Emerging adulthood in Muslim and Jewish cohorts

Michelle Waldman Sarna, Fordham University


Emerging adulthood, the developmental stage between adolescence and adulthood, varies between and within cultures and subcultures. Previous research has identified this variability in certain populations but has not focused on the Jewish and Muslim religious minority subcultures. Also, the measures used to assess emerging adulthood across cultures have often not included a standardized assessment of both the experiences and conceptions that characterize this period of life. Lastly, limited research has directly explored which factors directly contribute to variability during this life stage. Marital orientation and ethnic acculturation are two factors that have been evaluated in previous studies. Yet, prior research suggests that religious acculturation and commitment may also contribute to different emerging adulthood trajectories. This study evaluated a model that explored how religious and marital orientations predict variability in the emerging adulthood experiences and conceptions in Muslim and Jewish cohorts. Surveys were completed by 449 participants and evaluated by SEM, MANOVA, and Pearson correlation statistical procedures. Results indicated that the model was robust. As expected, Marital Orientation predicted decreased identification with typical Emerging Adulthood Experiences and increased endorsement of various criteria for adulthood achievement. A surprising finding was that Religious Orientation predicted an increase in Emerging Adulthood Experiences and did not significantly predict variability in criteria for adulthood achievement. Several differences also resulted based on religious affiliation and gender. Future research is warranted to evaluate additional factors that may contribute to variability in emerging adulthood and to apply this model to additional populations.

Subject Area

Islamic Studies|Developmental psychology|Judaic studies

Recommended Citation

Waldman Sarna, Michelle, "Emerging adulthood in Muslim and Jewish cohorts" (2011). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3461903.