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Not Quite Adults: Why 20-Somethings Are Choosing a Slower Path to Adulthood, and Why It's Good for Everyone

by Richard Settersten

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574458,556 (3.25)None
Why are 20-somethings delaying adulthood? The media have flooded us with negative headlines about this generation, from their sense of entitlement to their immaturity. Drawing on almost a decade of cutting-edge research and nearly five hundred interviews with young people, Richard Settersten, Ph.D., and Barbara E. Ray shatter these stereotypes, revealing an unexpected truth.… (more)
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I’ll admit that I started this book skeptical of the premise — that the extended adolescence / preadulthood which is so prevalent today is beneficial to both young adults and society in general. The introduction did little to convince me otherwise — alluding to an uncited stunning figure of 70% of eighteen to thirty-four-year-olds in 2005 had less than an associate’s degree. It also set forth the argument that today’s young people “live in a world of elevated expectations. This does not mean they are spoiled or coddled; it simply means they have been raised to believe in themselves” (xxi).

The authors suggest several factors that will positively influence young adulthood — strong relationships with parents, investing in the future including willingness to take on smart debt (ie, for education), selecting an appropriate path of education or vocational training, improving community colleges. They argue that “young people need institutions and supports that foster responsibility and hope, that help them set goals and build the skills they need as adults in a fast-moving and fast-changing world” (201), beyond just the family structure, and that “expecting young people to be adult by age eighteen or twetny-one, or even twenty-five, is no longer feasible, or even desirable” (201). Still, despite their ideas and valid points about emerging adulthood, I would suggest that creating stronger programs and supports even before the onset of legal adulthood — ie, in high school and earlier — rather than extension of adolescence would be more beneficial. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
I picked up this book expecting to learn more about dealing with college-aged students, what I got was so much more valuable.

This book provides and in-depth look at how counselors, teachers, educators, parents...the whole system--can support youth. This book I feel touches on everything from poverty and race, to over/under-involved parents, the media's slant on young adults of being lazy.

There was so much crammed into this book, I feel as if it could have been much longer than it ended up being. I only got a taste of the issues...I want more! ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
I picked up this book expecting to learn more about dealing with college-aged students, what I got was so much more valuable.

This book provides and in-depth look at how counselors, teachers, educators, parents...the whole system--can support youth. This book I feel touches on everything from poverty and race, to over/under-involved parents, the media's slant on young adults of being lazy.

There was so much crammed into this book, I feel as if it could have been much longer than it ended up being. I only got a taste of the issues...I want more! ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Sweeping attempt at describing Generation Y (20 somethings) to the rest of us. Draws from 10 years of MacArthur Foundation funded research over last decade but written for the layman. Heavily laden with examples the book makes a valiant attempt at explaining attitudes on college education, job hopping, relationships and marriage and other topics. Probably not a book of general interest but should be interesting reading for anyone trying to make sense of youth culture and latent armchair sociologists. ( )
  BookWallah | Feb 27, 2011 |
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Why are 20-somethings delaying adulthood? The media have flooded us with negative headlines about this generation, from their sense of entitlement to their immaturity. Drawing on almost a decade of cutting-edge research and nearly five hundred interviews with young people, Richard Settersten, Ph.D., and Barbara E. Ray shatter these stereotypes, revealing an unexpected truth.

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