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Chronological and Subjective Age in Emerging Adulthood - Essay Example

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The paper attempts to comprehend the convoluted relationship between the chronological and subjective age. It focuses on a study conducted, and how this study assists in deriving the crossover age. The paper elaborates on the methods and results of the survey and compares them to other survey results…
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Chronological and Subjective Age in Emerging Adulthood
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Download file to see previous pages The relationship between the chronological and subjective age has been a keen area of interest. Researchers have speculated that subjective age may be a motivational facet of identity, associated with a desire to be younger or older (Galambos, Kolaric, Sears,&Maggs, 1999). Subjective age also appears to be influenced by important social and autobiographical reference points (Montepare & Clements, 2001; Zebrowitz & Montepare, 2000) such as behaviours associated
In an attempt to establish a relationship between the chronological and subjective age, a research was carried out. A sample of 190 university students (140 females, 50 males) ages 17 to 29 completed questionnaires assessing their subjective age, psychosocial maturity, number of role transitions, financial dependence, economic pressure, and alcohol use. Based on the results of these questionnaire, experts tried to locate the exact crossover point, where the subjective age exceeds the chronological age. It is important to locate the crossover point as it helps to acquire a proper understanding of the characteristics of emerging adulthood, and the changes in self perception accompanying it.
As mentioned earlier, the study was conducted on 190 university students, falling between the age group of 17 to 29, the mean age of the sample being 21.87 years. The participants were judged on five different parameters- psychosocial maturity, number of role transitions, financial dependence on parents, economic pressure and alcohol use. Among these parameters, the former two are possible markers of adulthood while the latter two are barriers to its achievement.
To have a better understanding of the study, it is imperative to comprehend the five parameters mentioned above. Psychosocial maturity is defined as an individuals' general level of adaptive functioning and socioemotional competence (Galambos & Costigan, 2003).
It also takes into account various several other factors such as the ability to function independently, developed communication skills, and the capacity to shoulder social responsibility.
Another criterion which was considered in the study was the number of role transition roles. This refers to the ease with which an individual can adapt a particular role according to the need of the hour. But experts believe that this particular feature isn't as important as is psychosocial maturity.
While these two factors are representative of emerging adulthood, there are others which serve as barriers to maturity. Dependence on parents for financial assistance is one such factor. (Arnett, 1994). Economic pressure is another such criterion, which is intimately related to the first factor. As the name suggests, economic pressure refers to the difficulty associated with financial stressful conditions. (Conger, Rueter, & Conger, 2000). A higher level of economic pressure suggests that financial independence has not been achieved, which in turn is characteristic of a lower than expected subjective age.
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