voices in the family

Prolonged adolescence



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March 21, 2011 — For many families, raising teens is akin to juggling Jell-O…it’s a challenge, to say the least! And the countdown to becomingempty nesters can’t come soon enough. But what happens when your adult child doesn’t fly the coop, or they come back after a short time away?

For years now in our culture, a growing number of young adults have become reliant on mom and dad for the basics for longer periods of time – often well beyond the college years. This dependence is so evident that some social scientists have expanded the age range of adolescence. It’s clear the recession hasn’t made it easy to find jobs…and housing can cost big bucks. But, in some cases, there’s a blatant lack of interest in taking on the responsibilities of adulthood.

Dr. Dan Gottlieb talks about the route to independence for young adults, looking at the bumps in the road, the detours, and how parents are handling it. Dan’s guests include Laurence SteinbergJennifer Lynn Tanner, and Janet BersonSteinberg is an internationally known expert on adolescence and the author of You and Your Adolescent: The Essential Guide for Ages 10 to 25 (revised January 2011). Tanner is a Visiting Research Assistant Professor at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research at Rutgers University. And Janet Berson practices psychology in Moorestown, New Jersey.

Photo by Flickr user Frederique Voisin-Demery

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