Recently, calls have been made for an increased focus on successful development in young people and how optimal developmental pathways can be promoted.
The concept of healthy functioning or positive development is particularly relevant to the emerging-adulthood period because of the significant potential for positive change and redirection of life pathways observed during this time. This chapter focuses on one empirically tested model of positive development in emerging adulthood developed with data from the Australian Temperament Project.
Positive development is conceptualized as comprising the dimensions of civic action and engagement, trust and tolerance of others, trust in authorities and organizations, social competence, and life satisfaction.
A growing body of research suggests that positive development in emerging adulthood is an important asset for young people, with distinct developmental antecedents and consequences for later functioning. The findings provide possible targets for interventions to promote healthy developmental pathways into adulthood.