Arnett proposes emerging adulthood as new stage of life between the ages of 18 to 25 describing a generation of people that do not belong to neither adolescence or adulthood. In his article, he first lays the theoretical background to his argument, acknowledging the contribution of Erik Erikson, Daniel Levinson, and Kenneth Keniston to the research of different concepts on the matter of emerging adulthood. According to Arnett, emerging adults are distinct demographically, subjectively, and distinct for identity explorations (2000). Emerging adulthood today is not normative demographically: while most adolescents used to live at home with their parents, unmarried, enrolled in school; and most adults are parents themselves, probably married, and working a job, emerging adults are still experiencing: they go off to college, move out, and potentially move back in. They have the highest rates of residential change of any age group, and study longer now more than before (2000). Arnett also argues that merging adulthood is subjectively different: Arnett came up with the term emerging adulthood, and regardless of the previous mention or research on the topic, no emerging adult really knows what period they are in. They don’t see themselves as neither adolescents or adults, and the criteria that matter the most to them paint a picture of self-efficiency and self-reliability: accepting responsibility for one’s self, making independent decisions, and becoming financially independent (2000). Finally, Arnett argues that emerging adulthood is a period of identity explorations: emerging adults have more opportunity to develop either a love-life identity, a work-related identity, or a new worldview identity before settling now definitely. They get into intimate and serious relationships, they prioritize educational paths and work areas that broadens their perspectives but also best prepare them for the jobs in adulthood; and they also form a new set of beliefs that is unique to them and represents their exposition to many different worldviews. (Arnett, 2000).
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