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Josipa Roksa and Richard Arum stirred up a great deal of conversation at SCUP–46. (SCUP members, and others who attended, can view video of Roksa and Arum’s plenary session in the SCUP–46 proceedings.) In this Change magazine article, they report on their research about what’s happening in the lives of recent college grads.
In this study, we explore how recent college graduates have navigated transitions into adult roles in this time of economic crisis. While these transitions are often rife with difficulties, college graduates today are facing unique obstacles in cutting a path toward independence and economic self-reliance.
These challenges are worthy of note, as early transitions tend to shape long-term trajectories, giving initial outcomes lifelong consequences. In his pioneering study of children born in the 1920s (i.e., shortly before or during the Great Depression), Glen Elder documented the profound effects that early experiences of economic hardships can have on human development, not only in the formative years but also throughout life (Elder, 1974).