Are There Similar or Divergent Transitions to Adulthood in a Mediterranean Context? A Cross-National Comparison of Italy and Spain


  • Ugo Pace
  • Marco Cacioppo
  • Valentina Lo Cascio
  • Giovanni Guzzo
  • Alessia Passanisi


The purpose of this study was to examine the differences and similarities between Italy and Spain in regard to emerging adults’ perceptions of identity status, autonomy, attachment, and life satisfaction. The goal was to verify whether a Mediterranean model of transitions from adolescence to adulthood exists. Three hundred and forty undergraduate students (171 Italians and 169 Spanish) ranging in age from 19 to 22 completed measures of identity status, emotional autonomy, attachment style, and life satisfaction. Multiple correspondence analyses provided a graphic synthesis of results. The results indicate that no common model of young adult development exists in Spain and Italy and that Italian youth have a more complex quality of development compared to their Spanish peers.