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A research of the ICS analyzes the changes in the way young Spaniards understand adult life.

The conclusions of the project "Transitions to adulthood in the 21st century" funded by the research University of Navarra Plan have been presented.

/The speakers at workshop from left to right: Javier García Manglano (University of Navarra), Charo Sádaba (University of Navarra), Almudena Moreno Mínguez (University of Valladolid), Cecilia Serrano (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan) and Claudia López Madrigal (International University of Catalonia).

18 | 05 | 2023

Last Tuesday, May 9, 2023, was held at the University of Navarra's Institute for Culture and Societyworkshop 'What is it to be an adult in the 21st century? Evidencias desde las ciencias sociales', organized by the group of research 'Youth in transition' in the framework of the challenge ICS 2022-2023 'Youth, Relationships and Psychological Well-Being'. During the event, the first findings of the project 'Transitions to adulthood in the 21st century' were presented, which proposes an interdisciplinary framework to study youth and identify the relational and psychological tools that young people can develop to successfully face the challenges of adulthood.

According to Javier García Manglano, researcher group , young people today face the transition to adulthood in an uncertain and changing social context. Most young people today do not follow the sequence of events that marked the path of previous generations: fill in the programs of study, get a stable work , become emancipated, get married and have children. To understand this vital stage in the current framework , the project has investigated the beliefs of young Spaniards and the resources that favor the construction of identity through two doctoral thesis and an extensive fieldwork work , with quantitative data and qualitative interviews.

Marriage and commitment

knowledge In a context of leave fertility, labor instability, uncertainties and changes in beliefs, Cecilia Serrano has delved into the social imaginary of young Spaniards about marriage and relationships. Through the theory of the marital paradigm, she has tried to understand the priorities and obstacles faced by young people. According to the predoctoral researcher, beliefs about marriage are very heterogeneous: "Most do not give it much importance and believe that the economic context is crucial for forming a family," she said. However, she stressed that the economic factor is not linked to the idea of having a partner or committing to a relationship.

He also found that the way in which young people plan to prioritize their relationships, their work, their leisure or their parenthood in the future affects both future decisions and behaviors in this period of life. "A more family-oriented approach is linked to more committed relationships and less risky activities, especially for men," he said.

Psychological well-being

In addition to beliefs, the project has emphasized the importance of the development of identity to face the challenges of adult life. Claudia López Madrigal has investigated a series of cognitive and behavioral resources that favor the construction of an adult identity, as well as the relationship of these factors with mental health (anxiety, depression and stress) and well-being (life satisfaction and prosperity).

According to López Madrigal, "the acquisition of personal resources matters because it is linked to an adult and social identity". He has concluded that the acquisition of greater personal resources is associated with relational transitions(e.g., getting married and having children), as well as with better levels of mental health (anxiety, depression, stress) and well-being (prosperity and life satisfaction).

The project "Transitions to adulthood in the 21st century" is funded by the financial aid for the realization of projects of research of the Plan of research University of Navarra (PIUNA).