emerging adulthood, views of life, well-being, maladjustment, college students


The purpose of this study was to examine differences in how young people view the period of life from the late teens to the mid-to-late twenties and how different perspectives of the time period may be differentially associated with indices of adjustment and maladjustment. Participants included 772 college students in the United States with an average age of 19.51 years (SD = 1.69). The majority of participants were female (69 %), White (69 %), and not living at home (90 %). Five factors were identified reflecting different views of what the time period should be about including risk-taking (e.g., a time to drink and get drunk), uncertainty (e.g., a time of confusion), role preparation (e.g., a time to prepare to marry and be a parent), possibilities (e.g., a time of optimism and fun), and stress (e.g., a time of high pressure). Each view of emerging adulthood was differentially linked with indices of adjustment (e.g., prosocial behaviors, school engagement) and maladjustment (e.g., binge drinking, depression).

Original Publication Citation

Nelson, L. J., Willoughby, B. J., *Rogers, A. A., & Padilla-Walker, L. M. (2015). “What a view!”: Associations between young people’s views of the late teens and twenties and indices of adjustment and maladjustment. Journal of Adult Development, 22, 125-137.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Journal of Adult Development




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor