How Youth are Faring in the Transition to Adulthood

Led by our partners at Child Trends, NAHIC developed three briefs examining how youth are faring in the transition to adulthood, with respect to having problems related to heavy alcohol use, illicit drug use, criminal behavior, and financial hardship.

Encouraging news from the first brief is that most young adults avoid these problems and most of those who have moderate or multiple problems in their early 20s, have minimal problems by their late 20s.

The second brief explores adolescent predictors of these problems and suggests that supportive relationships with teachers and parents and weekly religious involvement during adolescence help youth avoid problematic outcomes in early adulthood.

The third brief provides evidence that depression and suicidality in adolescence are associated with more problems in young adulthood and unhealthy transitions during the young adult years.

Two additional Child Trends briefs prepared under a partnership with NAHIC examine the adolescent predictors of young adult function. A brief released in 2013 suggests that depression and suicidality in adolescence are predictive of unhealthy relationships in young adulthood. A 2014 brief presents findings from a study on high school health policies and young adult substance use.