Aspiring Adults: The Middle Ages (2023)

Starting in 1995, over a five-year period, psychologist Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, PhD, surveyed 300 18- to 29-year-olds in cities across the country, asking them questions about what they wanted out of life.

Despite stark differences in their social backgrounds and likely economic prospects, Arnett was struck by the similar responses he heard from his young interviewees.

They shared a sense of "being in the middle" — they knew they were breaking free from the struggles of youth and were beginning to feel responsible for themselves, but still stayed close to their parents and family.

They also reported pondering their personal identities, a topic that surprised Arnett, who thought most had this problem resolved by puberty.

Based on these interviews and examining broad demographic indicators, Arnett proposed a new period of lifelong development that he calls 'emerging adulthood'.

Arnett, a professor of psychology at Clark University who is currently a Fulbright scholar at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, coined the term in his book Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road From the Late Teens Through the Twenties (Oxford University Press , 2004). ). .

He describes emerging adulthood as the period from late adolescence through the young adult's commitments to steady employment, marriage, and parenthood, and has made it the subject of a new APA book, Emerging Adults in America: Coming of Age in the 21st century". co-edited with Jennifer Lynn Tanner, PhD.

(Video) Aspiring You - Conquering the Middle Ages (9-29-21)

The book asserts that the phenomenon has only emerged in the United States in the past few decades in response to social and economic changes, and calls for further studies examining the nature of life and developmental pathways for emerging adults.

Five shows two aspiring adults

As Arnett describes it, emerging adulthood can be defined as:

  • era of exploration of identity.Young people decide who they are and what they want out of work, school and love.

  • It was instability.The years after high school are characterized by repeated changes of residence, as young people go to college or live with friends. For most, the frequent moves end when families and careers are established in their 30s.

  • It was the auto focus.Freed from the dictates of parental and societal schooling, young people are trying to make choices about what to do, where they want to go, and who they want to be with—before those choices are constrained by the constraints of marriage, children, and work.

  • aging in the middle.Many aspiring adults say they are taking responsibility for themselves, but they don't feel fully grown yet.

  • They were possibilities.optimism reigns. Most aspiring adults believe they have a good chance of "living better than their parents," and even if their parents get divorced, they believe they will find a lifelong soulmate.

    (Video) Aspirin No Longer Recommended To Prevent First Heart Attack Or Stroke For Adults Over 60

Arnett's research shows that aspiring adults expect a lot from life -- a well-paying, personally meaningful job and a lasting commitment to a partner. Many might be disappointed, he says, noting that most employers just want someone who can do the job, and nearly half of all marriages end in divorce.

"If happiness is the difference between what you expect from life and what you actually get, many aspiring adults brace for unhappiness because they expect too much," he says.

Bigger trends at work

Arnett says that emerging adulthood is linked to broader historical social trends in American society, noting that 50 years ago the median age for marriage was 22 for men and 20 for women.

The mean age at marriage is now 28 for men and 24 for women.

One of the reasons young people marry later is that a much higher percentage of young people attend some sort of college, leading to a longer transition time between adolescence and adulthood, says Arnett.

Before 1944 and the passage of the GI Bill of Rights for returning World War II veterans, only a small percentage of high school graduates went on to college, an educational experience reserved primarily for men. Today, most young people have some form of college experience, be it a four-year boarding school or a community college.

Additionally, women now make up the majority of college students, and many want to pursue careers before marrying and having children, Arnett says. The development of the birth control pill helped drive change, says Arnett. Decades ago, young people preferred to get married rather than face the risks of extramarital pregnancy. Today, many people take sexual relationships outside of marriage for granted.

(Video) Starting Medical School at 40 Years Old! | Does Age Matter?

Some thrive; fight something

Another indicator of emerging adulthood, according to Arnett, is the heterogeneity in terms of the variety of paths young people can take and their very different levels of success.

Given the struggles of some aspiring adults, Arnett sees the need for a much larger social effort to help them transition into work and family life. He believes such efforts would be worthwhile given the confidence that people develop in their 20s and their willingness to change.

"When you provide resources, they're much more likely to ask, 'How can I improve my life?'" says Arnett.

He hopes that the book and other efforts, such as the future development of a society studying emerging adulthood, will create a community of scholars dedicated to the study of the developmental period. Arnett and his academic colleagues are currently collecting ideas in the Emerging Adulthood Special Interest Group established by the Society for Research on Adolescence.

The group has organized two academic conferences dealing with aspects of emerging adulthood and a third is planned for February 2007 in Tucson, Arizona.

Several book authors have addressed the question of why some emerging adults do well, why some struggle, and what can be done to facilitate a successful transition.

Tanner, associate editor of the APA book and research assistant professor at Simmons College School of Social Work, argues that the heterogeneity Arnett cites can be explained by the foundations laid in childhood and adolescence.

(Video) I AM Morning Affirmations for Women | Powerful Guided Meditation 432 Hz Healing Frequency

How well a teenager transitions from young adulthood into adulthood and becomes a fully independent person, she describes, depends largely on finding the right balance between the teenager's drive for independence and the support of parents and society—not pushing too hard or holding back on too much, she says.

Many aspiring adults who are struggling to become independent have had previous difficulties accomplishing developmental tasks for one reason or another, she says.

"There's a huge cost to young people who aren't willing to 'fit in' with adult roles and responsibilities," says Tanner.

Jean S. Phinney, PhD, professor of psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, writes about the distinct characteristics of emerging adulthood in minority ethnic groups. For both cultural and economic reasons, many young people from minority ethnic groups tend to take on adult responsibilities earlier, contribute to family income and care for siblings, sometimes at the expense of their own schooling, Phinney says.

In emerging adulthood, ethnic minorities must confront the larger culture and discover their own identities in the context of larger society. For children of immigrants, this can be a particular challenge, she says.

"I think it might be more difficult for minorities that come from a culture where the expectations of what you're supposed to do are very strong," she says.

Another author of the book, Stephen F. Hamilton, PhD, professor of human development at Cornell University, focuses on young people who cannot afford college or who are not pursuing professional training. Many in this group languish in low-paying side jobs, hopping from one dead-end unskilled job to another, Hamilton says.

"You end up doing this job your whole life," he says.

(Video) When Your Substitute Teacher Is Asian

Hamilton believes American life lacks an institution -- one that helps young people enter the primary workforce to find decent-paying jobs with benefits and a chance for promotion.


What does it mean to be self-sufficient during the Middle Ages? ›

 They were self-sufficient, which means they produced. everything they needed: Food, Clothing, and Farming. Tools.  Peasants lived in simple homes, or a not-so-well put. together cottage with dirt floors.

Why is it important for a student to know about the Middle Ages? ›

The history of Medieval Europe is the foundation of Western Civilization, so knowing it will help us understand where the governments, economies, institutions and culture of the United States and Europe originated and evolved from.

What are 3 things about the Middle Ages? ›

  • People had the vote.
  • The church didn't conduct witch hunts.
  • They had a Renaissance, and invented experimental science.
  • They travelled – and traded – over very long distances.
  • They had some great 'folk' customs.
  • You didn't have to get married in church.
  • Most great medieval authors didn't write.

How was life hard in the Middle Ages? ›

Life was harsh, with a limited diet and little comfort. Women were subordinate to men, in both the peasant and noble classes, and were expected to ensure the smooth running of the household. Children had a 50% survival rate beyond age one, and began to contribute to family life around age twelve.

What is the best way to be self-sufficient? ›

10 ways to become more Self-sufficient right NOW
  1. Grow your own food. ...
  2. Compost Scraps. ...
  3. Learn to Cook Garden to Plate. ...
  4. Preserve Extra Food. ...
  5. Learn to Take Cuttings. ...
  6. Save Seeds. ...
  7. Swap and Trade. ...
  8. Learn about Edible plants.
Jul 15, 2021

What was the most important thing during the Middle Ages? ›

The Catholic Church in the Middle Ages

Instead, the Catholic Church became the most powerful institution of the medieval period. Kings, queens and other leaders derived much of their power from their alliances with and protection of the Church.

What is one important thing about the Middle Ages? ›

The geographical boundaries for European countries today were established during the Middle Ages. This was a period that heralded the formation and rise of universities, the establishment of the rule of law, numerous periods of ecclesiastical reform and the birth of the tourism industry.

What are 5 things the Middle Ages are known for? ›

The Middle Ages, lasting from the 5th century to 1485, are best known for their violent revolts and revolutions, gruesome punishments, feasting and fetes, gallant knights and fairytale princesses.

What is a short summary of the Middle Ages? ›

The Middle Ages, or Medieval Times, in Europe was a long period of history from 500 AD to 1500 AD. That's 1000 years! It covers the time from the fall of the Roman Empire to the rise of the Ottoman Empire. This was a time of castles and peasants, guilds and monasteries, cathedrals and crusades.

How would you explain the Middle Ages? ›

The Middle Ages was the period in European history from the collapse of Roman civilization in the 5th century CE to the period of the Renaissance (variously interpreted as beginning in the 13th, 14th, or 15th century, depending on the region of Europe and other factors).

What were important values during the Middle Ages? ›

From the time of Beowulf to that of Malory's Arthurian tales, the European nobility and the writers they supported celebrated military values: valor, loyalty, personal honor, and chivalry.

What were the 4 major characteristics of the Middle Ages? ›

When one studies the Medieval period, a few factors are typically seen as being the characteristics common to the period. Among these include: deurbanization, military invasions, population redistribution, and migrations of people to new areas.

What did the Middle Ages believe? ›

Religion in Europe in the Middle Ages was a combination of Christian and pagan beliefs and practices. Christians still relied on divination, astrology, and other mystical practices condemned by official Church doctrine. Jews and Muslims also made up the European population.

What was the main cause of the Middle Ages? ›

The Middle Ages formally began with the collapse of unified Roman imperial authority in Western Europe in 476.

What problems did people face during the Middle Ages? ›

Adults died from various causes, including plague, tuberculosis, malnutrition, famine, warfare, sweating sickness and infections. Wealth did not guarantee a long life. Surprisingly, well-fed monks did not necessarily live as long as some peasants.

What challenges did the Middle Ages face? ›

Famine, the Black Death, the 100 Years' War and the decay of the Roman Catholic Church contributed to social, economic and spiritual decline across Europe which made life more challenging during the late Middle Ages.

How did the Middle Ages impact society? ›

In the central, or high, Middle Ages, even more dramatic growth occurred. The period was marked by economic and territorial expansion, demographic and urban growth, the emergence of national identity, and the restructuring of secular and ecclesiastical institutions.

What skills do you need to be self-sufficient? ›

Self-Sufficiency Skills in the Modern World
  • Plant a Garden. Planting a garden, even if it is just a tomato or two in pots on your patio, will provide your family with fresh produce. ...
  • Learn to Can. ...
  • Dehydrate. ...
  • Store for the Long Haul. ...
  • Plant an Orchard. ...
  • Learn to Forage. ...
  • Keep a Beehive or Two. ...
  • Learn to Cure Your Own Meats.
Apr 3, 2020

What is an example of self-sufficient? ›

able to take care of yourself, to be happy, or to deal with problems, without help from other people: She's a very self-sufficient young woman. He had never had to make a decision in his life but now he had to be entirely self-sufficient. Within three years, Pakistan became self-sufficient.

What are three self-sufficiency benefits? ›

There are many benefits of self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency not only saves you money, it helps protect you from the vicissitudes of life, and also helps to protect the environment. Self-sufficiency is both physically and mentally beneficial and provides ways to live naturally.

What were the three most important works of the Middle Ages? ›

Here a few of the more famous literary works from the Middle Ages:
  • Beowulf - Unknown author. ...
  • The Canterbury Tales - by Geoffrey Chaucer. ...
  • Caedmon's Hymn - This hymn, recorded by a monk, is the oldest surviving Old English poem.
  • The Divine Comedy - by Dante Alighieri. ...
  • The Book of Margery Kempe - by Margery Kempe.

How did the Middle Ages affect the modern world? ›

Transition to the Modern World

The transition from the medieval to the modern world was foreshadowed by economic expansion, political centralization, and secularization. A money economy weakened serfdom, and an inquiring spirit stimulated the age of exploration.

What was it like living in the Middle Ages? ›

Most people in medieval society lived in villages, there were few large towns. The majority of people were peasants, who worked on the land. There were a range of jobs and trades in towns and villages, some quite similar to those people might have today.

What were the 5 social classes of the Middle Ages? ›

After the rank of king, the hierarchy was the nobles, the knights, the clergy (religious people), the tradesmen and the peasants.

What 4 Causes ended the Middle Ages? ›

  • 4 Reasons for the end of the middle ages in Europe. ◦Failure lessened the power of the Pope. ...
  • Crusades. ◦Collapse of manorial system as productivity ends and serfs leave in search of work; peasant rebellions grow in response to nobles' refusal to increase wages. ...
  • Black Death. ...
  • Hundred Years War. ...
  • Great Schism.

How did the people of the Middle Ages feel about religion? ›

Christian belief was so widespread during this time that historians sometimes call the Middle Ages the “Age of Faith.” People looked to the Church to explain world events. Storms, disease, and famine were thought to be punishments sent by God. People hoped prayer and religious devotion would keep away such disasters.

What does it mean when you are self-sufficient? ›

Meaning of self-sufficient in English. able to provide everything you need, especially food, for yourself without the help of other people: The program aims to make the country self-sufficient in food production and to cut energy imports.

What is meant by self-sufficient stage? ›

able to supply one's own or its own needs without external assistance: The nation grows enough grain to be self-sufficient. having extreme confidence in one's own resources, powers, etc.: He was self-sufficient, and always reminded you of it.

Why were manors self-sufficient during the Middle Ages? ›

The manor was largely a self-sufficient community. The serfs and peasants raised or produced nearly everything that they and their lord needed for daily life— crops, milk and cheese, fuel, cloth, leather goods, and lumber.

Which best describes why Major in the early Middle Ages was self-sufficient? ›

Which best describes why a manor in the early Middle Ages was self-sufficient? A variety of crops provided the necessary food.

How do I live completely self-sufficient? ›

8 Ways to Embrace Self-Sufficiency and Sustainable Living
  1. Grow Your Own Fruits and Vegetables. ...
  2. Plan and Cook Your Meals. ...
  3. Preserve Food to Reduce Waste. ...
  4. Practice Composting. ...
  5. Repair and Mend Clothes. ...
  6. Opt for Renewable Energy. ...
  7. Travel More Sustainably. ...
  8. Purchase with Purpose.
Apr 20, 2022

What is the importance of being self-sufficient? ›

Self-sufficiency not only saves you money, it helps protect you from the vicissitudes of life, and also helps to protect the environment. Self-sufficiency is both physically and mentally beneficial and provides ways to live naturally. Sufficiency is when you have enough for a life of well-being.

What are the traits of a self-sufficient person? ›

Self-sufficient people are a mixture of healthy self-esteem and independence. They make their own decisions and don't depend on others. In fact, they aren't afraid of loneliness. What most defines these people, beyond the aforementioned characteristics, is their freedom of thought.

What is an example of a self-sufficient act? ›

You make your own tools, grow your own food, make your own electricity – everything that you would buy in a store or services you would pay for would go against being fully self-sufficient.

What is a sufficient development? ›

Sufficient development varies among paragraphs, but a well-developed paragraph will support its topic sentence just as the paper supports the thesis. Paragraphs with little information may not be adequately developed.

How do you promote self-sufficiency? ›

Improving Your Self-Sufficiency
  1. Enhance Your Self-Esteem. If you're not confident in yourself and always looking for the approval or guidance of others, then it's time to really start working on your confidence. ...
  2. Work On Budgeting. ...
  3. Learn New Skills. ...
  4. Healthy Nutrition.
Jun 1, 2019

Why was peasant life harsh? ›

Peasants lived in unhygienic and disease-ridden environments. Their water supply was typically filthy, as it was also where people deposited waste. Most peasants bathed once or twice throughout their entire lifetime.

What was peasant life like on a manor? ›

Typically, peasants worked six days a week, spending two to three days working on the demesne, and the rest of the days tending to their own land. On Sunday, they were allowed to rest. The typical peasant diet consisted mainly of cereals such as barley and wheat, which they would make into bread and porridge.

Who owned manors in the Middle Ages? ›

The Manor System refers to a system of agricultural estates in the Middle Ages, owned by a Lord and run by serfs or peasants. The Lords provided safety and protection from outside threats and the serfs or peasants provided labor to run the manor.

What was the most important development of the Middle Ages? ›

One of the most important developments in the Middle Ages was the experimentation and developments in iron production. As noted by Bert Hall in his essay, "Iron is one of the most useful metals ever discovered, but it is also one of the more difficult metals to understand in history, especially in medieval history.

What was the Middle Ages mostly known for? ›

In the central, or high, Middle Ages, even more dramatic growth occurred. The period was marked by economic and territorial expansion, demographic and urban growth, the emergence of national identity, and the restructuring of secular and ecclesiastical institutions.


1. Put an End to Adult Acne
2. Every teenager NEEDS to hear this! (2023)
(Prince Ea)
3. Preventing Aspiration in Older Adults with Dysphagia
(Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing)
4. Tate McRae - Teenage Mind (Official Music Video)
(Tate McRae)
5. How can a child aspire to a career they don't know exists? | Ed Hidalgo | TEDxKids@ElCajon
(TEDx Talks)
(SandZ Academy)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Prof. An Powlowski

Last Updated: 03/01/2023

Views: 5686

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Prof. An Powlowski

Birthday: 1992-09-29

Address: Apt. 994 8891 Orval Hill, Brittnyburgh, AZ 41023-0398

Phone: +26417467956738

Job: District Marketing Strategist

Hobby: Embroidery, Bodybuilding, Motor sports, Amateur radio, Wood carving, Whittling, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Prof. An Powlowski, I am a charming, helpful, attractive, good, graceful, thoughtful, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.