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Growing Up Global: The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries
and use it to guide a discussion of the key elements of global change. Because of the diversity of experiences among young people, the implications of these changes for national and local environments are illustrated using examples from the empirical literature. These serve to make more tangible the many ways in which global change is affecting the daily lives of young people.
Part II looks at the two critical elements of individual resources for which we have relatively rich data and evidence: changes in education (Chapter 3) and changes in health and reproductive health (Chapter 4). Each chapter starts by describing recent data on patterns and trends, then reviews critically what is known from the empirical literature about the factors affecting these patterns and changes and finishes with a review of relevant policies and programs designed to positively affect the necessary resources and attributes for successful transitions, including evidence (when available) about their effectiveness.
Part III is organized around four adult roles: worker (Chapter 5), citizen (Chapter 6), spouse or partner (Chapter 7), and parent (Chapter 8). As there are very few data on the role of household manager, this adult role is not treated separately, although the panel recognizes its potential importance. In Part III, we are particularly interested in how changes at the global level are affecting the very nature of the transition itself, in terms of timing, sequencing, duration, and content. Each successive chapter in this part of the report considers not just that particular adult role in isolation but explores the ways in which one transition relates to another. While considerations of the timing of work in relation to schooling or the timing of marriage in relation to parenthood are more familiar in the literature, the links between work and marriage or schooling and childbearing are less familiar. The interrelationships among transitions is a key theme in each chapter whenever data permit.
It will become obvious to the reader in proceeding from the conceptual framework in Part I to the substantive chapters in Part II and Part III that the panel’s knowledge falls far short of its curiosity. The gaps between the conceptual framework and the empirical evidence remain huge. Nonetheless, the panel’s comparative empirical approach does allow new facts and insights to emerge, some of which have implications for the design of policies and programs. The panel’s conceptual framework highlights the gap between theory and evidence with clear implications for future research priorities. Part IV’s Chapter 9 summarizes the findings from Chapters 2 through 8 and identifies promising avenues for future research that can provide important insights for understanding and for policy choices.