The New Age of Adolescence


From The World of Kids, published in KidzMatter Magazine.

A group of scientists is making a case for increasing the age limits on adolescence. Rather than the traditional time frame between the ages of 10-19, the group, who recently posted their findings in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health Journal, believes adolescence should be redefined as a period of time between 10-24 years of age.

The group cited the earlier onset of puberty and a later beginning to signs of adulthood, such as moving out of the parents’ house, financial independence and marriage as reasons for the change. It is believed that a longer designated period for development would be beneficial in framing laws, policies and social services to benefit this demographic.

However, there is a concern that suggesting a person is not an adult until age 24 means they won’t attempt to act like an adult until that time. Rather than change the standard, some sociologists believe society should maintain high expectations for the next generation’s transition to adulthood.

•    What effects do you see lengthening the life phase of adolescence will have on society?
•    How are marketing and digital media influencing the rate at which children transition to adulthood?



ResearchRyan Frank