Adolescents in Ethiopia can face difficulties in successfully transitioning to healthy adulthood. This can stem from challenges experienced by two unique phenomenon: ‘early adulthood’ where adolescents are forced into adult responsibilities too early; and ‘waithood’ where adolescents are unable to obtain the foundations they need to successfully move into adulthood. This paper explores these opposing challenges and the role of social policies in supporting these transitions. It uses qualitative and quantitative data on adolescents and young adults, their caregivers and key informants in Ethiopia. Our findings show that adolescent transitions are impacted by a range of barriers resulting in adolescents facing early adulthood or waithood. Social policies could provide a foundation to support these adolescents, yet many are insufficiently age-disaggregated. In order to support transitions into adulthood, social policies need to be targeted at adolescents throughout each stage of their transition; this should be complemented with wider programming such as skills training and health services.
Devonald, M., Jones, N., Hamory, J. and Yadete, W. (2021) ‘Betwixt and Between: Adolescent Transitions and Social Policy Lacunae in Ethiopia’. Childhood Vulnerability. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41255-021-00016-1