Emerging adulthood (EA) is a transitional stage or process in between adolescence
and full-fledged adulthood. Researchers generally consider EA to begin around age
18 and last until 25 or 30. Individuals going through EA may feel like an adult in
some ways, but not in others. Some people in the EA age-range are married and supporting
a family, although the typical age of first marriage has been rising in the U.S. and
other industrialized nations.
Many young people use their EA years to try different jobs, travel, volunteer, and
just generally "find themselves," whereas others act in ways that some scholars consider
unproductive (e.g., heavy drinking, hook-ups). Dr. Reifman and his students study
emerging adulthood in a variety of ways.