Course Syllabus

 Welcome Psychology Students


Psychology of Emerging Adulthood

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Semester & Location:

Summer 2022, Session 2 - DIS Stockholm

Type & Credits:

Elective Course - 3 credits

Study Tours:


Major Disciplines:



One psychology course at university level.

Faculty Members:

Simone Schwank (current students please use the Canvas Inbox)

Program Director:

Suman Ambwani

Academic Support:

Time & Place:

Classroom: TBA, See "Course Summary" below. 

Course Description 

Prerequisite: A psychology course at the university level.

What is an adult? This class will address the transition from adolescence to adulthood. The psychological implications of the adolescent experience and further development into adulthood pertaining to identity, family, love and sex, cohabitation and marriage, career and community (e.g., religion and politics) will be considered and the Scandinavian perspective explored. Sources of resilience and vulnerabilities will be addressed as this pertains to diverse factors, including cultural variables and the role of social media.

Learning Objectives

Students in this class will:

      • Define key psychological factors pertaining to this phase of human development in comparison to other phases of the life span.
      • Compare theories/research and critically address the viability/applicability of the construct “emerging adulthood”.
      • Integrate and apply theoretical and research considerations pertaining to emerging 
adulthood with cultural perspectives.

Students will examine current research and review articles primarily in the areas of emerging adulthood. This course emphasizes and integrates application of research, critical reflection and hands on experience. Application to professional development will be considered, as well as exploring the phenomenon from a social and inter-cultural perspective.

In this course each and every one of us has the equal and unique responsibility to facilitate the most optimal learning outcomes. Students are expected to:

    • complete all reading assignments prior to coming to class
    • contribute to class discussions and group activities
    • draw upon your interactions and observations from daily life in Sweden to the theory, research, and practices of Emerging Adulthood Psychology in class
    • work independently and be active in group work
    • write down reflections throughout the course
    • be punctual and attend all classes; missing classes without a legitimate excuse will result in a lower final grade



Simone Schwank, PhD



Reading List: primarily articles from journals

Textbook Chapters:

Zukauskiene, R. (2015). Emerging Adulthood in a European Context. London: Routledge.

Optional Textbook Chapters:

Arnett, J.J., Kloep, M., Hendry, L.B., & Tanner, J.L. (2011). Debating Emerging Adulthood: Stage or Process? New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Konstam, V. (2015). Emerging and Young Adulthood: Multiple Perspectives, Diverse Narratives (Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development) 2nd ed. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

On Canvas:

Journal of Emerging Adulthood, predominantly used in course:

Arnett, J. J. (1997). Young people's conceptions of the transition to adulthood. Youth & Society, 29, 3-23.

Arnett, J. J. (1998). Learning to stand alone: The contemporary American transition to adulthood in cultural and historical context. Human Development, 41, 295-315.

Arnett, J. J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties.

Arnett, J. J. (2016). College Students as Emerging Adults: The Developmental Implications of the College Context. Emerging Adulthood, 4, 219-222.

Arnett, J. J. (2006). Emerging Adulthood in Europe: A Response. Journal of Youth Studies, 9, 111-113.

Berman, S. L., Weems, C. F., & Stickle, T. R. (2006). Existential anxiety in adolescents: Prevalence, structure, association with psychological symptoms and identity development. Journal of Y outh and Adolescence, 35, 303-310.

Birnbaum, G., Mikulincer, M., Reis, H., Gillath, O. & Orpaz, A. (2006). When Sex Is More Than Just Sex: Attachment Orientations, Sexual Experience, and Relationship Quality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, (5), 929–943.

Buhl, H. M. & Lanz, M. (2007). Emerging Adulthood in Europe: Common Traits and Variability Across Five Countries. Journal of Adolescent Research, 22, 439-443.

Calogero, R. M., & Thompson, K. J. (2010). Gender and body image. In J. C. Chrisler & D. R. McCreary (Eds.), Handbook of gender research in psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 153-184).

Carlsson, J., Wängqvist, M., & Frisén, A. ( ). Identity Development in the Late Twenties: A Never Ending Story. Developmental Psychology, 51 (3), 334-345 2015.

Chung, J., Robins, R., Trzesniewski, K., Noftle, E., Roberts, B., & Widaman, K. (2014). Continuity and Change in Self-Esteem During Emerging Adulthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106, 469-483.

Dumas, T., Ellis, W., Wolfe, D. (2012). Identity development as a buffer of adolescent risk behaviors in the context of peer group pressure and control. Journal of Adolescence, 35, 917-927.

Emmerink, P., van den Eijnden, R., Vanwesenbeeck, I, & ter Bogt, T. (2016). The Relationship Between Endorsement of the Sexual Double Standard and Sexual Cognitions and Emotions. Sex Roles 75, 363–376.

Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity youth and crisis. New York: Norton.

Erikson, E. H. (1980). Identity and the life cycle. New york: Norton.

Ferrer-Wreder, L., Trost, K., Lorente, C. C., & Mansoory, S. (2012). Personal and ethnic identity in Swedish adolescents and emerging adults. In S. J. Schwartz (Ed.), Identity Around the World. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 138, 61–86.

Frisén, A., Carlsson, J., & Wängqvist (2014). Doesn't Everyone Want That? It's Just a Given": Swedish Emerging Adults' Expectations on Future Parenthood and Work/Family Priorities Journal of Adolescent Research 29, 67-88

Frisén, A., & Holmqvist, K. (2010). Physical, Sociocultural, and Behavioral Factors Associated with Body-Esteem in 16-Year-Old Swedish Boys and Girls. Sex Roles, 63, 373-385.

Frisén, A., & Wängqvist, M. (2011). Emerging Adults in Sweden: Identity Formation in the Light of Love, Work, and Family. Journal of Adolescent Research, March 26 (2), 200-221.

Grose, J. & Coplan, R. (2016). Longitudinal Outcomes of Shyness From Childhood to Emerging Adulthood. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 176 (6), 408–413.

Jones, D. C. (2004). Body image among adolescent girls and boys: A longitudinal study. Developmental Psychology, 40, 823-835.

Kaestle, C. & Tucker Halper, C. (2007). Love Got to Do with It? Sexual Behaviors of Opposite-Sex Couples Through Emerging Adulthood. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 39, 134-140.

Konstam, V. (2015). Emerging and Young Adulthood: Multiple Perspectives, Diverse 
Narratives (Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development) 2nd ed. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. 

Marcia, J. E. (1966). Development and validation of ego-identity status. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 3, 551-558.

Marcia, J. E. (1994a). Ego identity and object relations. In J. M. Masling & R. F. Bornstein (Eds.), Empirical perspectives on object relations theory (pp. 59-103). Washington, DC: American psychological association.

Marcia, J. E., Waterman, A. S., Mattesson, D. R., Archer, S. L., & Orlofsky, J. L. (Eds.). (1993). Ego identity. A handbook for psychosocial research. New York: Springer.

Messersmith, E., Garrett, J., Davis, K., Pamela E., Malanchuk, O., Eccles, J. (2008). Career Development from Adolescence through Emerging Adulthood: Insights from Information Technology Occupations. Journal of Adolescent Research, 23, 206-227.

Miller, P. H. (2011). Chapter 1. Introduction. Theories of Developmental Psychology. (5th ed.). (pp. 1-26). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.

Mikulincer, M. (1998). Attachment Working Models and the Sense of Trust: An Exploration of Interaction Goals and Affect Regulation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1209–1224.

Murphy, K., Blustein, D., Bohlig, A., & Platt, M. (2010). The College-to-Career Transition: An Exploration of Emerging Adulthood. Journal of Counseling & Development, 88, 174-181.

Nelson, L. & Chen, Xinyin(2007). Emerging Adulthood in China: The Role of Social and Cultural Factors. Child Development Perspectives, 2, 86–91.

Nelson, L., Badger, S., & Wu, B. (2014). The Influence of Culture in Emerging Adulthood: Perspectives of Chinese College Students. International Journal of Behavioral Development 28(1), 26-36.

Nosko, A., Tieu, T., Lawford, H., Pratt, M. (2011). How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways: Parenting During Adolescence, Attachment Styles, and Romantic Narratives in Emerging Adulthood. Developmental Psychology, 4, 645–657.
Ranta, M., Dietrich, J., & Salmela-Aro, K. (2014). A Career and Romantic Relationship Goals and Concerns During Emerging Adulthood. Emerging Adulthood, 1, 17-26.

Sneed, J., Krauss Whitebourne, S., Schwartz, S., & Hunag, S. (2012). The Relationship Between Identity, Intimacy, and Midlife Well-Being: Findings From the Rochester Adult Longitudinal Study. Psychology and Aging, 27, (2), 318-323.

Wängqvist, M. & Frisén, A. (2013). Swedish 18-year-olds' identity formation: Associations with feelings about appearance and internalization of body ideals. Journal of Adolescence, 36(3), 485–493.

Wängqvist, M. & Frisén, A. (2011). Identity and Psychological Distress in Emerging Adulthood in Sweden: Is It Always to Know Who to Be and What to Do? Identity, 11, 93-113.

Wängqvist, M., Lamb, M. Frisén, A., & Hwang, P. (2015). Child and Adolescent Predictors of Personality in Early Adulthood. Child Development, 86 (4), 1253-1261.


Field Studies

Study 1: Emerging Adulthood in Art

Location: Moderna Muséet ( and Östasiatiska Muséet (

Date: September 4th, 1:30pm-4:00pm

Topic: How is emerging adulthood expressed in art? Aim of the visit is to reflect and discuss emerging adulthood through the media of art. Students are under 90min in the exhibitions asked to select two art pieces they consider representing emerging adulthood for them. During a discussion session each student has to rationalise the decision and argue for his or her decision.

Study 2: Panel Discussion with young Swedes: Psychological Challenges and Changes in Life

Location: DIS Campus

Date: November 6th, 9:00 - 17:00

Topic: Students will prepare a panel discussion on the theme of psychological challenges and changes in life from a cross-cultural perspective. Aim is to exchange the experience of being a young adult in Sweden vs. the students’ home country. The students are also asked to include their study abroad time in Stockholm in the discussion and describe how it affected their mindset with regards to emerging adulthood. 


Guest Lecturers

Ewa Andersson, PhD, RMW Lecturer at Karolinska Institute Women and Children’s Health, Division Reproductive Health. She is an expert in youth reproductive health and sexual education working for RFSU youth clinics and teaching midwives and medical doctors in reproductive health and conception care.

Cheng XU, MD, PhD (can), Researcher and Medical Doctor at Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital specialized in endocrinology. Lecturer at the medical education program at Karolinska Institutet. Hormonal changes and their impact on psychosomatic development of Emerging Adulthood


Approach to Teaching

I have an interactive teaching style, like to engage students and their experience into the classroom, provide examples from practical work and research.

Expectations of the Students

I expect you to actively participate in class, bring your own thoughts to the discussions and if you feel more comfortable to contribute in written rather than oral form, this is equally welcomed as ‘engaged participation’. If assignments are handed in late, the consequences are a reduction of 1/3 of the grade for each day of late submission.



You will be working on group assignments in class and expected to present these to other students in class. If you are not the presenters you are expected to contribute with questions and comments on your classmates presentations. Your creativity and “thinking outside the box”, new insights, openness to share your opinion and creating a safe and vivid discussion platform are most welcome and graded as active participation. Very active participation can additionally lift grades that are borderline. Simple repetition of the readings without own reflection will not be rewarded additionally.


Assignments and Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation

How evaluated

(individual or group)

Due Date

Percentage of grade

Engaged Participation (incl. assignments)





Reflection Paper 1


Field Study Reflection Paper














Journal Club Presentation 1


Emerging of the Self Presentation 













Final individual Paper










Participation (25%): Active participation in class and engagement in classes, field studies and guest lectures are important because they show that you are taking responsibility for your own learning. It also demonstrates that you are keeping up with the readings and understanding the theoretical perspectives discussed in class. It is imperative that you show development in your knowledge and grasp of psychological theory and research relating to Emerging Adulthood, as well as improvement in your reflection and analytical skills during the course.

Active participation and engagement includes asking questions related to readings and material presented in the class and taking part in discussions, enriching the class experience for everyone and being active in case analysis. During presentations in class, all students have to actively engage in answering questions and participate in the discussion. The grading of this course component will also include evaluation of teamwork when it occurs in class. Attendance is mandatory.


Other class Assignments:

Reflection Paper 1: The Short Paper 1 will allow you to demonstrate your ability to critically reflect on the topic of emerging adulthood. Aim of the paper is, based on own personal experience and key articles that encourage you to elaborate on a subtopic of your choice discuss your thoughts of the phenomenon of emerging adulthood. The topic of your choice has to be approved by the lecturer. You will be required to use APA reference style and find five readings (research articles and maximum two book chapters - no textbooks). Further guidelines will be posted on Canvas.                         


Field Study Reflection Paper: Aim of this paper is to write a report on the task of the field study: exploring emerging adulthood in art. Clearly delineate your choice of the chosen art at the exhibition that you associate with emerging adulthood. Rationalize your choice of the selected art pieces and integrate the content of the peer discussion after the completed task at the museum (selecting and motivating the choice of two art pieces). Further guidelines will be posted on Canvas.                           


Journal Club Presentation 1: Student will work and examine in more depth selected topics of emerging adulthood. The student will select 2-3 articles and present the research outcome of the papers.

  • Understand one topic of emerging adulthood more thoroughly than class time permits;
  • Topic of your choice and approved by the instructor.
  • Examine how this specific topic can be viewed from at least two different scholarly perspectives;
  • Evaluate the various perspectives on this specific topic and formulate your own position on it.

Presentation Details:

  • 15 minutes in length (PowerPoint)
  • 3-4 discussion questions


Journal Club Presentation 2: Student will work and examine in more depth selected topics of emerging adulthood. The student will select 2-3 articles and present the research outcome of the papers.

  • Understand one topic of emerging adulthood more thoroughly than class time permits;
  • Topic of your choice and approved by the instructor.
  • Examine how this specific topic can be viewed from at least two different scholarly perspectives;
  • Evaluate the various perspectives on this specific topic and formulate your own position on it.


Presentation Details:

  • 15 minutes in length (PowerPoint)
  • 3-4 discussion questions


Final Paper: The final research paper (10 to max. 15 pages including reference list and title page) shall summarise your knowledge over the course. An integration of theory, practice and research, as well as a higher level of reflection are expected. The literature review shall provide ground work for an experimental study. This acquired knowledge shall be reflected in your discussion of the literature review, and should integrate suggestions for potential future research studies.

Academic Regulations 

Please make sure to read the Academic RegulationsLinks to an external site. on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on:


DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia -

Policy on late papers: It is crucial for your learning that you stay on task and hand in assignments on or before the due date. All work– including in-class projects – have to be completed in order to pass the class. Late papers will be accepted, but your grade for the paper will be reduced by half a point for each day that it is late.

Policy for students who arrive late to class: Class will start on time; it is up to the student’s responsibility to arrive accordingly.

Use of laptops or phones in class: Laptops are accepted in class if students consider it to be beneficial for their learning to type their notes.

Academic Honesty

Plagiarism and Violating the Rules of an Assignment

DIS expects that students abide by the highest standards of intellectual honesty in all academic work. DIS assumes that all students do their own work and credit all work or thought taken from others.   Academic dishonesty will result in a final course grade of “F” and can result in dismissal. The students’ home universities will be notified. DIS reserves the right to request that written student assignments be turned in electronic form for submission to plagiarism detection software.  See the Academic Handbook for more information, or ask your instructor if you have questions.

Class Representatives: Each semester DIS looks for class representatives to become an official spokesperson for their class group, addressing any concerns that may arise (in academic or related matters), suggesting improvements and coming up with new ideas. Class representatives are a great way for DIS faculty to ensure better and timelier feedback on their courses, assessments and teaching styles, and as such perform an invaluable role in connecting student needs with faculty instruction during term time. Class Representatives will be elected in class at the beginning of the semester.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due