little examination of youths' subjective experiences during this period of the lifespan. This study applies symbolic interaction theory to the investigation of youths' self-concept of adulthood, and examines the traits and characteristics that are associated with being defined as an adult by the self and others. In addition, the study also examines the association between parental and peer perceptions of youths' self-concept of adulthood. Participants were 79 triads (N=239) made up of a target youth between the age of 19-26 from the University of British Columbia, a parental figure of the target youth, and a peer of the target youth. Participants were assessed using the Perceived Adulthood Scale, the Psychosocial Maturity Inventory, the Ego Identity Process Questionnaire, and the Financial Independence Scale. Target youths' were also assessed on living circumstances, relationship status and parenting status. Results indicate that youths' perceptions of parent and peer ratings of youths' adult status were related to youths' self-definitions of adulthood. Results also find that psychological traits of maturity and the developmental task of living on one's own are connected with perceiving whether someone is an adult or not.

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