In modern industrialized societies, emerging adults have a surplus of freedom. To define oneself and live from that stance will likely result in the outcomes of their life. According to Sharon (2016), managing one’s well-being and growth is just as important as their identity. Urbanization is projected to constitute up to 66% of America by 2050 and likewise in India, 41% by 2020 (Srivastava, 2009). A sudden increase in cities and urban population provides advantages and disadvantages to the surrounding populous including but not limited to social economic and psychological changes as well. Considering young adults have such unprecedented freedom, the effects urbanization has on the well-being of emotional, psychosocial well-being and life satisfaction factors in emerging adults must be quite significant.
Well-being is a broad term which constitutes a variety of definitions from professional researchers. There is a general agreement that “at minimum well-being includes the presence of positive emotions and moods (contentment and happiness), absences of negative emotions (depression, anxiety, etc.), satisfaction with life, fulfillment and positive functioning” (CDC, 2016). Simply put, well-being can be defined as judging life positively and feeling good. According to the Center for Disease Control, there is a U-shaped distribution of well-being by age. That is younger and older adults tend to have more well-being compared to middle-aged adults (CDC, 2016), but this context seems subjective. There is little to much research provided on young adults in urban settings and findings as such could possibly reveal a better-defined statistics.
Emotional well-being is an essential part of health and is defined as “being confident and positive and able to cope with the ups and downs of life” (Stewart-Brown, 1998). The Center for Disease Control (2016) also identifies positive emotions are among the central components of well-being and are “independent dimensions of mental health that can and should be fostered”. Regarding urbanization, strangled traffic, neighborhood deterioration, juvenile crimes, and overcrowded schools cause a downward spiral of circumstance thus resulting in negatively impacting emotional well-being. This has also been labeled as the “crisis of the metropolis” (Dumpson, 1962). As for India, urbanization rates have slowed but urban slums have expanded (Nijiman, 2015). Slums are the unfortunate by-products of overpopulation and poverty and interestingly enough show for higher levels of well-being among their U.S. equivalents (Nijiman, 2015).
Psychological well-being consists of positive relationships with others, personal mastery, autonomy, a feeling of purpose and meaning in life and personal growth and development. Such may be attained by achieving a state of balance affected by both challenging and rewarding life events (Wikipedia contributors, 2018). Urban areas struggle with adequate infrastructure because there are fewer facilities available. These results link to increased stressors and factors like high violence, pollution and reduced social support (Srivastava, 2016). Those faced with poverty are prone to mental illness which directly correlates to the findings of Sharon (2016). Sharon (2016) indicates the idea of traditional transitional adult roles directly correlating with the feeling of a lack of control in life (Srivastava, 2016). Considering young adulthood is the most productive age and young adults have the desire to be in their next stage of life, mental illness prevails as anxiety and depression can overwhelm.
Life satisfaction is defined as the way in which people show their emotions, feelings and how they feel about their directions and options for the future. Likewise, this is another “measure of well-being viewed in terms of relationship satisfaction, self-concepts, achieved goals, and self-perceived ability to cope with one’s daily life” (Wikipedia contributors, 2018). “Life satisfaction is generally more dependent on the availability of basic needs being met (shelter, food, income) and access to modern conveniences” (CDC, 2016). A study in the youth of Flint, Michigan (1982) shows a lack of life satisfaction within environments. Low neighborhood security of urban communities also reflects dissatisfaction with livelihood (Widgery, 1982).
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