emerging adulthood, graduation, relationships, peer groups


In any discussion about flourishing in emerging adulthood, it would be easy to simply think about the positive things that young people do (e.g., pursue education, volunteer, serve, engage in political activism). However, few emerging adults walk the path toward adulthood alone. They embark on and make their way through the third decade of life within a myriad of complex relationships with family, friends, and romantic partners. However, the changing nature of these relationships is arguably more complex than at any other point in their lives to date. Graduation (for most) from high school brings the dissolution of many peer groups as young people begin their varied paths toward their future (e.g., college, military, career).

Original Publication Citation

Padilla-Walker, L. M., Memmott-Elison, M. K., & Nelson, L. J. (2017). Positive Relationships as an Indicator of Flourishing During Emerging Adulthood. In L. M. Padilla-Walker and L. J. Nelson (Eds.), Flourishing in emerging adulthood: Positive development during the third decade of life pp. 212-236. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Oxford University Press




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor