What makes an adult? Examining descriptions from adolescents of divorce

DenYelle Kenyon, Lela A. Rankin, Susan Silverberg Koerner, Renée Peltz Dennison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present study examined conceptions of "what makes an adult" within a sample of adolescents (13-19 years) from divorced families. Arnett's (2003) seven criteria-of-adulthood categories (independence, interdependence, role transitions, norm compliance, biological transitions, chronological transitions, and family capacities) were used as an initial framework for grouping open-ended written responses, while inductive content analysis was employed to analyze all other responses. Although the majority of responses (N=568) fit into Arnett's categories, 35.2% of responses were coded into eleven newly created categories (e.g., knowledge/wisdom, role model/leader). The present study confirmed that independence qualities are believed to be most important. However, role transitions (e.g., marriage) were considered more significant than in previous research. The qualitative findings and their specific pattern should inform existing quantitative measures of adulthood criteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)813-823
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Volume36
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007

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Divorce
divorce
adolescent
adulthood
Marriage
Compliance
role model
interdependence
grouping
wisdom
content analysis
marriage
Research
leader

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Adulthood
  • Divorce
  • Perceptions
  • Qualitative method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

What makes an adult? Examining descriptions from adolescents of divorce. / Kenyon, DenYelle; Rankin, Lela A.; Koerner, Susan Silverberg; Dennison, Renée Peltz.

In: Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Vol. 36, No. 6, 01.08.2007, p. 813-823.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kenyon, DenYelle ; Rankin, Lela A. ; Koerner, Susan Silverberg ; Dennison, Renée Peltz. / What makes an adult? Examining descriptions from adolescents of divorce. In: Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 2007 ; Vol. 36, No. 6. pp. 813-823.
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