Transition to Adulthood, Parental Support, and Early Adult Well-Being: Recent Findings from the Youth Development Study

  • Jeylan T. MortimerEmail author
Part of the National Symposium on Family Issues book series (NSFI, volume 2)


This chapter addresses the diversity of the transition to adulthood and the significance of this variation for early adult well-being; the circumstances and consequences of parental support during this period; psychological vulnerability during the transition to adulthood; and finally, institutional changes to facilitate youth’s transition from school to work. Recent findings are reported from the Youth Development Study, a longitudinal prospective study of a community sample of 9th graders, followed through their mid-thirties. These findings suggest that pathways of transition to adulthood that reflect the timing and sequencing of role configurations marking adult status influence both health and socioeconomic attainment; that parental financial and residential support provides critical scaffolds and safety nets as youth navigate the increasingly prolonged transition to adulthood; and that unemployment, and the ensuing financial dependence it brings, can threaten youth’s self-efficacy. The considerable work-related difficulties faced by young people who start, but do not finish, college indicates the need for both greater support to help students complete 4-year college degrees and the upgrading of community college and vocational certification programs to encourage more youth to enter these institutions and obtain these alternative credentials.


Negative Life Event Youth Unemployment Helicopter Parenting Adult Identity Young Adult Child 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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