Health Care

Adolescent age now starts from 10 and lasts up to 24

Adolescent age now starts from 10 and lasts up to 24

In a new opinion piece in the Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal, a group of seven academics make a case for redefining adolescence from ages 10-19 to 10-24. Adolescence now lasts until 24.

The study says that "earlier puberty has accelerated the onset of adolescence in almost all populations" and, in parallel, "delayed the timing of role transitions, including completion of education, marriage, and parenthood". According to a study, gradual changes in biological growth and social role transitions - coupled with delayed marriage and parenthood - have pushed back the period of adolescence between ages 10-24 rather than the previously known 10-19 years.

The extended transition between childhood to adulthood is attributed to many factors including societal and biological changes. Many people's wisdom teeth don't come through until the age of 25.

It is a redefinition, they say, that reflects an evolving society where puberty hits earlier, bodies develop into the 20s, and where young people leave home, get married, have children and gain economic independence later than ever.




However, not all experts agree with a new definition since it could help "further infantilize young people".

In the United Kingdom, the law defines adulthood as beginning at 18, however, adult responsibilities and true economic independence tend to occur later for most people. Susan Sawyer, director of the center for adolescent health at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne and lead author of the study.

Thus, the research calls for an expanded and more inclusive definition of adolescence, which, according to the authors, is essential for developmentally appropriate framing of laws, social policies, and service systems.

While the brain would start thinking more maturely after 20 years of age, humans are in a rush to achieve the maximum in as minimum age as possible.


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