Crossing the BIG threshold

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1. Five images of maturity in adolescence: what does “grown up” mean?

 Lauree C. Tilton-Weaver, et. al., Five images of maturity in adolescence: what does ‘‘grown up’’ mean?, Journal of Adolescence, Science Direct, Volume 24, issue 2, Elsevier, April 2001, 143-158

The article “Five images of maturity in adolescence: what does “grown up” mean?” presents five unique images of a young adult that reveal the transition from adolescence to adulthood.  These symbols of adulthood were determined through a study of a sample of students, showing the five images to be balanced maturity, privileges, responsibility, power/status, and physical development.  Additional statistics are found in the studies to aid in determining the five characterizes of adults.

Through this article in the Journal of Adolescence, valuable information is provided about the scientific studies of teens growing up into adults. The article utilizes a study of four hundred and fifty-two adolescents in their middle and high school years, used to determine individual levels of independence and maturity in the students.  As well, the article discussed different aspects that play into transforming the adolescent into an adult, including the two larger topics: external and internal forces.  Statistics are also provided for final data analysis of the topic.

In analyzing the certain aspects of adulthood, this article will lend a vital hand, through its information, statistics, and studies in the supporting of my thesis, in the formal definition research paper. Uniquely, this article provides a well thought out, formal, and accurate study in which most articles will not provide; more work has been put in to create the validity of this article.  On the other hand, this article analyzes only the maturity in teens and not in those who are already considered adults, which could skew the results in its study.

  1. Self-attitude in the context of personal maturity characteristics in adolescents.

Dermanova, I. B. “Self-Attitude In The Context Of Personal Maturity Characteristics In Adolescents.” Psychological Science & Education, Galenet Virtual Library. Issue 4, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, November 1, 2012,

Dermanova, in “Self-attitude in the context of personal maturity characteristics in adolescents,” analyzes, like Tilton-Weaver, specific factors, rather than one specific moment, that define adulthood.  These characteristics focus specifically on attitudes, characteristics, and maturity that adolescents typically lack. Dermanova’s characteristics are found through a study from students of ages fourteen to seventeen.  It is determined that mature subjects have lower levels of self-respect, but have are more accepting of other individuals, which plays as an interesting fact in the topic of adulthood. The factors that Dermmanova analyzes are vital to being defined as an adult.

This article proves to be a valuable tool for my definition paper as it includes a study, giving substantial proof if its concepts, of which I will discuss.  The traits of adulthood, attitudes, characteristics, and maturity presented are a major point in the writing of a formal definition for “adulting” and growing up. The study presents multiple views, such as exploration of maturity in both boys and girls and of different age groups, ultimately providing a wide variety of proof of certain factors of adulthood.

Like Tilton-Weaver’s article, the study, included in the writing, provides a backup to the information provided.  Tilton-Weaver and Dermanova provide examples to help prove and explain the thesis while Liza/burns provides an antithesis.


    Hamm, Liza. “I Knew I Was A Grown-Up When….” People,  Academic Search Complete, Vol. 66, Issue 3, People, 17 July, 2006, p76

“I Knew I was a Grown-up When…” is an article based on an interview about an actor and director, Edward Burns, who analyzes how he believes he has become a grown-up since he has  had children.  His life has transformed from a life of bettering himself to a life devoted to bettering someone other than himself.  He must make sacrifices for others and realize the importance of serving others– a factor of adulthood.  Through this transition from a familiar lifestyle to an unfamiliar lifestyle of always putting other first, Burns feels as though he has become a true grown-up; he has truly adulted.

Burns presents a unique perspective on what it means to be a grown-up. Commonly, a list of factors add up to being considered an adult, but Burns focuses on one factor: an altruistic lifestyle.  In other words, being a parent is what gives Burns the adult feeling. Burns’ idea could both support and oppose my formal definition paper in that I will focus on factors that play into being an adult, rather than an individual moment that sends an adolescent into adulthood.

Compared to other articles that focus on factors of being an adult, “I Knew I was a Grown-up When…” focuses on one factor: having children.  Other writers such as Dermanova and Tilton-Weaver would disagree with Burns’ opinion as both writers have gone to extensive lengths, both using studies, to analyze the specific factors, such as maturity, responsibility, etc., that define adulthood; neither sources provide children specifically as a defining factor.  Burns’ article will most likely be used in an antithesis argument in my formal definition paper, but depending on which position in the definition argument I decide to take, that may change.

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3 Responses to Crossing the BIG threshold

  1. Denny Lee says:

    I really like all three of your sources and I think they all go really well together in defining adulthood. The only thing I would recommend doing when writing your draft is possibly comparing your third source to your first source. Does Burns fit in with the five characteristics in your first article? Other than that, very nicely written and it seems like the sources are credible.

  2. Winston Berger says:

    You have chosen three reliable sources and they should all be able to coalesce into a great paper. I do think your first two sources are the more reliable of the bunch, because they utilize large studies, while the third source only focuses on one guy’s opinion. Still, you should be able to craft a convincing argument from the sources you’ve gathered. The main problem I feel running throughout this bibliography is that you don’t seem to have any idea of what your definition is actually going to be yet. While that is fine at this point, it is hard to determine if your sources will be genuinely useful if you don’t yet know what you are going to write about. However, you do acknowledge that you haven’t yet chosen a position and I am sure that once you do, your paper will be great, considering that you have good sources.

  3. Andrew Morris says:

    I like all of your sources. I think that a good source to add could be Rites of Passage: A Conversation on Becoming Adult
    This discussion could add some lesser talked about content to your paper. Instead of talking about every day growing up this article talks about some traditions of other countries and also social constructs before adulthood. This could add some content to your paper that would not usually be thought of such as traditions and rituals that happen in different countries and organizations. I think that it would work well in conjunction with your other sources because they don’t go into similar topics.

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