Not Quite Adults

“Hopeful and challenging, and offering insight that will help us understand this generation,” Not Quite Adults may change everything about the conversations we have about and with teenagers and twenty-somethings. Learn the real reasons why so many young people are choosing slower paths to adulthood, and the unexpected truth—that it’s good for allof us. There are serious alarms, however, in that not everyone is doing it, or doing well at it.

The media has been flooded with negative headlines about 20-somethings, from their sense of entitlement to their immaturity to their dependence on their parents’ purse strings. The message is that these young people need to shape up and grow up—that they should take a fast track to adulthood just like their parents did. Now, drawing on almost a decade of cutting-edge scientific research sponsored by the MacArthur foundation, including analyses of over two dozen national data sets and 500 interviews with young people, Richard Settersten, Ph.D., and Barbara Ray shatter these widespread stereotypes. Settersten and Ray bring us a more nuanced understanding of this generation, and of the unique challenges they are facing as they come of age.

Not Quite Adults gets to the heart of how and why the course to adulthood has become so complicated, what these changes mean for families and for our country, and what we should do about it. Rather than playing the blame game by pointing fingers at helicopter parents or entitled teenagers, the authors show how cultural and economic forces have radically transformed the “traditional” path to adulthood, creating a very different set of challenges as well as opportunities for today’s young adults.

Filled with timely information and illuminating case histories, Not Quite Adults is a fascinating and enlightening look at an often misunderstood generation. It is a must-read for parents, teachers, psychologists, sociologists, and anyone interested in today’s youth culture.

Not Quite Adults was published by Random House on December 28, 2010 and is available in bookstores everywhere.


Title Not quite adults: Why 20-somethings are choosing a slower path to adulthood, and why it’s good for everyone
Publication Type Book
Year of Publication 2010
Authors Settersten, Jr., RA, Ray BE
Publisher Random House
City New York
ISBN Number 978-0-553-80740-0