Transitioning from adolescence to adulthood

Transitioning from adolescence to adulthood

Background of transition from key theories

As provided by Erickson, the stages of development state eight major stages of life that each person must go through in their journey of life. Stages one to four represents a child translating from one state to another whose transition is as smooth as numerous changes do not characterize it. A significant change occurs when a person moves from Adolescent to adult. The major characteristic of the adolescence stage is the identity crisis, where the young people are confused about the roles they are to play in society (Florentine, 1988). Teenagers are always struggling to move from their families to be independent and navigate friendships where they can identify with. Young adulthood begins at the age of twenty. It is characterized by intimacy and isolation where a young adult has to make difficult decisions such as choosing a life partner, job, and a career path to advance. Gender is a limiting factor as young adults transit into adulthood.

The real transition to adulthood

The translational period is more important because they have the capacity of making or breaking the individual. The choice of a life partner, for example, is a decision that can impact a person’s life indefinitely (Blanchard-Fields et al., 1997). Therefore, parents and teachers must put more effort to ensure that adolescents are prepared to face the transition to have a higher quality of life as adults. Numerous studies have shown that three stages determine how well an individual is prepared to move from adolescence to adulthood.

Accept Responsibility for oneself.

Taking Responsibility is the essential feature of the adolescent-adult transition, unlike in the other stages where the parents were fully responsible for their welfare, such as feeding, shelter, clothing, and the times of doing the house chores. As a person enters adulthood, they are responsible for their cleanliness, determining their nutrition and the kind of friends to interact with within all the places of interaction (Sumbadze, & Tarkhan-Mouravi, 2003). For example, a young person who joins the university must take care of their washing, their accommodation, and the diet they use. Failure to take Responsibility indicates that a person has not transitioned from being a child to an adult. Failure to take responsibility for one’s action is a sign that they are not ready to transcend from Adolescent to adulthood.

Making independent decision

Decision making is an important aspect of adulating, and a person who becomes an adult must be able to make decisions that they can be accountable for them. Young people must realize that all their decisions are not dimensional, and each decision will have an impact (Sumbadze & Tarkhan-Mouravi, 2003). Therefore, the transiting person must be able to analyze situations and make sound decisions whose outcome they will be proud of in the long run.

Assuming financial independence

Financial independence is a broad term used to mean that people must be ready to determine how they will get money to run their affairs and how to manage their resources for a better outcome. As a young person moves from being an adolescent where they were given pocket money by their parents and instructed on how to use it effectively (Marsh, 1989). As the young people move to institutions of higher learning, they are taught the Responsibility of how to manage their pocket money to be used for the entire semester. As the ado scents move to adulthood, they must have a clear strategy to be financially independent.

Major issues for consideration during the transition

Most parts of the world have a long history of oppressive patriarchy where women were the object of discrimination and did not have equal opportunities. However, both genders have similar aspirations to achieve success in their lives. Most of the aspirations people have as they transition from adolescence to adulthood is having a good education, getting well-paying employment, and employment. The aspirations will only come to pass when both males and females have similar opportunities for education, employment, and possible interactions. Gender discrimination worldwide may hinder women from achieving their goals as they transition to adulthood (Johnson, 2001). Most nations in the world practice patriarchy, and despite claims that some countries have achieved gender equality, the presence of the feminist movement is proof that society is yet to achieve gender equality. Since the people are segregated based on gender, the women are likely to be less privileged and in the allocation of employment and education opportunities.

Adolescents preparing to transit to adulthood have to navigate the transition through contending various opportunities. Regardless of their location and family history, all the people in the transition must decide on education, marriage, and places to settle and lead their lives. The increasing maturity comes with higher expectations where they are expected to be more productive in society and be responsible for all the actions they undertake. Poverty, poor parenting, and gender discrimination can significantly make the transition a difficult one as young people move to adulthood (Johnson, 2001). Diversity plays an important role in determining the future of individuals. Gender diversity exposes men and women to a different environment in society, which hinders them from achieving their goals and ambitions.

Main challenges adolescents face as they transition to adulthood

As young people navigate through the different stages of life and transit from adolescence to adulthood, they experience emotional changes as they learn to live with people as they are through acquiring emotional intelligence (Finan et al., 2018). Failure to embrace emotional intelligence to understand a person’s emotions may lead to a breakdown on the person’s side. The physical challenges they experience as they grow to move to adulthood is related to their gender and may limit them from achieving their goals. A young lady who intends to start a family must be ready to abandon the beauty theories of maintaining a slim body and changing their body’s shape. Identity crisis is rampant at this level where the individuals are faced with challenges of low self-esteem, confusion and a mixture of reactions which makes them unable to embrace adulthood effectively.

How does gender affect the aspirations of young people as they transit into womanhood?

Gender roles in the patriarchal society give men the most opportunities and sideline women. An ideal patriarchal society has opportunities specifically reserved for men, such as the Science Technology, Engineering and mathematics (STEM) related courses specifically designed for men (Blanchard-Fields et al., 1997). It is further prudent to note that some of the highest paying jobs are related to engineering. As most of the opportunities are offered to men, a young woman aspiring to be an engineer may be limited by gender and end up selecting a career out of the societal influence and based on the ideology that some courses are specifically meant for men (Yau et al., 2021).

The rise of feminist movements to fight for women’s rights to get access to equal opportunities like their male counterparts. In the past, most women were undereducated, and as the feminist movements take more effect on the world, the numbers are on the rise (Marsh, 1989). Unless the feminists succeed in making people view men and women equally when offering opportunities, gender becomes a major hindrance as a person translate from being an adolescent to being an adult. A woman may be talented in leadership and aspires to take a successful career in leadership and management. However, suppose the girl lives in a patriarchal society that strongly believes women have no right to lead. In that case, she may not have the opportunity to fulfil her ambition to be a leader in society (Oesterle et al., 2010). Similarly, a man may be talented in catering and taking care of visitors. Still, since he lives in a society that believes that kitchen jobs are meant for women, he may miss the opportunity to navigate adulthood using the talents of their choice.

As young people enter into adulthood, they can be a useful force that can be used to make them more useful in society when allowed to thrive. Similarly, the young people translating to adulthood may be a destructive force when they are not allowed to use their talents for their benefit in society (Florentine, 1988). The unemployment rate in the world is increasing with the scarce opportunities shared in favour of a particular gender. As young people interact in society through social media platforms, women are subjected to an inferiority complex, making them feel less confident to front their aspirations in achieving their targets.

The inability of women in families to advance their careers.

As young people transit to adulthood, they become sexually active, get married and start families while at the same time aspiring to obtain higher education credentials. Gender plays a significant role in determining people’s level of achievement. A young family with a child will have a higher expectation of the woman to take care of the child while the man becomes the breadwinner and take care of the family. The gender roles assigned by the patriarchal society place women at a level of disadvantage, making it impossible for them to advance their career aspirations as they desire (Yau et al., 2021). A lady may be talented in a particular profession, but during the recruitment exercise, she may be pregnant, which will automatically disqualify her because of her sexual orientation. Gender, therefore, serves as a major hindrance as young people transit to adults because they are limited in their choices. Most of the choices women make regarding their future goals may be altered by either the societal view or how they can achieve their goals (Strough et al., 2007). There are recent reports that women are being sexually harassed as they aspire to further their levels of education and enter into professional life. Therefore, most young women are engulfed in fear that once they opt into the career paths and start competing with men, they are likely to face discrimination and embarrassment. Consequently, the ladies are less motivated to achieve more, and their journey to transition to adulthood will be hindered.

Feminist theory

The feminist theory is one of the greatest theoretical frameworks that explain gender as a limiting factor in pursuing their ambitions. In the contemporary world, few women role models can mentor other women to pursue their ambitions and become better in their career path (Strough et al., 2007). Statistics show that most of the jobs and leadership positions in the world are taken by men, and the young women who aspire to acquire the positions will be demotivated. It will lead them to lower their ambitions because the women feel isolated and will not be as competitive as they should have been.

Conscious and unconscious biases continue to challenge women as they aspire to move from adolescence to adulthood through setting achievable goals and ambitions. When a young woman thinks of joining politics, for example, the unconscious bias among the people who live in a patriarchal society makes it impossible for the women to navigate their ambition. Gender is a principle determinant that dictates how people approach opportunities in society and embrace them. Since the transition from adolescence to adulthood requires people to be independent and explore jobs and educational opportunities to start their lives, they have to make decisions to be resilient and embrace life opportunities as they come along. However, courtesy of patriarchy and the conscious and unconscious biases, there is a high likelihood that the ladies whose place in the society has always been in the lower parts will have lower self-esteem for women (Oesterle et al., 2010). One positive thing about gender is that women tend to transit easier than men. A young woman who is a transition from adolescence to adulthood easily get connected to people who can change her life by marrying off men who are well off, and as a result, transit easier to adulthood to their male counterparts. Gender differences, therefore, determines how well a person enters adulthood. Young men have to take enough time to settle down get money and jobs before they decide to marry.

Marriage is one of the aspects that is experienced by the majority of adolescents transiting to adulthood. Since the transition involves numerous decisions in making career goals, role conflict plays a significant role in hindering the ladies from achieving their goals in life. A woman may aspire to achieve higher goals in life but once they commit to marriage, the role conflict perpetrated by patriarchy, such as encompassing career and family (Yau et al., 2021). After a lady gives birth, she takes time to nurse the baby and ensure they serve the babies while their career path halts. In some cases where they have to fulfil their roles, they depend on child care services in their locality to ensure that they can continue with their career aspirations. It is prudent to conclude that gender is a significant factor in determining how a person transit from being an adolescent to adulthood. The emotional and psychological burden for women is higher than their male counterparts. That is why men have an easy time concentrating on their career ambitions and goals, which is likely to hinder their ability to thrive in the long run.

Feminist researcher Strough et al. (2007) discovered that women have a mindset that serves as a limiting factor in their role to attain success in the discourse as they transform from adolescents to adults. The women’s mindset has internalized feelings of self-doubt self-confidence and is shaped by the patriarchal status quo, which hinders them from being creative and able to focus on their dreams. As the ladies get mixed up in confusion about aspiring to achieve a stable career and start a family but on the other side remember that they have no place in the society, they are likely to perform well (Florentine, 1988). Gender inequality and the status quo have made many young women live lower than expected because they were afraid to take a journey that men mostly took. The fear of competition makes the ladies stop their aspirations. Motivation is key to making the women work feel more proud of their gender and decide to take deliberate action to have the dreams and aspirations come true.

The radical feminist theories explain the different challenges that females have to overcome to achieve their goals and propose that the gender system be abolished. People be allowed to pursue their dreams regardless of their gender. During the transition, an eradication of the gender system will ensure that the women will have an opportunity to aspire and achieve their goals as they enter the realm of Responsibility (Finan et al., 2018). The concept of diversity plays a role in enhancing achievement and shares the mindset of what the women think about. For example, an analysis of people after graduation proves that women, after graduation, put more effort into relationships and education. At the same time, their male counterparts look for money and employment to take care of their families. Both genders have different mindsets, and the mindset plays a critical role in determining the transition to adulthood and the ambitions to achieve better success in the discourse. The perception in the locality differs, which makes people focus more on what society thinks of them rather than what they can achieve. Since society has placed women at the least part, the women are confronted with gender inequality which prohibits them from achieving their goals.


The transition from adolescence to adulthood is an important stage in human life marred with challenges. As adolescents transit into adulthood, three main changes happen in their lives where they are expected to be responsible for their lives. The changes further involve making independent decisions and having financial independence. The challenges of the patriarchal society play a significant role in determining how people transit to adulthood. Gender differences, discrimination and stereotyping makes gender an important factor in determining whether a person will have a smooth transition from adolescence to adulthood or not. The literature reviewed proved that gender plays a significant role and may limit women from achieving their aspirations.


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Finan, L. J., Ohannessian, C. M., & Gordon, M. S. (2018). Trajectories of depressive symptoms from adolescence to emerging adulthood: The influence of parents, peers, and siblings. Developmental psychology54(8), 1555.

Florentine, R. (1988). Increasing Similarity in the Values and Life Plans of Male and Female

Johnson, M. K. (2001). Change in job values during the transition to adulthood. Work and Occupations28(3), 315-345.

Marsh, H. W. (1989). Age and sex effects in multiple dimensions of self-concept: Preadolescence to early adulthood. Journal of Educational Psychology81(3), 417.

Oesterle, S., Hawkins, J. D., Hill, K., & Bailley, J. A. (2010). Men’s and Women’s pathways to adulthood and their adolescent precursors. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72(5), 1436-1453.

Strough, J., Jennipher, P.L., Neely, T. L., Flin, J. A., & Margrett, J. (2007). From Adolescent to later Adulthood: Feminity, Masculinity and Androgyny in Six age Groups. Sex Roles,

Sumbadze, N., & Tarkhan-Mouravi, G. (2003). Transition to adulthood in Georgia: Dynamics of generational and gender roles in post-totalitarian society. Leccardi CE, Ruspini Ed. A new youth, 224-52.

Yau, P. S., Shane, J., & Heckhausen, J. (2021). Developmental goals during the transition to young adulthood. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 45(6), 475–483.


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