Features of Emerging Adulthood: What are Their Relationship with Depression Symptoms?

The Open Psychology Journal 03 Oct 2022 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/18743501-v15-e2208010



In Malaysia, the highest prevalence of depression among adults was in the age group of 25-29, followed by the ages 20-24. The increasing prevalence of depression among emerging adults is concerning, as prior studies have shown that features in emerging adulthood such as instability and self-focused made them more vulnerable to develop depression and anxiety. There are limited studies conducted on the relationship between these features and depression in eastern countries, where their cultures are different from western cultures. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the relationship between features of emerging adulthood with depression symptoms among emerging adults aged 18-29 in Malaysia.


This was a cross-sectional and preliminary study that involved 37 emerging adults. The Inventory of Dimensions of Emerging Adulthood (IDEA) and Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) were used to assess the features of emerging adults in Malaysians and to measure their depressive symptoms, respectively.


Two out of five features in emerging adulthood were significant predictors for depressive symptoms – instability and self-focused. Meanwhile, the other three features were non-significant predictors for depressive symptoms – exploration, possibilities, and feeling in-between.


With the increased scores in instability and self-focus, the chance for depressive symptoms increase too. Meanwhile, the increased scores in exploration and possibilities may or may not result in the reduction of depressive symptoms. Future studies should focus on the experimental study and emphasize emerging adulthood’s features when doing therapeutic interventions.

Keywords: Emerging adult, Depression, Subthreshold depression, Depressive symptoms, Cross-sectional study, Adulthood.
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