Transitional Instability Predicts Polymorphous Distress in Emerging Adults

Chris G Segrin, Corey A. Pavlich, Melissa McNelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The primary aim of this investigation is to determine the extent to which transitional instability can predict diverse markers of distress in emerging adults. Participants were 210 emerging adults, aged 18–25 who completed measures of distress that included loneliness, stress, problem drinking, and prescription medication use. One year later, they returned to complete these same measures of distress along with a measure of significant life transitions that they encountered during the past year in such domains as education, employment, residence, and relationships. Results of a structural equation modeling analysis showed that even after controlling for the potential reciprocal association between transitional instability and distress, the more transitional instability emerging adults experienced over the year, the higher their distress was at time 2. The results are consistent with models of transitional instability as a precipitant of distress in emerging adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)496-506
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 4 2017


  • Drug and alcohol use
  • quality of life
  • sociocognitive development
  • stress and coping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Psychology(all)


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