movement toward adulthood

See: growth
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For years sociologists, anthropologists, and psychologists have mourned the loss of traditions marking important childhood "rites of passage." In earlier American culture, movement toward adulthood was accompanied by more ritualistic, meaningful celebrations of transition to newfound independence and responsibility to the family and community.
In an adult narrative describing the experience of youth, Kevin Arnold, the principal subject of the 90s hit television show The Wonder Years, noted, "Growing up is not so much a straight line as a series of advances and retreats." This is a keen observation on adolescent movement toward adulthood.
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