The IDEA: Inventory of the Dimensions of Emerging Adulthood

Author of Tool: 

Reifman, A.

Key references: 

Reifman, A., Arnett, J.J., & Colwell, M.J. (2007, Summer). Emerging adulthood: Theory, assessment, and application. Journal of Youth Development, 2(1). 

Primary use / Purpose: 

The Inventory of the Dimensions of Emerging Adulthood (IDEA) assesses identification with transition-to-adulthood themes.


Arnett (2000) has proposed that the time of life roughly between ages 18-25 be considered a "distinct period" called emerging adulthood (EA). Essentially, this is a time when individuals tend to consider themselves too old to be adolescents, but not yet full-fledged adults. The Inventory of the Dimensions of Emerging Adulthood (IDEA) can be used to explore individual differences in self-identification with the processes of EA. Education of parents on the concept of EA could give parents added understanding of their children's life choices and delays in accomplishment of traditional adult roles. 


The 31 item inventory of the IDEA consists of 6 sub-scales, each measured on a 4-point Likert scale. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses largely supported the sub-scale conceptualization of emerging adulthood. In two studies combined, only five item loadings smaller then .45 were obtained. Some of the subscales did exhibit large correlations (r > .7) with each other, however. Internal consistency (alpha) reliability coefficients for the subscales were generally strong, between .70-.85. Test-retest reliability correlations (over a one-month interval) ranged from .64-.76, with the exception of the “feeling in-between” subscale (.37). 



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