What Aristotle observed about the youth of his time more than 2 millennia ago is still true: “Their lives are lived principally in hope…They have high aspirations; for theyhave never yet been humiliated by the experiences of life, but are unacquainted with the limiting force of circumstances.” (Arnett, 2004, p. 223)

This blog will detail the history of how the term “Emerging Adulthood” came to be, starting in the late 1800’s and ending in modern times. We will cover the development of the term ‘adolesence’ followed by ‘prolonged adolescence’ and ‘youth’ and elaborate on why these terms no longer accurately describe the 18-25 year old people of today.  In addition, we primarily explore the influential individuals who contributed to the progression of this new developmental stage of emerging adulthood.  Ultimately, we invite you to explore and connect with the winding road that today’s emerging adults travel.

This blog was created by Lisa Feeley, Amanda Halliburton & Bethany Mastrorilli.



Arnett, J.J. (2004). Emerging adulthood the winding road from the late teens through the twenties. New York: Oxford.

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