An interesting analysis of why we need more research into the health behaviors of emerging adults – college aged youth.
(source: Nature, by Melissa C. Nelson et al)
Over the past 50 years, major population-level demographic shifts including increases in postsecondary education and delays in marriage and childbearing have occurred. These shifts have opened the door for a period of “emerging adulthood,” typically defined as 18–25 years of age (1). This period is marked by important transitions such as leaving home and increasing autonomy in decision-making; however at the same time, adult responsibilities such as financial independence and residential and employment stability are still in flux. This period of emerging adulthood may be an important, yet overlooked, age for establishing long-term health behavior patterns. Several factors differentiate emerging adulthood from other life stages and have specific relevance to the formation of health behavior patterns, including identity development and shifting interpersonal influences.