10th SSEA Conference 2021 Goes Virtual!!

Given the members' feedback in a recent survey and continued discussion by both the Governing Council and the Conference Committee, the 10th SSEA Conference scheduled for 4-6 November 2021 (Eastern Daylight Time [New York Time]) is going Virtual. The uncertainty brought on by the Covid-19 Pandemic, where members indicated their concerns around health, safety, and travel, has meant that the Virtual format is the best way for us to move forward.


1. Submissions open (General and Special Program) : NOW OPEN!
2. Submission deadline : 19 May 2021
3. Submission decision notifications : 15 June 2021
4. Early Registration (General, Special, and Pre-conference  Program) opens : 10 June 2021
5. Deadline Registration Presenters : 15 July 2021
6. Submission of Recordings (Some general program submissions) : 1 September 2021
7. Early Bird Registration ends : 30 September 2021
8. Conference : 4-6 November 2021

The conference committee is working hard on creating a conference experience worthy of its members and guests. Given the prominence of Social Justice and the Covid-19 Pandemic, we would like to encourage submissions surrounding these themes under the general conference theme "Well-being during Emerging Adulthood: Challenges and Opportunities." However, we seek to include health and well-being aspects related to all areas of emerging adulthood.

sponsorship prospectus

We are offering the opportunity for academic institutions, government agencies, and private companies to sponsor and/or exhibit in the upcoming Emerging Adulthood Conference. Sponsorship at this conference will be a good opportunity to market your department, postgraduate program, or research projects. It will also be a good opportunity to offer other products and services relevant to scholars studying emerging adults. Historically, the Conference Sponsors engage with a wide audience of people, practitioners and researchers working with emerging adults. Due to the virtual nature of this conference, this year the conference platform will provide a novel and interesting way of interacting with conference participants. Depending on your needs, we will be offering dedicated interactive virtual booths, virtual exhibition stands with downloadable materials, one-on-one or larger live chats, video adverts played during conference breaks, dedicated seminars and workshops, links to external websites, push notifications, tracking and reporting ROI, etc. We will be offering sponsorship opportunities to suit any budget while maximizing return on investment.

Please download our sponsorship prospectus for more information and sponsorship rates.

Please contact us at cea.committee@ssea.org with any questions about these sponsorship opportunities.

invited program

Keynote Speaker

The conference organizing committee is honored to present Dr. Kendell Cotton Bronk as the Keynote Speaker for our 10th Virtual Conference on Emerging Adulthood.
KCBKendall Cotton Bronk, Ph.D., is the Principal Investigator for the Adolescent Moral Development Lab and a Professor of Psychology at Claremont Graduate University, one of the Claremont Colleges. She is a developmental scientist interested in studying and promoting positive youth development and the moral growth of young people. Most recently, she has investigated these topics through the lens of young people’s purposes in life.

Her research has explored the relationship between purpose and healthy growth, how young people discover purpose, and the developmental trajectory of youth with strong commitments to various purposes in life. Her work has been funded by the Spencer Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, the Templeton World Charity Foundation, and the Fulbright Foundation.

Arnett Invited Symposium:
Ten Conferences and Twenty Years: Reflecting on the Rise of Emerging Adulthood
Convened by: Jeffrey J Arnett (Clark University)

This will be the 10th conference on emerging adulthood, and it is now a little over twenty years since the Arnett (2000) article in American Psychologist that launched the new field. This symposium will reflect on the development of the field and of the SSEA over this time, with participants offering personal reflections on their first EA inspiration as well as considering some questions about EA past and future. Questions will include: What are some of the things that distinguish SSEA conferences, and the EA field, from other domains of developmental psychology? What are the most exciting challenges in the field and for the SSEA organization, in the next 20 years? Three SSEA members from different parts of the world will address these questions, followed by reflections and commentary by Jeffrey Arnett.
JJAJeffrey Jensen Arnett is the Founding President and Executive Director of the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood. He is also a Senior Research Scholar in the Department of Psychology at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is the author of the book Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens Through the Twenties, now in its 2nd edition, published in 2015 by Oxford University Press. For more information, see www.jeffreyarnett.com.



Master Lecture 1:
Generational Differences in Development and Mental Health
Presenter: Jean M. Twenge

As cultures change over time, the experiences of people growing into adolescence and emerging adulthood create generational differences. First, adolescence and young adulthood are different developmental experiences now than they were in the mid 20th century. Not only has young adulthood become the slower process of emerging adulthood, but adolescents are taking longer to engage in adult activities such working, driving, dating, having sex, going out, and drinking alcohol. Families have shifted toward a slow life strategy in which children take longer to grow to independence; the entire developmental trajectory from childhood to late adulthood has slowed. Second, recent adolescents and young adults (known as iGen or GenZ) spend more leisure time with digital media and less seeing their friends in person; they also spend less time sleeping. This pattern of time use is associated with compromised mental health, which might explain why rates of depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicide suddenly increased after smartphones became common around 2012. Overall, iGen is physically safer but more mentally vulnerable.

twengeJean M. Twenge, Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University, is the author of more than 140 scientific publications and six books, the latest of which is iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood. She holds a BA and MA from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.




Invited Session:
Who Gets to Live the Good Life? Master Narratives, Identity, and Well-Being within a Marginalizing Society
Presented by: Moin Syed (University of Minnesota) and Kate C. McLean (Western Washington University)

The question of whether emerging adulthood is a period of flourishing or floundering has been a central debate since the early days of the field. Psychologists tend to favor the flourishing view, arguing that emerging adulthood is a time of optimism, possibilities, and agentic exploration of different life paths. But what does flourishing, or well-being more broadly, mean? Is it is a feeling of enjoyment (i.e., hedonia), a sense of growth and meaning (i.e., eudomonia), the successful completion of developmental tasks, or something else? And do all emerging adults have the same ability to flourish and “do well”? In this team master lecture, Moin Syed and Kate McLean will outline how a master narrative perspective—which examines the culturally shared stories that guide thoughts, beliefs, values, and behaviors—brings attention to the structural constraints on well-being among individuals in marginalized positions in society due to race, gender, and sexuality. Syed and McLean will first review the master narrative framework and highlight key findings in the area. They will then discuss the relevance of master narratives to understanding well-being, highlighting the limitations of how well-being has been defined within mainstream psychology. Finally, they will outline recommendations for emerging adult researchers and practitioners on how to better integrate a structural perspective via master narratives in their work.

moin syedMoin Syed is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. His research is broadly concerned with identity and personality development among ethnically and culturally-diverse adolescents and emerging adults. Much of his current scholarly work focuses on methods, theories, and practices within the broad frameworks of open science and meta-psychology, with a particular emphasis on ethnic minority psychology, diversity within the field, and building bridges across the fractured sub-disciplines of psychology. He is currently the Editor of Infant and Child Development, is co-Editor (with Kate C. McLean) of the Oxford Handbook of Identity Development, the past Editor of Emerging Adulthood, the official journal of the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood, and is past President of the International Society for Research on Identity.

kate mKate C. McLean is a Professor of Psychology at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. Her research centers on narrative identity development in adolescence and emerging adulthood. Her recent work emphasizes the social and cultural contexts of narrative identity development, as well as the relation between identity processes and personality and well-being. She is the author of The Co-Authored Self: Family Stories and Construction of Personal Identity. She is an Associate Editor for the Journal Personality and Social Psychology: PPID, and on the Editorial Board of Emerging Adulthood and Qualitative Psychology. She is co-Editor (with Moin Syed) of the Oxford Handbook of Identity Development. She is just finishing her term as the Director of the Center for Cross-Cultural Research at Western Washington University.

To facilitate your planning, the committee would like to accommodate the following submissions types.

Preconference Program:

Topic Networks are invited to submit preconference sessions in line with the conference's general theme. These 3-hour sessions will be live online and will allow for interactive participation from delegates. The preconference program could include speakers, discussions, professional development workshops, workshops focused on teaching and learning, networking opportunities, or workshops. However, all possible formats will be considered. To be considered for any of these sessions, proposals must demonstrate the session's interactive/engaging nature. These sessions will be able to accommodate up to 50 participants.

General Program:

While we will consider all submissions, we encourage members to submit symposia. We are working on facilitating opportunities to make contact with potential symposia members.
Single Paper Submissions
1. Standard Paper Sessions (10 min prerecorded presentation, 5 min live Q/A)
2. Data Blitz (5 min prerecorded presentation, 4 min live Q/A)
3. Poster Submissions (Asynchronous – 5 min prerecorded presentation with each poster, Q/A through chat)
Symposia Submissions
4. Standard Symposia Sessions (3 x 10 min prerecorded presentations, 15 min live Q/A)
5. Double Symposia Sessions (7 x 10 min prerecorded presentations, 20 min live Q/A)
6. Panel Symposia Sessions (Live interactive discussion between 2 to 4 panelists)

Special Program:

These sessions occur live and are interactive. Below, we propose two types of sessions. We allot 45 min for a single session or 90 min for double sessions. Participants pre-register for these sessions.
General Innovative sessions (15 - 40 participants)
1. General Discussion forums: Stimulating participant discussion/conversation which relates specific topics to the conference theme.
2. Master tutorials: A session in which presenters engage in active knowledge transfer (e.g., Networking skills, Managing collaborations).
3. Critical debate sessions: Facilitating an open discussion on either Social Justice or the Covid-19 pandemic.
Small-Group Innovation Sessions (8 - 12 participants)
1. Workshops: Guided instruction and training by experienced mentors on a specific topic
2. Hack-a-thons: Hands-on project with a clear end goal
3. Unconferences: "Unstructured" session to pitch & discuss ideas

We will consider proposals by individuals, research groups, or organizations. To be considered for any of the above sessions, proposals must demonstrate the session's interactive/engaging nature.

Networking/Social Program:

As a means to facilitate one-on-one interactions during the virtual conference, we are working on several strategies. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Meet the speaker sessions: Speakers make themselves available for small group discussions after sessions
2. Informal coffee rooms and meet and greets: Bring your coffee, join a networking group
3. Small group mentoring sessions: Senior academics engage informally with emerging scholars
4. Drinks and Social Activities: Some of which may carry an additional cost

We are confident that this temporary format will provide us with the opportunity to reach even more delegates who may not have been able to attend in person. Therefore, we are aware that we cannot do this independently. We rely heavily on you, our members, to make this conference another memorable event. In particular, we know that members have attended various online conferences over the last year. This experience is valuable, as we can learn from these experiences. Please share with us how we can ensure that our conference provides ample socializing, networking, and engagement opportunities online. We would like to hear from you cea.committee@ssea.org

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