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date: 21 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines how gender shapes experiences in emerging adulthood, from identity development and relationships to involvement in risky behaviors and mental health outcomes. It first considers the developmental tasks commonly faced by emerging adults before proceeding to a discussion of gender differences between young men and women in terms of development of one’s identity and relationships with family members (parents and siblings), friendships, and romantic relationships and sexual experiences, as well as mental health outcomes and the propensity to engage in risk-taking behaviors. It also describes various domains of identity, including political affiliation, religiosity/spirituality, and career/occupational development. The chapter concludes by assessing gaps in the literature and outlining directions for future research.

Keywords: gender, emerging adulthood, identity development, relationships, mental health, gender differences, family, friendships, romantic relationships, risk-taking behaviors

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