This brief seeks to identify patterns and transitions during emerging adulthood to obtain a better understanding of the likelihood that young adults will experience a lower-risk transition to adulthood. Panel data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health was analyzed (Add Health, N=12,166), using person-centered analyses, to examine the odds of youth engaging in lower-risk patterns/trajectories, specifically, minimal problems with heavy alcohol use, illicit drug use, criminal behavior, and financial hardship. Lower risk transitions were defined as avoiding or overcoming problems by adulthood. Findings indicate: young adults who are doing well in their late teens/early twenties continue to avoid difficulties in their later twenties and early thirties; young adults who report moderate or multiple problems (heavy alcohol use, illicit drug use, criminal behavior, and financial hardship) in early adulthood tend to report fewer problems with these issues as they transition to adulthood; female and foreign-born young adults are more likely to report minimal problems and less likely to report multiple problems than males and native born young adults; and Caucasians are less likely to report minimal problems and more likely to report multiple problems. 1 table, 3 figures, and 9 references.
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Transitioning to Adulthood: How Do Young Adults Fare and What Characteristics are Associated With a Lower-Risk Transition.