Psychologie a její kontexty, Vol.7, No.2

Kríza mladého veku – nový fenomén?

Quarterlife crisis – a new phenomenon?

Veronika Zibrinyiová, Beáta Ráczová

Cieľom nasledujúceho teoretického príspevku je poukázať na problematiku prežívania ťažkostí špecifických pre mladých ľudí vo veku 20-30 rokov, vo vývinovom období nastupujúcej dospelosti. V príspevku postulujeme životnú periódu nastupujúcej dospelosti ako tranzitívnu vývinovú etapu, kedy je mladý človek potenciálne náchylný k negatívnemu prežívaniu, ktoré je v populárnych kruhoch označované aj ako kríza mladého veku. Tejto téme je v našich podmienkach venovaná minimálna pozornosť, naopak, v zahraničí, je v posledných rokoch veľmi rozšírenou a pomaly preniká aj do odbornej literatúry. V príspevku diskutujeme ťažkosti spojené s meraním intenzity prežívania ťažkostí v období nastupujúcej dospelosti a odporúčame možné riešenia týchto problémov.

Klíčová slova:
nastupujúca dospelosť, kríza mladého veku, tranzícia

The following contribution is a theoretical study focusing on the difficulties which young people are experiencing during a life period called emerging adulthood. We believe, emerging adulthood is a transitive and heterogeneous developmental stage. It is not universal for every young person and it is mostly typical in developed countries. Based on social changes, Arnett suggests that developmental tasks typical for adolescence are nowadays more suitable in emerging adulthood (20-30 years of age). Tasks, such as financial and housing independence, getting married, starting a family, and finding a dream job can put a lot of pressure on a young person, especially if he or she is not able to fulfill them. Robbins and Wilner state that this could create conditions for so called “quarterlife crisis”. Quarterlife crisis is considered to be a crisis of the identity and life goals. It is a stressful period of rethinking, which can lead to structural changes of personality and values. Social and psychological causes can many times result in anxiety, depression, feelings of inadequacy and failure. In addition, Robbins and Wilner indicate feelings of indecision, helplessness and panic. There are several problems in the research, which arise mainly from the difficulty of defining the main concept. Clear criteria for when it would be possible to indicate with certainty whether a particular person is experiencing the crisis or not, are missing. Therefore, we have not found methods, which could measure quarterlife crisis and the level of its experiencing. In previously published researches was this blank space replaced by the qualitative methodology, with the interviews aimed on acquiring basic characteristics and symptoms of the quarterlife crisis. In our opinion, the research could now be moved forward on this basis. The spectrum of symptoms obtained in previous research is the starting point for constructing a tool to detect the intensity of experienced difficulties, typical for the quarterlife crisis. Such instrument could be a time-saving alternative for the interviews. In our opinion, the way for constructing a new method could be focusing on aforementioned characteristics and symptoms, which are particular for this period of life. The new instrument could therefore be based on variables such as developmental tasks in the period of emerging adulthood and their (non)achievement, depressive symptomatology, anxiety, coping, self-esteem and overall subjective well-being. The topic of difficulties in emerging adulthood is a new issue that arouses interest. The fact that the quarterlife crisis is currently more popular than a scientific term is not considered as a disadvantage. Exactly this popularity of the concept suggests that the authors Robbins and Wilner noticed a new, previously unnamed, trend among young people. Relatively new research issue is despite the many problems and obstacles a potential area in which research findings can be helpful in coping with the transitive developmental stage of emerging adulthood and related difficulties.

emerging adulthood, quarterlife crisis, transition