Although young adults are faced with a diversity of life choices, they seem to be coming to terms with themselves and their lives in their 20s, says new University of Alberta research that shows psychological well-being improves after adolescence and girls improve faster than boys.
Dr. Nancy Galambos from the Department of Psychology followed a sample of the same cohort of people over a seven-year period and looked specifically at how 18-25 year olds make the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Few studies have tracked changes in psychological well-being in this age group.
"I see these results as good news," said Galambos. "We can expect the average 18-year-old to show improved mental health over the course of the next seven years. I think it is important to note, though, that these are average trends, and we cannot ignore the fact that some mental health problems first appear in the early 20s and rates of clinical depression are quite high in this age group. So a certain proportion of young people will not do well during this period."
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