Carla is a divorced middle-age woman who lives in Florida, far from her only living parent and her only sibling and his children, who live in different parts of the Northeast. She has a child...

Carla is a divorced middle-age woman who lives in Florida, far from her only living parent and her only sibling and his children, who live in different parts of the Northeast. She has a child entering 3rd grade and would really like to see her family more, especially in order for her son to grow closer to his cousins. Carla is not sure whether she should relocate, especially in such a bad economy. What would an adolescent predict she would do and why? What would an emerging adult predict she would do and why? 

Expert Answers
mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In all of my years of experience in teaching, I have rarely seen an adolescent want to move to a different location. Adolescents want familiarity and routine. Moving to a different region of the country would disrupt both familiarity and routine for this child. Kids are afraid of the unknown. This adolescent would be concerned about making new friends, fitting into a new school, learning different subjects, and possibly adapting to a different lifestyle. This adolescent, if given a choice, would more likely than not vote to stay where he or she is currently living.

An emerging adult would probably see the situation differently. The emerging adult would likely have gone through several changes in life and, therefore, would have more confidence in making another change. This emerging adult would have experienced change going from elementary school to middle school, from middle school to high school, from high school to college or the workforce, and from having held different jobs or other positions that would have changed throughout the years. Having gone through these changes would give the emerging adult a greater sense of confidence that he or she could handle this potential change. Additionally, the emerging adult would have a greater understanding of the need to be near family and the importance of getting to know his or her relatives better. The emerging adult would be more likely to vote to move to this new location.

thepreston | Student

The primary difference between adolescent and emerging adult in this scenario would be wisdom (the practical application of knowledge/past experience). Both would be capable of weighing the pros and cons at play although the contents of the lists would likely differ, probably to a large degree.

Would the proposed parties suggest one way or the other is not the same question as what would they predict. To ponder what they might predict, one would need to consider the way that both groups view others. Not necessarily what they might do in Carla's place.

An adolescent would likely fail to consider the 'big picture' if asked what should be done, but they would also be likely to have a fairly strong bias in their guess of what an adult in this situation might do. Most adolescents feel as though adults are very different from them. So, an adolescent may very well posses a headstrong belief that an emotion-driven 'throw cation to the wind and follow your heart' course of action is correct; but they would likely guess that an adult would do the opposite, seeing as adults are viewed by the adolescent as backward and baffling. 

Conversely, most emerging adults view themselves as somehow stronger or wiser than their adolescent selves, but also often feel superior to their older adult counterparts. Most emerging adults view themselves as somewhat above average, and tend to carry a bias that older adults are "past their prime" and will thus make slightly less sound decisions. So, although the emerging adult may have a better grasp of the big picture than the adolescent, when guessing what a middle-aged woman might do the emerging adult would likely perceive weakness and guess the woman will relocate. Thus maintaining their dissonance that they would be strong/wise enough to know better, but Carla is most likely too old to tough it out alone.

samg1997 | Student

An adolescent would predict that Carla would move to be closer to her family. An adolescent is still unsure of the effects of a poor economy on the working class, assuming that he/she is an average adolescent and does not pay rent, utilities, car payments, etc. An adolescent would go the ethical route to justify moving, possibly stating things such as, "If you loved our family, money should not be a factor in your decision." He/she also may not be aware of the difficulty of transferring a child to another school, and helping the child adapt to the new area. 

An emerging adult would include factors such as money, hassle of moving, and ethics to respond to Carla's situation. The adult would most likely suggest that Carla not move to be closer to her family, but perhaps save money to see them once or twice a year. Moving in general is a long and stressful process, which most adults understand.