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Swedish emerging adults sense of identity and perceptions of adulthood

Chapter in book
Authors Maria Wängqvist
Ann Frisén
Published in Emerging adulthood in a European context
Pages 154-174
ISBN 9781138808478
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Psychology Press)
Place of publication Oxford, UK
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 154-174
Language en
Subject categories Psychology


The purpose of this chapter is to describe the socio-cultural context and living conditions of Swedish emerging adults as well as how these interact with individuals’ psychological development. The chapter presents demographics that show the same delay concerning the transition to adulthood that are found in many other countries. However, aspects that may differentiate emerging adulthood in Sweden from this phase in other countries are also presented. In order to describe the development of emerging adults in Sweden research that deal with identity development and the ways this is related to social contexts of love and work, gender, and psychological distress are presented. The chapter also contains two empirical studies, one of which is an exploratory study of the identity domains Swedish emerging adults view as salient in identity development; here special attention is given to the small significance of religion in identity development in the secularized Sweden context. The second study specifically addresses emerging adults’ conceptions of adulthood and the ways in which self-identified adult status is related to identity development. In sum the chapter illustrates that identity development is indeed a relevant developmental task for emerging adults in Sweden and that it is related to other aspects of emerging adults’ development and living situations. The chapter also highlights how socio-cultural characteristics may affect individuals’ development.

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