Importance of perceived adulthood and goal pursuit in emerging adult college students

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dc.contributor.author Rarick, Timothy Michael
dc.date.accessioned 2011-11-29T14:18:34Z
dc.date.available 2011-11-29T14:18:34Z
dc.date.issued 2011-11-29
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2097/13131
dc.description.abstract Previous research has discovered that most 18-to-25 year olds do not feel they have reached the rite of passage known as adulthood. This period of development, termed “emerging adulthood”, is characterized by identity exploration and myriad possibilities related to who one is and what one wants out of life. Empirical evidence suggests that future goals linked to one’s identity are more likely to be obtained through three actions specified in the Selection-Optimization-Compensation (S.O.C.) model: selecting goals to focus one’s resources, optimizing goal-relevant means, and, when necessary, compensating for losses that may occur in these means. The purpose of this study was (a) to identify the proportions of 18-to-25 year old perceived adults vs. emerging adults in a university sample (n = 828); (b) to assess the degree to which self-reported perceived adult status distinguishes self-reports of achieved adult criteria, goal-pursuit strategies, and subjective well-being, and; (c) to determine the predictive utility of perceived adult status, background characteristics, and goal-pursuit strategies for understanding individual differences in life satisfaction, positive affect (i.e., subjective vitality), and negative affect (i.e., depressive symptoms). Analyses of on-line survey responses indicated that approximately one-fourth (24%) of participants reported they had reached adulthood, and, compared to their emerging adult peers, had achieved more criteria for adulthood and were using more effective goal-pursuit strategies. Step-wise multiple regression analyses revealed that specific background characteristics (e.g., relationship status and GPA) and goal-pursuit strategies (e.g., optimization) were significant and strongest predictors of the participants’ life satisfaction, positive affect, and negative affect. Perceived adult status was a significant moderate predictor of both life satisfaction and positive affect but was unrelated to negative affect. Implications of the findings for developmental researchers, educators, and practitioners are discussed. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Kansas State University en
dc.subject Emerging adulthood en_US
dc.subject Higher education en_US
dc.subject Goal pursuit en_US
dc.subject Subjective well-being en_US
dc.subject Identity development en_US
dc.subject Adulthood en_US
dc.title Importance of perceived adulthood and goal pursuit in emerging adult college students en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.description.degree Doctor of Philosophy en_US
dc.description.level Doctoral en_US
dc.description.department Department of Family Studies and Human Services en_US
dc.description.advisor Rick J. Scheidt en_US
dc.subject.umi Behavioral Sciences (0602) en_US
dc.subject.umi Developmental Psychology (0620) en_US
dc.subject.umi Education, General (0515) en_US
dc.subject.umi Higher Education (0745) en_US
dc.subject.umi Individual & Family Studies (0628) en_US
dc.subject.umi Psychology (0621) en_US
dc.date.published 2011 en_US
dc.date.graduationmonth December en_US


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