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Contemporary Coming of Age: Implications for Health, Education, and Social Stability

2015 PHC Research Conference: Poster abstract

Anna Windress*, Ronny Gunnarsson

* Asterisk indicates presenting author

Aims & rationale
To summarise previous literature and conduct contemporary qualitative research regarding definitions of successful transition from childhood to adulthood, measures of success, and factors predictive of this transition.
Systematic literature review for research available to August 2014, followed by qualitative interviews with researchers, educators, and health professionals working in the field of adolescence. Data analysis through thematic analysis and phenomenographic techniques.
There remains a distinct lack of research regarding definitions and measures of success in adulthood, and characteristics assisting or hindering this achievement. Many studies are specific to variables such as gender, race, or social behaviours. Multiple publications describe adult milestones and character strengths, however, there is no current consensus to describe satisfaction or success. General findings include that working on both strengths and weaknesses results in greater life satisfaction, and that reaching common adult milestones is considered successful. Character traits most consistently associated with life satisfaction are hope, zest, love, and curiosity. Findings from this project exhibit great variation in experience and thought process, however, success has routinely been described as good health and happiness in life, with strong social support as a key determinant.
Relevance to policy, research and/or practice needs
Contemporary research can provide the basis for improved policies and interventions targeted at modern children and adolescents. These developments may improve physical and psychological health, educational achievement, and community engagement. This could lower the impact on the healthcare and education systems, allowing resources to be redirected for further community development and growth.
Presentation type
Session theme
Children and young people
Windress A, Gunnarsson R. (2015). Contemporary Coming of Age: Implications for Health, Education, and Social Stability. In: 2015 Primary Health Care Research Conference: Program & Abstracts. Primary Health Care Research and Information Service, Australia.

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