Essentials > Who Are Young Adults

Defining ‘Young Adult’


The term “young adult” is widely used to describe everyone and, simultaneously, no one at all. It has been used to describe kindergarten kids and pre-adolescents, teenagers, middle-aged singles, and just about anyone else who considers themselves young and an adult. The U.S. Catholic Bishops can offer us some help. Their 1996 document on Young Adult Ministry, Sons and Daughters of the Light, defined young adults as “people in their late teens, twenties, and thirties; single, married, divorced, or widowed; and with or without children.” The bishops were quick to note that “more significant than age, the young adult years are best described through the various developmental tasks undertaken” and that the term “Young adult” has various meanings in different cultural traditions. It is the bishops’ definition above that should help you settle any argument from here on out...
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A Variety of Experiences

Generations in Transition

Being a young adult means navigating the tumultuous years beyond high school graduation and emerging into the adult landscape. There’s a whole lot of transition, mobility, and movement happening at once and very fast. Jobs change, relationships come and go, money ebbs and flows. A young adult doesn’t often stay in one place for too long -- sometimes by choice, sometimes not...
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