Context-related sense of adulthood: Unveiling peer and adult contexts and developing a new measure

Rimantas Vosylis*, Theo Klimstra, Saule Raižienė

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Emerging adulthood theory highlights ambivalence about one’s adult status as a distinctive feature of this period. However, most studies that addressed this ambivalence employed rather limited, single-item measures, or measures that focused on specific life domains but addressed them separately. Although existing literature suggests that various life situations are likely to contribute differently to a sense of adulthood, no attempt has been made to date to conceptualize these situations as contexts and to develop a measure that takes them into account. The first study of the present research aims at unveiling the contexts that shape a sense of adulthood by conducting a multiple group exploratory factor analysis on the self-perceived adulthood scale (Shanahan, Porfeli, & Mortimer, 2005). The analyses revealed two factors contributing to a sense of adulthood, which were interpreted as adult and peer contexts. The second study aims at developing a new measure designed to address sense of adulthood in these two contexts. This measure was proven reliable, valid, and stable across three age groups. The present research demonstrates that sense of adulthood is a context-specific feeling. Thus, adult and peer contexts ought to be considered and addressed separately, which has been made possible with our proposed measure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-265
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychological Assessment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • emerging adulthood
  • peer and adult contexts
  • sense of adulthood


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