The journal Prevention Science invites manuscripts for a special issue on "Opportunities and Challenges for Prevention and Intervention in Emerging Adulthood.” Emerging adulthood is a time of both risk and opportunity, yet 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, far fewer efforts have targeted emerging adults in other contexts or on other health risk behaviors. In addition, there is a lack of theoretical and empirical research on prevention and intervention that explicitly address the challenges and opportunities of this stage of development. The primary goal of this special issue is to advance work in this area by highlighting current theoretical and empirical research that addresses the unique prevention and intervention needs of emerging adults. We are particularly interested in papers that extend beyond college populations and cover a range of contexts and prevention/intervention targets and international perspectives. Examples of topics might include (but are not limited to) prevention and intervention in mental health, sexual assault, obesity/lifestyle choices, substance use, and child welfare contexts.
Background & Rationale for Special Issue
Emerging adulthood has been identified as a critical period of developmental transition (generally between ages 18-25 years) when young people face an array of new experiences and navigate changes associated with the assumption of adult roles, such as establishing financial and residential independence, entering stable romantic partnerships, and securing full-time employment. As a result of these diverging trajectories, emerging adulthood often marks the age when many health disparities first present. Because of this instability, emerging adulthood is 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, schizophrenia and substance use. Research in this area is particularly needed now that global economic conditions have increased the challenges many emerging adults face as they navigate this transition. Given the lack of institutional support provided to emerging adults who are not in college or university settings and the need to address cultural variations in emerging adulthood, development and evaluation of preventive interventions aimed at emerging adults in diverse contexts is needed.
Letter of intent deadline: March 10, 2017 - Manuscript deadline: June 30, 2017