Emerging Adulthood

Learning and Development During the First Stage of Adulthood

Authored by: Jennifer L. Tanner , Jeffrey Jensen Arnett , Julie A. Leis

Handbook of Research on Adult Learning and Development

Print publication date:  November  2008
Online publication date:  November  2008

Print ISBN: 9780805858198
eBook ISBN: 9780203887882
Adobe ISBN: 9781135597405


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Inherent in the call for the integration of educational psychology and adult learning (Smith & Reio, 2006) is the need for specific information that speaks to the unique developmental features of discrete adult age periods. Particularly important is the need to recognize the age period between 29 and 30 as a distinct developmental period, emerging adulthood, during which there is great demand for skill and knowledge acquisition as well as maturation as individuals make the transition to adulthood. It is likewise imperative to have appreciation for the diversity of learning experiences that occur during adulthood in general (Smith & Pourchot, 1998) and during emerging adulthood specifically. Given that the post-adolescent years correspond with those spent, by some, in postsecondary education, the college student development literature is often used to frame our understanding of learning, development, and adaptation during this age period. Development and learning during this age period, however, takes place across a variety of contexts, is not limited to those enrolled in college or university, and is distinctly different from development during childhood and adolescence as well as development that occurs in later stages of adulthood.

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