Race, Ethnicity, and Emerging Adulthood: Retrospect and Prospects

Moin Syed, Lauren L. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Despite the tremendous growth in theory and research on emerging adulthood over the past decade, relatively little attention has been paid to the experiences of emerging adults from racial/ethnic minority backgrounds. The purpose of this article is to fill this gap by conducting a conceptual review of the literature on race, ethnicity, and emerging adulthood. We begin with a discussion of conceptual issues, clarifying terms such as emerging adults, emerging adulthood, and race and ethnicity. We then review the existing literature pertaining to the five pillars of emerging adulthood: the age of instability, possibilities, self-focus, in-betweenness, and identity explorations. Finally, we close with a discussion of major challenges to conducting research on race, ethnicity, and emerging adulthood. Taken together, this review is intended to provide a broad overview of the state of knowledge and inspire future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-95
Number of pages13
JournalEmerging Adulthood
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • culture
  • emerging adults
  • ethnicity
  • identity
  • race


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