The transition to adulthood in Colombia: A relational reading
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Avances en Psicologia Latinoamericana
In last decades, young adults have become in a matter of debate and social and developmental research, both in psychology and related disciplines. This recent interest is justified in the contemporary trend of industrialized Western societies to prolonged adolescence and delay the onset of common adult roles. However, in emerging countries like Colombia, there are very few studies, mostly based on surveys. Based on the relational-intergenerational perspective (set by Vittorio Cigoli and Eugenia Scabini), this research explored qualitatively by semi- structured interviews the transition to adulthood of 40 Colombian young adults: 20 women and 20 men. Results were compared with the dominant contemporary theory in this field ("emerging adulthood" in developed countries, proposed by Jeffrey J. Arnett), which does not predict the results of a developing country like Colombia. In contrast, there was a strong presence of family support as a key characteristic for the transition to adulthood in Colombia, a phenomenon that arises naturally from the relational- intergenerational theory.