Salient and Emerging Developmental Tasks in the Transition to Adulthood

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Abstract

Drawing on data from a normative sample of 205 children tracked into adulthood, this study examined the predictive links from 3 salient (friendship, academic, conduct) and 2 emerging (work, romantic) developmental tasks during the transition years around age 20 to adult adaptation 10 years later. Results (a) confirm the utility of salient developmental tasks for predicting adult success, (b) suggest that emerging domains have limited long-term predictive significance, and (c) more generally support a view that developmental tasks follow a course through life of waxing and waning salience and organization that has implications for future adaptation.

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