Reaching adulthood is the aim of the transition to adulthood; however, emerging adults differently define both adulthood and the transitional period they are living. Variable-centered and person-centered approaches were integrated in the present paper to investigate if the criteria used to define adulthood are linked to how emerging adults perceive the transitional phase they are going through. Participants were 1513 emerging adults (53.60% female; 807 university students and 706 young workers), aged from 19 to 30 years. Participants completed self-report measures about dimensions of emerging adulthood and criteria for adulthood. Main results revealed that, according to the variablecentered approach, criteria of adulthood and dimensions of emerging adulthood are only slightly associated, while the person-centered approach revealed that people who have a composite view of adulthood are also less probably perceiving their emerging adulthood as a period characterized by a lack of possibilities. Implications and future lines of research are discussed.
- Emerging adulthood