Young people’s slower path to adulthood topic of next Science Pub Corvallis


CORVALLIS, Ore. – We’ve been flooded with negative headlines about 20-somethings – from their sense of entitlement, to their unwillingness to grow up, to their attachment to their parents’ purse strings. The resulting message is that these young people need to shape up and grow up – and take the same fast track to adulthood that their parents did. 

Rick Settersten, author of the new book, “Not Quite Adults,” will shatter this stereotype of young people during his talk on Monday, Jan. 10, at Science Pub Corvallis. The event, which begins at 6 p.m. at the Old World Deli, 341 2nd St. in Corvallis, is free and open to the public.

“Not Quite Adults: Why 20-Somethings Are Choosing a Slower Path to Adulthood, and Why It’s Good for Everyone,” was released Dec. 28 through Random House. In the book, Settersten, who is the endowed director of the Hallie Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families at Oregon State University, and his co-author, Barbara Ray, explore the question of why 20-somethings are delaying adulthood.

“The great shake-ups that are going on in the transition to adulthood are transforming American life,” they write in the book, “and the reverberations will be felt by everyone.  These changes will demand new responses from governments, families, and society.”

This generation of young people is facing a very different world than their parents did and for them, growing up too fast can be damaging. Settersten and Ray’s book shows that adult children who return home after college and delay marriage and child-rearing get a much better start in life than those who leave the nest too early, settling for low-paying jobs and having children too soon.

In fact, unequal access to the resources that make this slower transition possible – including financial assistance, educational guidance, and social support networks – is deepening a class divide that will affect everyone.

Settersten is professor of human development and family sciences at OSU, and a member of the MacArthur Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood.

Science Pub is co-sponsored by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the Downtown Corvallis Association and Terra magazine at Oregon State University. See Science Pub online.

Settersten has three other Oregon events scheduled for this book release:

  • Portland: Wednesday, Jan. 12, 7:30 p.m.: Talk and book signing, Powell’s City of Books;
  • Corvallis: Thursday, Jan. 13, 4 p.m.: Interactive presentation and signing, OSU Memorial Union lounge;
  • Bend: Tuesday, Feb. 15, 6 p.m.: OSU-Cascades Science Pub, McMenamins, 700 N.W. Bond St.