London: A new study has found that young adults are suffering from a quarter-life crisis as they’re forced to make tough decisions about their future.
The term was coined by Australian psychologists to highlight a period of stress experienced by 25 to 35-year-olds.
The crisis usually comes after leaving university, finding a full-time job and being involved in a serious relationship.
But unlike a midlife crisis, which involves reflecting on what one hasn’t yet achieved, a quarter-life crisis focuses on the often agonising decision of which path to take next.
Psychologist Paul Martin said the 20s and 30s could be the most distressing time in a person’s life.
By 30, many adults are under stress about not meeting goals such as marriage, starting a family and saving for a home deposit.
A quarter-life crisis emerges when Generation Y comes to a crossroads and worries about which path to take, rather than letting their lives play out.
“It is to do with a transitional phase that we all go through between adolescence and adulthood where people are embracing and adapting to various changes that life brings,” the Daily Mail quoted Martin as saying.
“Often the expectation is that by 30 you should know who you are, you should have a career, you should have a house and be in a relationship.
“When people give themselves a break and take the pressure off and make that feeling of being trapped go away it becomes a transition as opposed to a crisis,” he stated.
The research presented to the British Psychological Society this year showed a quarter-life crisis occurred around 30 and lasted for about two years.
Australian Psychological Society spokeswoman Dr Cindy Nour said she often saw patients in early adulthood with signs of a quarter-life crisis.
“People aged between 20 and 30 years old may be experiencing their first full-time job, first trip overseas, first break-up and with those things comes stress,” she said.