Adolescence across Place and Time: Globalization and the Changing Pathways to Adulthood

Reed Larson, Suzanne Wilson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


As we enter the 21st century, it is clear that the life period of adolescence can no longer be seen as just a Western phenomenon. A transitional life stage between childhood and adulthood is now evident in most societies of the world. Schlegel and Barry (1991) argued that some form of adolescence, often brief, existed across nonindustrial societies. The new adolescences now taking hold across societies, however, are distinguished by a common set of historically recent elements associated with globalization that create a longer, more distinct transitional period. These include longer schooling, earlier puberty, later marriage, and, for many youth, urbanization, removal from the full-time labor force, and greater separation from the world of adults (Caldwell, Caldwell, Caldwell, & Pieris, 1998; Larson, 2002). We use the plural adolescences very deliberately to emphasize the diversity in the experience of this life period across societies. The pathway to adulthood-these adolescences-take different forms in different social, cultural, and economic settings. In many societies, for example, this period does not involve the task of psychic separation from parents or carry the connotations of emotional turmoil associated with adolescence in the West (Dasen, 2000).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Adolescent Psychology
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9780471726746
ISBN (Print)0471209481, 9780471209485
StatePublished - Jul 29 2013


  • Adolescent experiences
  • Changing pathways to adulthood
  • Cultural change and girls'pathway
  • Developmental tasks
  • Globalization of adolescent research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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