Emerging Adults’ Experiences of Managing Social Group Disruptions

Jared Hawkins, Carissa D’Aniello-Heyda, Stephen Fife, Jaclyn Pickens Cravens, Roy Bean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emerging adults experience frequent life transitions that disrupt social groups and increase loneliness. However, limited research examines how emerging adults respond to social group disruptions. Drawing upon the Social Identity Model of Identity Change (SIMIC), this study explored 11 emerging adults’ experiences of managing social group disruptions. Using interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA), we identified seven themes that helped participants mitigate loneliness after experiencing social group disruptions. Themes included: (a) engaging with existing social groups, (b) proactively forming new relationships, (c) using technology, (d) becoming more selective about forming and maintaining friendships, (e) increasing acceptance and positive thinking, (f) engaging in meaningful activities, and (g) focusing on self-development. The results call for further research on how emerging adults can effectively manage social group disruptions to mitigate loneliness.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEmerging Adulthood
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • coping
  • life events
  • loneliness
  • mental health
  • qualitative methods
  • social support
  • transitions to adulthood


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