An Exploration of the Experience of Chinese Emerging Adults-University Students Transitioning to Mature Adulthood

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Title: An Exploration of the Experience of Chinese Emerging Adults-University Students Transitioning to Mature Adulthood
Authors: Pang, Wuji, W.P.
Date: 2011
Abstract: Recent research has proposed a new stage in human development, termed emerging adulthood by Jeffrey Arnett, which is characterized by a prolonged journey to adult roles and responsibilities. This thesis explores the experience of Chinese emerging adults, university students aged 20-25 years using Erikson’s and Levinson’s developmental theories as a theoretical framework. These authors proposed that three major developmental tasks are necessary for the transition to adulthood: separating from family of origin, forming an adult identity and finding the place for the self in the larger society. Qualitative interviews were conducted virtually with 12 Chinese university students to understand their perceptions and lived experience. Qualitative thematic analysis was used to analyze the interview transcripts. The results suggest Chinese emerging adults (a) have a low level of separation from parents; (b) have not formed a clear sense of identity and have not achieved a self-definition in adulthood; and (c) have not made initial commitments to love and work. It is speculated that the Chinese sociocultural context may further postpone its young adults’ independence and autonomy, and this prolonged transition to adulthood is both positive and problematic to Chinese young adults. This study lends support to Arnett’s emerging adulthood theory through its exploration of emerging adulthood in China, where, to date, little research has been done on this subject. It provides rich descriptions of the experience of Chinese emerging adults’ lives and enhances understandings of the role of culture in influencing the emerging adulthood period.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/20432
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-5052
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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