The Scientific Study of People Who Are Single:
An Annotated Bibliography

Bella M. DePaulo
Chair, Academic Advisory Board of the Spectrum Institute
Research and Policy Division of the
American Association for Single People (AASP)

January 2, 2004


4. Life Course Issues  

Transitioning to Adulthood and Delaying Marriage

One of the reasons for the increase in the number of singles in American society is the increase in the median age at first marriage. What accounts for this pattern of later marriage? How widespread is it? Do young people in contemporary society believe that they need to marry before they see themselves as adults? How many will remain single?

Arnett, J. J. (1998). Learning to stand alone: The contemporary American transition to adulthood in cultural and historical context. Human Development, 41, 295-315.

Arnett, J. J. (2000). Emergent adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. American Psychologist, 55, 469-480.

Arnett, J. J. (2000). High hopes in a grim world: Emerging adults’ views of their futures and ‘Generation X.’ Youth and Society, 31, 267-286.

Arnett, J. J. (2002). The psychology of globalization. American Psychologist, 57, 774-783.

Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Larson, R. (1984). Being adolescent: Conflict and growth in the teenage years. New York: Basic Books. (Chapter 1, Paths to adulthood. Chapter 2, The age of choice: Opportunities and obstacles in adolescence.)

Furstenberg, F. F. (2000). The sociology of adolescence and youth in the 1990s: A critical commentary. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 62, 896-910.

Goldsheider, F., & Goldsheider, C. (1993). Leaving Home Before Marriage: Ethnicity, Familism and Generational Relationships. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.

Goldscheider, F., & Goldscheider, C. (1994). Leaving and returning home in 20th century America. Population Bulletin, 48, 1-35.

Goldscheider, F., & Goldscheider, C. (1999). The changing transition to adulthood: Leaving and returning home. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Hanaj, J. (1965). European marriage patterns in perspective. In D. V. Glass & D. E. C. Eversley (Eds.), Population in history (pp. 101-138). Chicago, IL: Aldine.

Marini, M. M. (1984). Age and sequencing norms in the transition to adulthood. Social Forces, 63, 229-244.

Oppenheimer, V. K. (1988). A theory of marriage timing. American Journal of Sociology, 94, 563-591.

Urbanska, W. (1986). The singular generation: Young Americans in the 1980's. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.

Wall, R. (1989). Leaving home and living alone: An historical perspective. Population Studies, 43, 369-389.



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