Meeting developmental challenges during emerging adulthood: The role of personality and social resources

Shmuel Shulman, Esther Kalnitzki, Golan Shahar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


A one-year follow-up study examined the role of developmental challenges, personality (dependency, self-criticism, and personal efficacy), and support systems in adaptation among Israeli emerging adults (N = 236) participating in a preparatory academic program. Participants were assessed during their enrollment in the preparatory academic program and one year later, after graduation, when their academic success or failure could be determined. Personal efficacy predicted higher levels of goal investment and goal progress, as well as more positive life events. In contrast, self-criticism predicted lower goal investment, higher goal stress, and a reduced number of positive events. Self-criticism also predicted elevated levels of amotivation and an increase in depressive and anxiety symptoms. Paternal social support predicted young people's more favorable adaptation one year later. Among young adult males, academic failure predicted later level of symptoms and more negative events. These findings encourage further examination of the role of personality and family relationships in the transition to adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-267
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Developmental deadlines
  • Emerging adults
  • Fathers
  • Personality
  • Transitions


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