London: A study has found that many young adults, who are in their 20s and 30s, are suffering from a quarter-life crisis.
The research suggests that they are experiencing the traditional symptoms of a mid-life crisis earlier, as they are faced with too many choices.
According to Greenwich University researcher Oliver Robinson, today’s young adults often struggle with the multitude of options available, driving them to feel anxiety, depression and a sense of being trapped or "locked into" a marriage or a job that doesn’t feel right.
"You are now more footloose to make changes in early adulthood than I think you once were," the Daily Mail quoted Robinson, who interviewed 50 people aged between 25 and 35 about their difficulties coping, as saying.
"There is greater fluidity in the job world, greater fluidity in marriage or alternatives to marriage. This fluidity has meant major life changes are more acceptable.
"In the past if a major life change were to occur it would happen in mid-life," he said.
He said pressure to meet parents`` demands can add to the sense of crisis among today’s young adults.
"It is about people feeling a frenetic need to get a job, make money and be successful quickly," he said.
"It links to the demanding nature of people in their 20s and 30s who want it all. They are not happy with a mediocre, ploddy, conventional life," he stated.
While a major re-evaluation of life choices can be unsettling, it seems to be worth it in the end, the British Psychological Society’s annual conference heard.
Robinson said "setting the clock back on adulthood and starting again" brings with it a sense of freedom.
And those who have suffered, or are in the midst of, a "quarter-life crisis" will be glad to know that it cuts their odds of suffering a "proper" mid-life crisis later on.
"You’d be much less likely to suffer another crisis because the lifestyle that you have post crisis is intrinsically healthier than what you had before," Robinson said.
Cary Cooper, professor of psychology and health at Lancaster University, said that today’s young adults face a different set of challenges to their parents.
"Today’s 20 and 30-somethings can have five jobs by their early 30s. They are entering a different world and while that world gives them more choice it also gives them less security and less structure," he said.
"People who are entrepreneurial in their attitude and are very flexible will do well but the rest of them will not," he added.