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Gutman Library Book Talk: The End of Adolescence: The Lost Art of Delaying Adulthood
Is Gen Z resistant to growing up? A leading developmental psychologist and an expert in the college student experience debunk this stereotype and explain how we can better support young adults as they make the transition from adolescence to the rest of their lives.

Experts and the general public are convinced that young people today are trapped in an extended adolescence—coddled, unaccountable, and more reluctant to take on adult responsibilities than previous generations. Nancy Hill and Alexis Redding argue that what is perceived as stalled development is in fact typical. Those reprimanding today’s youth have forgotten that they once balked at the transition to adulthood themselves.

From an abandoned archive of recordings of college students from half a century ago, Hill and Redding discovered that there is nothing new about feeling insecure, questioning identities, and struggling to find purpose. Like many of today’s young adults, those of two generations ago also felt isolated and anxious that the path to success felt fearfully narrow. This earlier cohort, too, worried about whether they could make it on their own.
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Harvard University welcomes individuals with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you would like to request accommodations or have questions about the access provided, please contact Myanne Krivoshey (email: myanne_krivoshey@gse.harvard.edu) in advance of your participation. Requests for Sign Language interpreters and/or CART providers should be made at least two weeks in advance, if possible. Please note that the university will make every effort to secure services, but that services are subject to availability.

Apr 8, 2021 04:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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