• Presidential Address

    Does your Research Really Matter? Revitalizing Engagement in the Study of Emerging Adulthood

    Speaker: Elizabeth Morgan, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Springfield College, MA. She is president-elect for the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood (SSEA). Please view her website here.


    Scholarship on emerging adulthood has identified that this is a period of both great potential and risk. As we continue to expand our knowledge about the diverse experiences of those winding their way from adolescence to adulthood, scholars are increasingly able to pursue knowledge that can improve the lives of these youth as well as others in society. However, the existing infrastructure of the academe encourages many scholars to conduct research because it enables a form of career stability and advancement and not so much because it matters for the world. As a result, we may spend less time thinking about the implications of our research questions and findings than whether or not our research is likely to be published or secure funding. Even when we pursue knowledge that has potential to make a significant difference in human lives, often this knowledge does not reach the public, practitioners, or policy makers. As scholars, we need to find better ways of collectively identifying knowledge that the public needs and be accountable for using that knowledge to inform and empower the very people who we seek to understand. My goal in this address to afford you the opportunity to reconsider the real motivation behind your research on emerging adulthood and the ways to actualize the impact of your research. I would like to create the space to examine how our work can be used to better our societies through more effective research-practice-policy relationships.