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Not Quite Adults: Why 20-Somethings Are Choosing a Slower Path to Adulthood, and Why It's Good for Everyoneby Richard Settersten and Barbara Ray
Synopses & Reviews
Why are 20-somethings delaying adulthood? The media have flooded us with negative headlines about this generation, from their sense of entitlement to their immaturity. Drawing on almost a decade of cutting-edge research and nearly five hundred interviews with young people, Richard Settersten, Ph.D., and Barbara E. Ray shatter these stereotypes, revealing an unexpected truth: A slower path to adulthood is good for all of us. Their surprising findings include:
Not Quite Adults is a fascinating look at an often misunderstood generation. It's a must-read for parents, teachers, psychologists, sociologists, and anyone interested in today's youth culture.
"Settersten, a professor of human development and family sciences at Oregon State University, and Ray, communications director of the Network on Transitions to Adulthood, funnel the findings of the eight-year MacArthur Research Network's study of 20-somethings into a portrait of a generation. Drawing on more than 500 interviews and foraying into their subjects' debts, regrets, and ambitions, the authors reveal that the cohort is making a slower transition to adulthood — they are slower to leave the nest, slower to find a full-time job, slower to marry and have children — but that their choices are hardly regressions; they are often necessary adaptations to a world vastly different from their parents'. 'Slaying misperceptions,' the authors show that young people are some of the most debtphobic individuals in the country, that they are delaying — not abandoning — marriage, that friends play larger and more influential roles in their lives and assist with 'critical life decisions,' and that they continue to regard having children as meaningful, 'even salvation.' Aside from enjoying a panoramic perspective on one generation, readers will be able to glean tips on everything from dating to parenting from this admirably lucid and fair-minded study that, in describing what is happening, reveals what is working. (Dec.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"A provocative look at how a changing reality is transforming the transition to adulthood for a generation of Americans, and the implications of this transformation in today's competitive world." Kirkus Reviews
"Based on a large, multidisciplinary study by the MacArthur Research Network, this book is myth busting and eye-opening. It should be required reading." Library Journal
"In a world that is confused by 20-somethings, Not Quite Adults offers insight that will help us understand this generation. Hopeful and challenging, this book is a must read for parents and policy makers alike." Jane Isay, author of Walking on Eggshells
About the Author
Richard Settersten, Ph.D., is Hallie Ford Endowed Chair and professor of Human Development and Family Sciences, and director of the Hallie Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families, at Oregon State University. He is also a member of the MacArthur Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood. A graduate of Northwestern University, Settersten has held fellowships at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Education in Berlin, the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern, and the Spencer Foundation in Chicago. He is the author or editor of many scientific articles and several books, including On the Frontier of Adulthood. Besides MacArthur, his research has been supported by divisions of the National Institutes of Health. Visit his website at www.richardsettersten.com.
Barbara E. Ray, as owner of Hiredpen, Inc., helps researchers and nonprofit organizations convey their work to broader audiences. She was the communications director for the MacArthur Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood, and has held positions as senior writer at the DHHS-funded Joint Center for Poverty Research, and as a managing editor at the University of Chicago Press journals division. For two years while living in the western Pacific, she was a travel writer and culture reporter. Most recently, she is the executive editor of the website Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning for the MacArthur Foundation. She blogs at www.mybarbararay.com. She is still not quite adult.
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