Águeda Parra Jiménez

University of Sevilla

Extending our Knowledge about Family Relationships during Emerging Adulthood

Participants: Daniela Leal1; Claudia Andrade2; José Egidio Oliveira3; Mari Carmen García-Mendoza4

1University of Oporto (Portugal); 2Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra (Portugal); 3University of Luxemburg (Luxemburg); 4University of Seville

Symposium Summary

Emerging adulthood is a new developmental stage that transpires between reaching legal adulthood (18 in the majority of countries) and age 29. This new stage emerged as the result of the social and economic changes that have occurred over recent decades, such as an increase in the number of years young people spend studying, more widespread access to university-level studies and an increase in youth unemployment, all of which have delayed the acquisition of adult roles. Roles such as attaining stable employment, establishing a long-term romantic relationship or having children, which decades ago were acquired almost immediately after adolescence, are currently achieved nearer to age thirty. Emerging adults, although in many ways are fully mature, tend to stay in their family home until well into their twenties, remaining fairly dependent on their parents during that time. The fact that parents and their adult children live together under the same roof during this stage of the latter’s lives is a recent phenomenon that presents a challenge for all society. This challenge is particularly significant for families in south Europe.

The importance of family in these countries is rooted in a number of different factors: first, high unemployment rates and job insecurity, particularly among the youth population, which makes it very difficult for many young people to find a job that enables them to live independently; second, insufficient social policies, which obliges families to assume financial responsibility for their adult children; and third, a strongly Catholic tradition which fosters the forging of close family ties.

The aim of this symposium is to analyse characteristics of family relationships during emerging adulthood in Spain and Portugal and to explore the influence of family on different aspects of emerging adults life.

Short CV

Professor in the Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology at the University of Seville since 2000, and a Senior Lecturer in the same department since 2010. After graduating in Psychology in 1997 with the Award for Best Academic Record of her class, in 2005 she received her PhD with a thesis entitled Family and adolescent development: A longitudinal style on developmental trajectories, which was unanimously rated by CUM LAUDE and won the Extraordinary Doctorate Award.

The three main areas that shape her research interests are family diversity; family relationships during adolescence and emerging adulthood, and positive development during these two developmental stages; and gender violence. She has participated as a researcher in different R+D+i projects with funding obtained in competitive public calls. It is worth highlighting her role as PI  of two projects funded by the Spanish government in national competitive calls for 2013 and 2018 respectively: The transition to adulthood in Spain: Study on the keys of psychosocial adjustment and foundations for its preventive intervention (Ref. EDU2013-45687) and Longitudinal sequential study on the transition to adulthood in Spain. TAE-II (RTI2018-097405-B-I00).

She has published more than 40 articles in scientific journals of national and international prestige such as Family Process, Journal of Happiness Studies, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health or Journal of Adolescence, to mention some of the most recent ones. She is a regular reviewer of influential scientific publications in the field of developmental psychology. She has participated in the elaboration of different books, among which are Family and Psychological Development (Pearson 2005), Psychological development in the new family structures (Pirámide, 2010) or Adolescent positive development (Síntesis, 2015). And he has participated in the most outstanding congresses in his area of knowledge.

She has participated in different projects financed by the Andalusian Government with the aim of stimulating positive development during adolescence. From these projects, materials have been derived for work with parents and teachers of adolescents, and a series of publications containing specific resources for the development of policies to promote positive adolescent and youth development.  

In 2006, she received the fourth national Family research award from the Familiar Foundation action for its work entitled Family relations and adolescent well-being. She has been a visiting scholar at University of East London, and she was selected as the Spanish representative at the first EARA summer school, held in Switzerland in 2001. She is a member of the European Association for Research on Adolescence and the Society for Study of Emerging Adulthood.



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