during the last decades major social changes have introduced some special features into the transition to adulthood. on one hand the transition to adulthood tends to occur in later ages. on the other hand it involves a set of particular specificities that allows it to be considered as a developmental phase - emerging adulthood. this paper explores how social constrains act in the transition to adulthood, taking into account the international and national context. it intends to give a global overview about the challenges and opportunities that emerging adulthood provides to young adults.