Emerging adulthooddefined by testing out different possibilities and developing self (not a universal life stage; only exists for a minority of young people and begins after high school and tapers off by late twenties. considered the most challenging and change-inducing stages of life based on: the need to re-center life roles- focusing on responsibility, supporting self, and making independent decisions about life. The change to an unstructured path such as collage, independent living, work world. Setting the Context: Culture and History emerging adulthood has change with developed world Emerging adults are prolonging decisions on careers and marriage, therefore postponing adults' roles. This is due to: Life expectancy gains- people now live into their seventies or eighties, as opposed to sixties a half-century ago. changes in education and workforce- a half-century ago (1960s), high school graduates could successfully enter the workforce. Now, must go to college, typically spending about 6 years in collage before entering the workforce. cultural norms focusing on self-expression- emerging adults are focusing more on self, thus making dramatic life changes throughout adult life.