While Peter Pan might have wanted to never grow up, some otherwise age-appropriate individuals are having trouble entering anything like a traditional adulthood. For decades, society has been slowly erecting higher and higher barriers along the pathway to adulthood, to the point that no clear pathway to a socially prescribed adulthood exists. In that historical context, individuals are reassessing and revaluing traditional adulthood, ultimately giving rise to what could be called a New Adulthood. Some curious twists in that new-adult model have become clear lately: (1) Be Responsible, Postpone Responsibility; (2) Less Is Not Just More, It’s Freedom; (3) Immaturity Is Innovative; and (4) Adulthood? There’s an App for That. Whereas the older adulthood happened “all at once,” when some signature event took place – for instance, marriage, military service, graduating and the like – the New Adulthood seems to emerge over an extended period of time, requiring the individual to acquire coping skills slowly.
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