Volume 34 - Article 16 | Pages 451-466

Transition to adulthood in China in 1982−2005: A structural view

By Felicia Tian

Print this page  Facebook  Twitter

 

 
Date received:24 Jun 2015
Date published:04 Mar 2016
Word count:2500
Keywords:China, economic uncertainties, life course, path dependence, transition to adulthood
DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2016.34.16
 

Abstract

Background: The transition to adulthood has increasingly been postponed, shuffled, and individualized in the United States and Western Europe. Less is known about changes in the transition to adulthood in non-Western countries, especially whether they follow a similar pattern of change. Moreover, the existing literature uses diverse indicators to measure the transition to adulthood, which makes the cross-national comparison even more difficult.

Objective: This article takes a structural view to examine changes in the transition to adulthood in China, which has the largest youth population in the world and which has experienced rapid social change since reform in the 1980s.

Methods: The analysis uses data from 1982, 1990, and 2000 censuses and a 2005 mini-census. It treats participants aged 18−30 as synthetic cohorts and examines changes in three structural features of the transition to adulthood: timing, sequencing, and heterogeneity.

Results: Though school completion and entry into the labor force have been notably delayed, only minor delays have occurred in marriage and parenthood. Some individualization occurs in urban residents, but the pathway remains relatively structured and follows a very ordered sequence.

Conclusions: These findings suggest stability in the transition to adulthood amidst rapid social change in China during these twenty years.

Author's Affiliation

Felicia Tian - Fudan University, China [Email]

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

» How kinship systems and welfare regimes shape leaving home: A comparative study of the United States, Germany, Taiwan, and China
Volume 36 - Article 38    | Keywords: China, transition to adulthood

» Leaving the parental home in post-war Japan: Demographic changes, stem-family norms and the transition to adulthood
Volume 20 - Article 30    | Keywords: life course, transition to adulthood

» Examining the influence of major life events as drivers of residential mobility and neighbourhood transitions
Volume 36 - Article 35    | Keywords: life course

» 'Motherhood penalty' and 'fatherhood premium'? Fertility effects on parents in China
Volume 35 - Article 47    | Keywords: China

» The diversity in longitudinal partnership trajectories during the transition to adulthood: How is it related to individual characteristics and regional living conditions?
Volume 35 - Article 37    | Keywords: transition to adulthood

Articles

»Volume 34

 

Citations

 

 

Similar Articles

 

 

Jump to Article

Volume Page
Volume Article ID