Grounded in social structure and personality, life course, and status attainment perspectives of social psychology, the Youth Development Study (YDS) has followed a cohort of teenagers from the beginning of high school through their mid-thirties. Evidence for the effective exercise of agency derives from diverse adolescent work patterns leading to outcomes that are consistent with youth's earlier goals, motivations, and resources. Thus, the socioeconomic career begins well before the completion of formal education. The YDS has revealed multiple pathways of contemporary transition to adulthood, the circumstances surrounding parental residential and financial support to their transitioning children, and the cessation of deviant behavior as adult roles are acquired. Agentic pathways during this period are significant precursors of success during subsequent economic downturn. The new YDS Second Generation Study is well poised to address the impacts of parental trajectories on the adjustment and well-being of children.
- life course social psychology
- social structure and personality
- status attainment
- transition to adulthood