Nontraditional student attitudes about emerging adulthood



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The present study assessed beliefs about adulthood, including meeting one’s own criteria for adulthood, among nontraditional students based on different markers of nontraditional status. In addition, the study examined whether meeting multiple criteria of nontraditional status was associated with different attitudes about adulthood. Participants (n = 217) consisted of students from the University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL) who answered questions about demographic characteristics, which were used to determine nontraditional student statuses, aspects of emerging adulthood, and aspects of established adulthood. Results indicated that students who met the criteria for some of the different nontraditional statuses, as well as students who met the criteria for multiple nontraditional statuses, reported feeling less like emerging adults and more like established adults than students who met the criteria for traditional statuses. These findings demonstrate that some nontraditional students may feel more established in adulthood than others, and theory regarding emerging adulthood may need to be refined to reflect the attitudes and experiences of nontraditional students.



Nontraditional, College Students, Emerging Adulthood, Established Adulthood