Academic journal article Adultspan Journal

Young Adults: Finding Stability in Unstable Times

Academic journal article Adultspan Journal

Young Adults: Finding Stability in Unstable Times

Article excerpt

In the past decade, our young adults have been exposed to more tragedies than some of us have seen in several decades of our own lives. From the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, shootings at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the multitude of current-day traumatic bullying and campus suicides, young adults have been inundated with trauma. Developing one's own identity is difficult enough without the impact of disasters, disabilities, and discrimination.

The concept of this special section originally centered on giving voice to the sometimes forgotten developmental issues of young adults. When these developmental transitions collide with factors such as bullying, addiction, and trauma, the outcome for our young adults can be devastating, as we have seen in recent events. The loss of life on college campuses is at alarming levels. As a director of a university counseling center, I have witnessed the impact firsthand. These tragedies are not just limited to the primary parties involved but rather have a ripple effect on a campus and community at large.

As professionals in this field, we know the transition into young adulthood can start as early as 18 years old, or freshman year in college. As these late-stage adolescents, or young adults, struggle to clarify their identity and work toward intimacy, they must develop the capacity to share with and care about others. This process can prove to be emotionally difficult when these important relationships come with so many fears. …

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