Times Magazine Tries to Figure Out the Twenty-Somethings

What is up with the youth? The New York Times Magazine will investigate this perennially interesting question in Sunday’s cover story.

Robin Marantz Henig speaks with Jeffrey Arnett, who makes the case for recognizing “emerging adulthood” as a new stage of life:

He says what is happening now is analogous to what happened a century ago, when social and economic changes helped create adolescence — a stage we take for granted but one that had to be recognized by psychologists, accepted by society and accommodated by institutions that served the young. Similar changes at the turn of the 21st century have laid the groundwork for another new stage, Arnett says, between the age of 18 and the late 20s.

There are some problems with this: class issues that Arnett does not totally address, and the technical aspects of what constitutes a “phase” in developmental psychology. But speaking as an “emerging adult” ourselves, we can pretty much agree that we and our peers are not actual grownups, or if we are, we have wildly overestimated what being a grownup feels like.

We particularly enjoyed seeing this at the bottom of each page:

Robin Marantz Henig is a contributing writer. Her last article for the magazine was about anxiety.

Times Magazine Tries to Figure Out the Twenty-Somethings