Session: Opportunities and Challenges for Prevention and Intervention in Emerging Adulthood (Society for Prevention Research 24th Annual Meeting)

4-024 Opportunities and Challenges for Prevention and Intervention in Emerging Adulthood

Friday, June 3, 2016: 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
Marina Room (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
Theme: Development and Testing of Interventions
Michael John Cleveland
Seth Schwartz, Steven Y Sussman, Marie-Hélène Véronneau, Abby Goldstein and Christine M. Lee
This Roundtable Discussion will bring together five leading scientists whose research focuses on the developmental period of emerging adulthood.  Emerging adulthood is defined as a transitional phase (generally between ages 18-25 years) when young people face an array of new experiences and must navigate many changes associated with the assumption of adult roles, such as establishing financial and residential independence, entering stable romantic partnerships, and securing full-time employment (Arnett, 2005).  Because of this instability, emerging adulthood can be considered a critical period in the lifespan when possibilities for increased life satisfaction co-exist with increased likelihood of serious psychopathology, such as major depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia (Schulenberg, Sameroff, & Cichetti, 2004) and substance use (Johnston, O’Malley, Bachman, & Schulenberg, 2012).  As a result of these diverging trajectories, emerging adulthood often marks the age when many health disparities first present (Godette, Headen, & Ford, 2005).  Despite this risk (and opportunity), the majority of preventive interventions focus on earlier stages of the lifespan, most notably childhood and adolescence.  Although successful interventions have been developed to target high-risk alcohol use among college students (Larimer & Conce, 2007), far fewer efforts have targeted emerging adults in other contexts or who transition straight to work.  This leads to several questions that need to be addressed in order to alleviate health disparities among this at-risk population:  (1) How can existing preventive interventions be adapted to better suit emerging adults?  (2) Are there alternative strategies that can reach all emerging adults?  (3) What is the best timing for delivery of preventive interventions aimed at emerging adults?  (4) How can existing theories and approaches to prevention be adapted to better suit the developmental needs of emerging adults?  In this interactive Roundtable Discussion, the panelists will invite discussion of these and other important issues facing the development and implementation of preventive interventions for this age group.

See more of: Roundtables