Timing of Transition to Adulthood in Lithuania: the Experience of Four Cohorts

Sarmite Mikulioniene

Abstract


The aim of the research is to examine the changes in the timing of transition to adulthood in the biographies of four Lithuanian birth cohorts. Five important trajectories — formal markers of transition to adulthood—are discussed: leaving the parental home, finishing formal education, starting first job, first partnership and giving birth to first child. The timing of these events in course of life is different for subsequent generations. Changes in timing are determined by a combination of different factors: personal preferences, socio-cultural norms and socio-political context. Based on contemporary theories of life course (Elder, Johnson, 2001; Settersten et al, 2005; Elder et al, 2006; Macmillan, 2005), quantitative research method and inter-cohort dimension are applied. Data from the project “Trajectories of Family Model and the Social Networks: Intergenerational Perspective” (Famo-Socnet) are used to provide analysis of cohort trajectories indicating persons’ movement into adulthood. Data of cohorts born in 1950-1955, 1960-1965, 1970-1975, and 1980-1985, with each represented by 500 respondents, is used. Findings indicate a new, delayed and protracted, trend of transition into adulthood for the cohort (born in 1980-85) approaching adulthood in the first decade of the 21st century.

Keywords


life course; timing of transition to adulthood; cohorts; Lithuania

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789