International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 11 Num. 1 - March 2011


Conceptions of the transition to adulthood in a sample of Greek higher education students

Volume 11 Num. 1 - March 2011 - Pages 121-137


Kostantinos Petrogiannis


In a series of papers Jeffrey Arnett defines the age range between 18-25 as emerging adulthood. For a number of ethnic groups it has been found to be a particular culturally-constructed period of life course bridging adolescence and young adulthood. The primary purpose of this first exploratory study was to examine conceptions of the transition to adulthood and what criteria are endorsed when defining what an adult is among 183 Greek higher education students. Similarly to other developed countries with different cultural traditions such as the US, undergraduate students in Greece view themselves as no longer adolescents but not yet fully adults, i.e. they are best described as emerging adults. The respondents viewed internal, psychological attributes as most important as markers of adulthood, reflecting individualistic aspects. No gender differences were found with the exception of the stronger endorsement of female students in the Independence Scale.

Key words:

emerging adulthood, conceptions of adulthood, transition to adulthood, Greek university students

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