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(p. 16) Emerging Adult Development and Substance Use Disorders 

(p. 16) Emerging Adult Development and Substance Use Disorders
(p. 16) Emerging Adult Development and Substance Use Disorders

Douglas C. Smith

, Tara M. Dumas

, and Jordan P. Davis

Page of

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date: 23 July 2021

Developmental processes influence emerging adults’ substance use. Such processes may occur both before and during the period of emerging adulthood, which lasts roughly from ages 18 to 29. This chapter begins by reviewing the prevalence of risky substance use and substance use disorders among emerging adults as well as the sequelae of such use. After a brief review of Arnett’s theory of emerging adulthood, the chapter provides an updated review of how the dimensions of emerging adulthood (i.e., identity exploration, feeling in between, self-focus, instability, optimism) are associated with substance use. Also reviewed are the additional risk factors for substance use that likely interact with these dimensions.

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