Cape Coast, Ghana, 7-9 avril 2014

Seminaire organisé par le Comité scientifique de l'UIESP sur les Parcours de vie des jeunes dans les pays en développement, en collaboration avec l'Uiversité de Cape Coast.


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Date limite de soumission des résumés :15 janvier 2014

Adolescence and youth are life stages that are gaining in significance as the interval between childhood and the assumption of adult roles is ever lengthening and as unprecedented large cohorts reach adolescence in developing countries. As young people transit into adulthood while furthering their education, entering the labor market, forming families, conducting active citizenship, they set the stage for adult life and shape their entire future. Such transitions also define the future of their communities and countries. While it has been well recognized that adolescence and young adulthood are periods of key transitions in individuals’ lives, the interactions among these transitions remain largely unexplored, particularly in developing countries.   Although there has been extensive research focusing on specific transitions to adulthood over the last two decades,  and even though some of these issues were already  identified in the Plan of Action from the International Conference on Population and Development there is a dearth of evidence examining how the interplay among these transitions shape adolescents and young adults’ future prospects.


Adolescence and early adulthood is a period of key transitions in individuals’ lives. During these years, there is rapid physical, social, psychological and economic development as well as learning and skills building, along with risk and vulnerability. It is during this period that individuals move from a state of legal dependence on parents to a situation of civil and individual responsibilities and rights, often characterized by increasing autonomy, involvement in romantic relationship, transitions into parenthood, financial independence and assumption of citizenship roles. These transitions set the stage for adult life and are likely to shape the future of individuals and communities. The involvement of young people in the Middle East up-rising, in what has become known as the “Arab Spring” and in large demonstrations demanding better education in Chile, for example, provides some indication on the need to focus on the entire transition phases.


The panel is particularly interested in advancing evidence on the interplay between the transitions to adulthood using methodologies that account for the timing and sequencing of events and studies that attempt to estimate causes and effects.


The panel welcomes studies that advance knowledge within the themes of the seminar (education, family formation, work, citizenship) by focusing on the following gaps identified in the literature:


1. Education and transitions to adulthood:
While young people are spending more time in school, the school context has been left out of most studies examining the interplay between education and other transitions to adult roles in developing countries. For example, as schools have often been conceptualized as having a protective effect in preventing unwanted outcomes for youth in developing countries, the literature on peer effects in developed countries tells us that this is not always the case. In focusing on the interplay between education and transitions to adult roles, the panel would want to receive papers which emphasize aspects that have been rarely examined in these contexts such as educational quality and school contexts and their implications to other transitions.


2. Work and transitions to adulthood:
There is extensive evidence on the gendered nature of adolescent work in most developing countries—girls perform most of the household work and boys work for economic gain at higher rates. At the same time, while youth are achieving ever-high levels of education, for a large number of them avenues for employment are restricted, leading to underemployment and informal work that trigger a series of unwanted outcomes and transitions, creating avenues for dependence and drift into poverty. The panel welcomes studies that focus on the implications of work and work conditions—including both economic and household work—for the subsequent transitions to adulthood.


3. Family formation and the transition to adulthood:
While there is evidence on the consequences of early childbearing, union formation and romantic relationships for subsequent transitions to adulthood such as truncating education, there are few studies that track the ordering of events, casting doubt on the validity of some of these past findings. For instance, there is the need to understand the role of family planning and its interface with other dimensions of transition such as work and education. Thus, the panel welcomes research that focuses on the interplay between these transitions into adult roles and which carefully consider the ordering of events.


4. Citizenship and the transition to adulthood:
The links among education, (lack of) work and political consciousness and agitation constitute an emerging dimension in the transition into citizenship. This is a particularly important focus in developing countries where youth account for a large portion of the potential voting population but has high rates of unemployment. The panel welcomes studies focusing on the connections between youth conditions and political conditions/participation.


5. Research has indicated that the demographic dividend has implications for young people’s education and work. However, we know very little about whether and how this occurs in all contexts. The panel welcomes studies that examine the implication of the demographic dividend for youth school and work decisions, particularly studies that examine differences by class and gender.


A gendered perspective and comparative studies are particularly welcome.


The IUSSP Scientific Panel on Young People’s Life Course in Developing Countries invites researchers in the field to submit online by 15 January 2014 a short 200-word abstract AND upload an extended abstract (2 to 4 pages, including tables) or a full paper, which must be unpublished and not submitted for publication.

Online Submissions :

Applicants will be notified whether their paper has been accepted by 31 January 2014. In the case of acceptance on the basis of an abstract, the completed paper must be uploaded on the IUSSP website by 10 March 2014.


The seminar will be limited to about 20 contributed papers. If the paper is co-authored, please include the names of your co-authors in your submission form. Submission should be made by the author who will attend the seminar.


Abstracts and papers may be submitted in English, French or Spanish. However, the working language of the meeting is English, and presentations must be made in English.


Possible outcomes from the seminar include publishing the papers as seminar proceedings, an edited volume or a special issue of a journal. Papers submitted should be unpublished and should not be submitted for publication until the Panel has made a decision with regard to their possible publication.


Current funding for the seminar is very limited; efforts are under way to raise additional funds to support the participation of presenters at the seminar, but at this point in time funding cannot be guaranteed. Participants are therefore encouraged to seek their own funding to cover the cost of their participation in the seminar. If available, funding will be restricted to IUSSP members in good standing and will be contingent upon submission of a complete paper of acceptable quality by the deadline for papers.

For further information about the papers:
Please contact Scientific Panel Chair Edith Pantelides (


For further information about administrative matters, travel and accommodation:
Please contact Local Organizer: Kofi Awusabo-Asare (;


IUSSP Scientific Panel on Young People’s Life Course in Developing Countries:
Chair: Edith Alejandra Pantelides
Members: Kofi Awusabo-Asare, Monica Magadi, Leticia Marteleto, Iwu Utomo.