Transition to Adulthood
Changing landscape of early adulthoodEntry into adulthood is longer, often ambiguous, and generally occurs in a more complex and less uniform fashion. We can now say that adulthood no longer begins when adolescence ends.
Changing timesA lengthy period, often spanning the 20s, is now devoted to: further education job exploration experimentation in romantic relationshipspersonal development. The path to adulthood has become less linear, from school to work, marriage and childbearing
Two revolutions that reorganized work and familyTechnological revolution raised the importance of technical knowledge, and thus education, in the labor market.Gender relationships within home and work lowered barriers to the workforce for women and created space for more egalitarian
MismatchThe varied timing and sequence of adult transitions contributes to a mismatch between institutions and young adults.Workplaces also do not accommodate the competing demands young adults face. Consequently, families are required to fill in, but they frequently lack sufficient resources and know-how to help young people successfully negotiate this complex period.
Children in families in the top quarter of income categories receive at least 70 percent more in material assistance than children in the bottom quarter
Other supportsTwo other institutions can provide a bridge between the end of adolescence and an independent adult existence: residential four-year colleges and the military. Four-year colleges provide some supervision, direction, supports such as medical care, housing and opportunities for civic engagement and public service, while also providing more independence than is usually provided to adolescents. The military provides a similar institutional bridge between dependence and independence.
Problems create additional risksYouth who are disconnected between the ages of 16 and 23that is, youth who for a substantial period of time are far more likely during later adulthood to be poor, to be on welfare, to have weak ties to the work-force, and to have a lower likelihood of marriage
Vulnerable PopulationsPopulations which are especially vulnerable during the transition to adulthood, are those in the mental health system, in foster care, in juvenile justice systems;reentering the community from the criminal justice system; as well as high school dropoutsneeding special education services andthe homeless, disabled or chronically ill; Government programs play a major role in the lives of these children and youth, yet support typically ends between the ages of 18 and 21
Todays institutions dont fit with the needs of todays youthMany features of American society operate on the assumption that the attainment of adulthood occurs earlier or that most youth are in collegeFrom the late teens through the late 20s, many young people do not have the social support and financial resources to sustain them.
Theories of Young AdulthoodEriksonIndividual must make a commitment LevinsonForming a dreamVague sense of self in adult worldFinding an occupationDefine the set of activities young adults pursueEstablishing a relationship with a mentorEnables the young adult to see how all the tasks of the period can be woven togetherEstablishing love relationships
Understanding School-to-Work ConnectionThose who believe in a payoff for high school achievement work harderFacets of the worlds of education and workTransparency--extent to which young people can see through the intricacies of the rules of school/work and plan a course of actionPermeability-Ease of movement from one part of the system to anotherClearly specifie rules = greater tranparencyDifficult to obtain credential = less permeabilityHamilton--Role of Apprenticeships and mentors
QuestionsDoes mentoring promote positive outcomes? What are the underlying processes?What are the implications for the field of prevention?
A landmark study in 1995 by Public/Private Ventures, an independent research group, documented the positive impact this type of relationship can have. The study demonstrated that Little Brothers and Little Sisters are:46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs 27% less likely to begin using alcohol 52% less likely to skip school 37% less likely to skip a class 33% less prone to violence: less likely to use hitting to deal with problems.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of BaltimoreImpact Study
Programs & Organizations Formal ProgramsWide-ranging effects on youth outcomes: emotional/psychological, problem behavior, social competence, academic, career/employment But
Size of effects small (d = .18) and preliminary cost-benefit ratios are not compelling "small, d = .20," "medium, d = .50," and "large, d = .80 (Cohen, 1988)Significant variability in quality of mentoring relationships established in programsEffect sizes vary significantly across programs
Small to Medium Effect
Medium to Large Effect
Effect on Youth
# of Samples
7Medium to Large Effects7
16Small to Medium Effects16
Small to Medium Effect
Medium to Large Effect
Effect on Youth
# of Samples .
Effect sizes increase with greater use of theory- and empirically-based practices
-0.100.10.20.30.40.501234567891011Number of PracticesSize of Effect on Youth OutcomesEmpirically-BasedPracticesTheory-BasedPracticesSmall EffectMedium Effect
Theory-Empirically-PracticeBasedBased____________________________________________________________Monitoring of Program ImplementationXXSetting for Mentoring Activities (Community-based)XScreening of Prospective MentorsXMentor Background: Helping Role or ProfessionXMentor/Youth MatchingXMentor Pre-Match TrainingXExpectations: Frequency of ContactXXExpectations: Length of RelationshipXSupervisionXOngoing TrainingXXMentor Support GroupXStructured Activities for Mentors and YouthXXParent Support/InvolvementXX
The State of the Field
enthusiasm for new approaches often outpacing the scientific knowledge base. What accounts for this unbridled growth?PPVs research--control group