Letter from our SSEA President and President-elect

January 30, 2018 8:00 AM | Lisa Gaudette (Administrator)

Happy New Year to the SSEA community! We are excited about what the upcoming year has in store for our organization and invite you to be an active participant in some great ways to deepen your connection with the study of emerging adulthood. The first SSEA Thematic Conference will be taking place from May 17-19, 2018, in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. It is titled “Self and Identity in Emerging Adulthood” and we are very excited to gather together international scholars on this topic (broadly defined) for this exciting event. Submissions will be accepted through February 8, 2018. Please see the conference website (http://ssea.org/conference/Identity) for more information.


Another great way to stay involved with the SSEA is through our Topic Networks. We currently have over 20 different groups established with the goals of connecting members who share interests so that they can share resources and develop collaborations. If you would like to join any of the Topic Networks listed on our website, please contact the SSEA Coordinator, coordinator@ssea.org or manage your member profile here. [http://www.ssea.org/membership/manage_member_profile] You may join as many Topic Networks as you like. We also welcome your ideas for more Topic Networks as well as nominations for Topic Network chairs or co-chairs. You need to be a current SSEA member to be a part of the Topic Networks.


As a way to provide extra support for the great work our members are doing on emerging adulthood, we are working on establishing a small grants program and hope to distribute more information about this opportunity in the next few months. We also hope to encourage conversation and consideration of the ways that we can “make our research matter” through public engagement. Keep an eye out for calls to share the ways that your research is making an impact.


We are also thrilled to take this opportunity to look back to our most recent conference. SSEA held its 8th biennial meeting this past November in Washington DC, USA. Brian Willoughby chaired the conference with Carolyn Barry as co-chair and they had support from committee members Byron Adams, Goda Kaniušonytė, and Spencer Olmstead. SSEA is highly committed to maintaining an international membership, so we were delighted to have representation from over 30 countries, with 20% of attendees from outside of North America. We are also pleased to have been able to offer travel grants to 29 international attendees. Furthermore, SSEA is highly committed to involvement from emerging scholars, which we hope is evidenced by our high rate of student attendees (37%) and new professional attendees (14%). To the organizers and all who attended and contributed, thank you for helping make the conference such a success.”


The invited program included scholars with various areas of expertise in emerging adulthood. Brian Barber provided the Keynote Address titled, “Making it to Adulthood: When Youth Emerge under Continuous Political Constraint,” covering work he has been conducting with Palestinian youth for over 20 years.  Master lectures were offered by Elisabetta Crocetti (“Identity formation in emerging adulthood: A dynamic process”), Ofra Mayseless (“The caring motivation and its development during emerging adulthood – a neglected, fundamental facet of our human nature”), Larry Nelson (“Trajectories of flourishing and floundering: The good, the bad, and the lonely”), and Scott Stanley (“Sliding vs. deciding: Commitment, ambiguity, and relationship formation”).


We were excited to offer six pre-conference events at this conference, organized by some of our most active Topic Networks, including Media, Prevention and Intervention, Religion and Spirituality, Identity, Mental Health, and Sexuality and Romantic Relationships. These always prove to be energizing sessions with excellent networking opportunities, so we highly suggest that you consider attending at pre-conference workshop in 2019.


We had over 150 poster presentations on topics such as: parents and family, work and career, friendships, moral development, and substance use and abuse. Our program was also full of highly quality invited discussion sessions, symposia, and individual paper sessions covering a broad array of topics related to emerging adulthood.  The Friday night Dinner and Show included an enthralling story telling event and great chance to connect with other SSEA members. If you are still hoping to connect with a presenter or other conference attendee, there is a contact list posted on the SSEA website here. [http://www.ssea.org/conference/2017/program.html]


We would be delighted to see everyone again at our 2019 conference. We hope to announce the location and dates soon. Stay tuned!


All our best,

Elizabeth Morgan, President

Larry J. Nelson, President-elect