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Book Chapter

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Encyclopedia of Child and Adolescent Development



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The transition into higher education is internationally recognized as a critical developmental period characterized by changes in contexts, identities, relationships, roles, and responsibilities. Further, it typically coincides with the developmental progression from late adolescence to emerging adulthood, which brings its own challenges and opportunities for success as well as struggle. This confluence of disruption and change can contribute to psychological upheaval or reveal resilience. The entry begins with a discussion of the current state of higher education enrollment, and describes the transition to higher education within various key domains, including considerations of identity and development in emerging adulthood, relational and financial changes during this transition, and the impact on mental health. The entry concludes with a discussion of institutional programs aimed at supporting the transition into higher education, and recommendations for future programming.


Author Posting © Wiley-Blackwell, 2019. This article is posted here for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in Encyclopedia of Child and Adolescent Development, December 2019,

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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