In emerging adulthood, distinctive groups have been found to exhibit "flourishing" (i.e., simultaneously experiencing positive, maturing relationships with parents, exploring identity in numerous positive areas, and striving to attain and subsequently achieving criteria deemed important for the successful transition to adulthood) and "floundering" (i.e., experiencing pitfalls such as heavy experimentation in the form of high levels of binge drinking and drug use, and instability reflected in high levels of depression and anxiety; Nelson & Padilla-Walker, 2011). While these groups have been found to differ with regards to factors of individual development, they had not been examined for variation with regards to familial development. Therefore, the purpose of this study was twofold: First, to examine how experiences in emerging adults' family of origin may be linked to their flourishing and floundering in emerging adulthood. Second, to explore how emerging adults' attitudes towards family of formation, specifically aspects of individuals' marital horizons and family formation values (Carroll et al., 2007), may be linked to flourishing and floundering in emerging adulthood. In general, results showed that flourishing and floundering subgroups differed with regards to their perceptions towards family of origin and attitudes towards family of formation. Flourishing subgroups were found to have more positive perceptions of family-of-origin factors than the floundering subgroups, as well as lower ideal ages for marriage, stronger feelings towards marital permanence, more family centeredness, and less endorsement of cohabitation.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life; Marriage, Family, and Human Development



Date Submitted


Document Type





emerging adulthood, family of origin, family of formation, flourishing, and floundering