Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Joy Holloway

Second Advisor

Thomas Hamilton

Third Advisor

Murphy Fox

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that there is a decrease in the age in years at which a person is considered an adult as a function of living in Europe, with an emphasis on Ireland in particular, as opposed to the United States. This hypothesis was tested by comparing the answers to survey questions distributed in Europe as compared to those distributed in the United States. Each survey was analyzed to determine the age in years each participant considered to be the age of adulthood. This number was termed the Perception of Adulthood Age. The research participants were young adults who volunteered to take part in the study in a variety of casual and formal settings. There were 24 participants ages 14-31 years from Europe, and 24 participants ages 17-31 years from the United States. After comparing the Perception of Adulthood age using the Two- Sample Assuming Equal Variances t-test the results of the study showed Perception of Adulthood Age increases as a function of living in Europe as opposed to the United States. These results contradict the original hypothesis. The conclusion is that further research is needed to determine if these results are accurate. If further research supports these findings, the conclusion would then be that Perception of Adulthood Age increases as a function of living in Europe as opposed to the United States.

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