Department of Psychology

Jeffrey Jensen Arnett

2010 Media Events

Don't get caught up in a quarter-life crisis
Red & Black (U of Georgia) 11/8/2010 …It seems I've always had a plan for life. After college, I quickly transitioned into adulthood… A recent New York Times article by Robin Marantz Henig entitled, What Is It About 20-Somethings?" posed the question, Why are so many people in their 20s taking so long to grow up?" Henig says young people today are forestalling the beginning of adulthood. Henig's article cites research by Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a psychology professor at Clark University, which outlines the 20s as a distinct life stage called 'emerging adulthood.' " Arnett's work was also quoted in the newspaper of Quinnipiac this week.

Women Talk: Confusion in Options
RIA Novosti (News agency, Russia) 10/12/2010 Columnist Svetlana Kolchik writes: In a recent New York Times magazine article, Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a psychology professor at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., explores the phenomenon of emerging adulthood" which, according to him, tends to start somewhere in the early 20s and, if all goes well, should end in the early 30s when some of the milestone life decisions such as choosing a career and a partner are supposed to be made. …"

Not quite grown up
 11/14/2010 Is generation Y's reluctance to rush through the rites of passage from adolescence to adulthood a sign of self-indulgence or a sensible response to an increasingly complex world? … Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a psychology professor at Clark University in Massachusetts, USA, is leading the movement to view the 20s as a distinct life stage, one that has developed in response to cultural change, not simply the lazy indecisiveness of an oft-maligned generation.

Recession shatters many young career dreams
Kansas City Star 11/20/2010 …Our wounded economy has twentysomethings limping into the job market. Large numbers are out of work. Even more look long and hard only to find jobs that don't capitalize on their talents or pay much. … What complicates the hard times for the young, said Clark University psychologist Jeffrey Arnett, is that they haven't fully become adult. His studies of 'emerging adulthood' — the slow process that doesn't see full maturity until about 30 — find that trouble landing work delays maturation and a healthy sense of self-worth. …"

Emerging adulthood
Walkingonair.org 9/30/2010 Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, research professor, Department of Psychology, is interviewed on Walking on Air with Betsy and Sal," a syndicated, one-hour talk radio program online and carried on AM stations from California to Virginia.  The audio is available in two parts: Emerging Adults part 1; Emerging Adults part 2.

The Peter Pan Generation
Fox Business News 9/28/2010 …According to Jeffrey Arnett, a psychology professor at Clark University, there is a quiet revolution taking place across the world in which people in their 20s are taking longer to settle down. He calls it 'emerging adulthood' and has been studying the subject for more than a decade, interviewing hundreds of 20-something-year-olds about how and why their road to adulthood is a longer route than their parents. FOX Business sat down with Arnett to discuss this phenomenon and what it means for everyone's bottom line." The video and an expanded Q&A with Arnett are posted at foxbusiness.com.

The new twenty-something generation
UWM Post (University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee student newspaper) 9/27/2010 I can't get it out of my head. This New York Times Magazine article from August, titled 'What Is It About 20-Somethings?' by contributing writer Robin Marantz Henig – I can't escape it. But so it goes, I suppose, when something is so candidly full of truths, it becomes unavoidable. ... Clark University Psychology Professor Jeffrey Jensen Arnett fronts this movement, asserting that this new development should be viewed as a distinct life stage: 'emerging adulthood.' "

Act your age! What, in the 21st century, does that mean?
The Independent (UK) 9/26/2010 ...A US-based developmental psychologist, who is leading efforts to analyze the new age groups, believes the twenties – which once saw adults married and saddled with a family before even reaching the halfway mark – should be viewed as the new life stage of 'emerging adulthood.' Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a professor of psychology at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, thinks hitting 20 is no longer the gateway to becoming an adult, but is the start of a "

Twentysomethings
WCVB TV CH5 Chronicle HD 9/22/2010 Clark University psychology research professor Jeffrey Jensen Arnett is interviewed for the news magazine topic (intro): They stay in school longer, enter marriage and parenthood later, and recently, due to the lousy economy, have had a hard time getting out of their childhood bedrooms in the first place. We're talking about the Millennial generation, 18 to 25 year olds who are very different from their Baby Boomer parents."

Emerging Adulthood: What Is It About 20-Somethings?
TVO (Ontario Public Television) 9/20/2010 Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, research professor of psychology at Clark University, is interviewed about his research on emerging adulthood on The Agenda with Steve Paikin."

Hard times make it harder for everyone to grow up
Providence Journal 9/17/2010 … Many of our young people, though, are sauntering. The reasons why were taken up in an Aug. 22 New York Times magazine article, in which the author asks, 'What's with these people in their 20s?' No snickering. Actual research on the subject is being done. Leading the charge is Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a psychology professor at Clark University, in Worcester. He proposes that, in the transition to adulthood, a new phase of human development is occurring."

Talking 'bout my generation of slackers
Columbia Spectator 9/13/2010 Do people in their 20s take too long to grow up? … No, no, no, and no. I am in my 20s and strongly resent being told that I'm not working hard enough. We are not putting off adulthood. … The New York Times Magazine recently ran a 10-page spread discussing the state of 20-somethings. In this piece, Robin Marantz Henig overviews why it takes this long for people in their 20s to reach what is commonly defined as 'adulthood.' Henig draws on the work of Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a Clark University psychology professor, whose extensive research has led him to label the 20s lifestage as 'emerging adulthood.'…"

20-somethings: NOT lazy, spoiled or selfish
OUPblog (Oxford University Press) 9/10/2010 Jeffrey Jensen Arnett published this blog to expand on the ideas presented in the recent New York Times Magazine article on his research, and to respond to stereotypes about emerging adults." He writes: How do you know when you've reached adulthood? This is one of the first questions I asked when I began my research on people in their twenties, and it remains among the most fascinating to me. …"

Students delaying adulthood
Doane Line (Doane College, Neb.) 9/9/2010 Graduate school may not be the typical idea of Neverland, but it is one of the major reasons this college generation has been accused of refusing to grow up. … Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a psychology professor at Clark University cited in the Times article, said that our generation had a more positive outlook about early adulthood than older generations did. …"

Generation Y delays growing up, pursues different opportunities
The Daily Orange (Syracuse University) 9/8/2010 In an August 2010 article in The New York Times, 'What Is It About 20-Somethings,' reporter Robin Marantz Henig examines the possibility that 20-somethings are taking a significantly longer time growing up and reaching adulthood. … Henig writes of this new stage of adolescence as 'emerging adulthood,' a term coined by psychology professor Jeffrey Jensen Arnett at Clark University."

Why 30 is the new 20
Toronto Star 9/8/2010 Today, Hamlet would likely fit in among his fellow twentysomethings. According to new psychological research, today's youth are delaying big milestones such as marriage, career and children later than ever. … This has caught the attention of a small but increasingly influential group of psychology experts who say we should consider the period between the age of 18 and the late 20s as a new life stage called emerging adulthood." It would be characterized by five features, according to Clark University psychologist Jeffrey Arnett…"

Failure to Stay Launched: Boomerang Kids Moving Back Home
ParentDish 9/8/2010 …There's a good chance your 20- or 30-something 'older' child could be returning to the nest. … 'Usually moving home is temporary and transitional,' Jeffrey Arnett, professor of psychology at Clark University and author of 'Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens through the Twenties' (Arnett Hardcover, 2004), tells ParentDish. 'Despite the 'failure to launch' stereotype, few young adults want to live at home because life is easy there and the rent is cheap.'…"

Are the Twenties the New Teens?
The Emily Rooney Show (WGBH radio) 8/31/2010 Young adults are marrying, buying property, and starting families later than ever before. Are people in their twenties just refusing to grow up or are we experiencing an inexorable change in the timetable for reaching adulthood? We're joined by Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, research professor of Psychology at Clark University and author of Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from Late Teens through the Twenties and by David D. Burstein, the 21-year-old founder and executive director of Generation18."

Young and Free
Chattanooga Times Free Press 8/27/2010 …While passion projects are often points of pride, taking on an alternative, entrepreneurial career path such as Glen's is not a realistic prospect for the majority of people in their 20s and 30s …. However, with a 9.5-percent national unemployment rate and a trend toward people in their 20s delaying marriage, the question arises: Is the notion of the traditional career path waning? It certainly is more flexible," said Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a professor of psychology at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. I think people still need to find a career path eventually, by 30 or so."

When do you become a grown-up?"
Today (NBC) 8/24/2010 Psychology Professor Jeffrey Jensen Arnett was interviewed on NBC's Today Show for the segment, When do you become a grown-up?" Besides being featured in the most emailed" New York Times story, which was referenced in media outlets ranging from Psychology Today to the Daily Show with Jon Stewart," Arnett was also interviewed on WNET TV (PBS) in New York, The Laura Ingraham Show, Seattle public radio's "The Conversation with Ross Reynolds [Clark Class of '75]," and many others. The topic has captured numerous mentions online among bloggers and in social media.

What is it about 20-somethings?
New York Times Magazine (cover feature) 8/22/2010Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a psychology professor at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., is leading the movement to view the 20s as a distinct life stage, which he calls 'emerging adulthood.' He says what is happening now is analogous to what happened a century ago, when social and economic changes helped create adolescence…."  The landmark study Adolescence," published in 1904 by Clark's first president, G. Stanley Hall, is mentioned. This article was excerpted or referenced by numerous media, including Psychology Today, the Huffington Post, Globe & Mail (UK), the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Daily Beast's Must Read Cheat Sheet", Lemondrop.com, NDTV (New Delhi), and mire. The feature has sparked many online blog-based and social media discussions. 

Jeffrey Arnett / Clark University - Emerging Adulthood
WNET TV (PBS) New York 8/21/2010 Psychology professor Jeffrey Jensen Arnett is interviewed about his research on emerging adults, on One on One with Steve Adubato." The show discusses compelling, real life stories and features political leaders, CEOs, television personalities, professors, artists and educational innovators who each share their experiences and accomplishments." The video is available online.

'Emerging adulthood' new life stage?
Mynorthwest.com & KIRO - 710 AM (Seattle) 8/19/2010 There's a new term being used to describe the age between adolescence and adulthood. Dr. Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, in the Department of Psychology at Clark University, has dubbed the era between your teens and adulthood 'emerging adulthood.' …" A link to the radio interview is included: http://bit.ly/bkwmck.

The Science of Roommates
The New York Times 7/25/2010
First-year roommates matter. Though they may go their separate ways sophomore year, their reach can ripple throughout the college years and after. … 'Peer pressure is intense in that first year of college, probably more intense than in any other year of life,' says Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a research psychologist at Clark University and author of Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road From Late Teens Through the 20s. 'Everyone around you is a stranger and you want to fit in,' he says."

Stalled on the road to security
Chicago Tribune 7/2/2010
The class of 2010 is hearing lots of stirring speeches about the end of a journey. But for a wide swath of young people, earning a diploma or notching a 21st birthday won't be the culmination of anything. Their trajectories will stall -- like Gleeson's -- or go in reverse as they move home, propped up by parents. ... When does assistance turn into enabling? Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a psychology professor at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., and author of Emerging Adulthood, said that knowing when to cut off aid is more art than science." This article ran in several media, including the Arizona Republic 6/29).

Dating for a decade? Young adults aren't rushing marriage
USA Today 6/22/2010
Relationships today are far different from the whirlwind courtships that blossomed in the uncertain 1930s and '40s. …Although breaking up and getting back together has been considered a bad sign… this back-and-forth reflects a desire among some to keep their options open, experts say. 'They may still have this feeling they don't want their possibilities constricted,' says psychologist Jeffrey Arnett of Clark University in Worcester, Mass., who studies emerging adulthood. This article ran in several other media outlets across the country.

 Any Job Better Than No Job?
New York Times - Room For Debate blog  6/6/2010
Economists estimate that the U.S. needs to add more than 100,000 jobs a month just to keep pace with new workers — high school and college graduates — entering the market. In such a climate, should the new college graduates consider jobs they might have rejected a few years ago? A recent Times Magazine article by Judith Warner pointed out that some studies show young people just out of college are turning down jobs that they don't like. In this economy, is any job better than no job?..." Among expert commentary cited, is Why Shouldn't They Take Their Time?" by Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, research professor of psychology at Clark University and the author of Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens Through the Twenties."

The Why-Worry Generation
New York Times Magazine 5/24/2010
For the past few years, it's been open season on Generation Y — also known as the millennials, echo boomers or, less flatteringly, Generation Me. … And though less than a quarter of seniors who applied for work had postgraduation job offers in hand by late April (compared with 52 percent in 2007), many are still approaching work with attitudes suited for a full-employment economy. 'Almost universally they want to find a job that's not just a job but an expression of their identity, a form of self-fulfillment,' says Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a Clark University psychology professor who interviewed hundreds of young people across the economic spectrum for his book, 'Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road From the Late Teens Through the Twenties.' …"

Stalled on the road to security
Chicago Tribune 5/23/2010
… Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a psychology professor at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., and author of 'Emerging Adulthood,' said that knowing when to cut off aid is more art than science. The key question: Is the support helpful or counterproductive? 'Look for a plausible plan on how your child plans to move themselves toward self-sufficiency,' Arnett explained. If your rudderless child is intensely job-hunting, making contacts and searching Web sites it could be smarter than taking a minimum-wage job. 'But if they're not going anywhere, it's a drain on you and not good for them,' said Arnett, who is working on an advice book for this phase, due out next year."

Debate rages over teen 'narcissism'
ParentCentral 4/21/2010  A fierce debate over whether today's teenagers are really narcissistic, self-entitled slackers is ricocheting across academia. An analysis of nearly a half-million high school students over 30 years by two psychologists, including Dr. Kali Trzesniewski at the University of Western Ontario, declared this month that the kids are all right… 'Oh, grow up!' snapped Jeffrey Jensen Arnett of Clark University in Massachusetts. You're all missing the point. Arnett's own theory is that the modern world has created a new stage in life which he calls 'emerging adulthood,' – that period between schooling and mortgage-kids-responsible job that even Boomers didn't have and are clearly jealous of."

Students reconnect with parents at break
Worcester Telegram and Gazette
A recent article discusses changes that a college student returning home from break (and parents) might have to adjust to. It really does require an adjustment from everybody," said Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, research professor of psychology at Clark University and expert on emerging adulthood. The child is not a child anymore. They have reached a new stage in life. They are not an adult, but they are not an adolescent."

USA Today quoted psychology professor Jeffrey Jensen Arnett in the article, "Federally funded ad campaign holds up value of marriage." With a cynical attitude, Professor Arnett was one of the first to study emerging adulthood. "They take marriage very seriously. That is a very private journey, that search for the soul mate. I can't imagine they'd want the advice of a "