North/South Differences Among Italian Emerging Adults Regarding Criteria Deemed Important for Adulthood and Life Satisfaction


  • Giovanni Piumatti
  • Maria Garro
  • Laura Pipitone
  • Angela Maria Di Vita
  • Emanuela Rabaglietti


The main goal of this study was to compare Northern and Southern Italian emerging adult university students, regarding the importance attributed to criteria for adulthood and the levels of life and education satisfaction. Self-report questionnaires were filled by 475 Northern and Southern Italian University students (Age M = 22.91, 76% females, n = 359). Multivariate analysis of variance revealed that Southern emerging adults were more likely to place importance on family capacities, norm compliance, interdependence and role transitions as criteria for achieving adulthood than Northern emerging adults. Regarding gender differences, females were more likely to believe in the importance of norm compliance than males, while males were more likely to espouse the importance of legal transitions. Finally, emerging adults from the North reported higher levels of life satisfaction than their Southern counterparts. We interpreted these findings in light of socio-economical and gender socialization differences among Northern and Southern Italian emerging adults.