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Thread: Adolescence Now Lasts From 10 to 24, Scientists Suggest

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    Funding Member Gefjon's Avatar
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    Adolescence Now Lasts From 10 to 24, Scientists Suggest

    Growing up will take a little longer if a group of new scientists get their way.

    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. 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.

    “Adolescence encompasses elements of biological growth and major social role transitions, both of which have changed in the past century,” they write in the article, published Wednesday.

    “Arguably, the transition period from childhood to adulthood now occupies a greater portion of the life course than ever before at a time when unprecedented social forces, including marketing and digital media, are affecting health and wellbeing across these years.”

    The call for redefinition is an attempt to ensure health policy safeguards the future health of the 1.8 billion people aged 10-24 who make up more than a quarter of the world’s population, according to the United Nations Population Fund.

    “An expanded and more inclusive definition of adolescence is essential for developmentally appropriate framing of laws, social policies, and service systems,” the new article reads. It’s not the first time lead author professor Susan Sawyer, director of the Centre for Adolescent Health at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne has discussed redefining adolescence. In a 2012 study on the subject, she wrote that inconsistent age definitions only serve to compound the problem of addressing adolescent health concerns. Some information systems define people ages 15-19 as “adults,” which will “effective render adolescence invisible.”

    “Good information systems are an important step towards making adolescents and their health more visible to policy makers, researchers, donors and development partners,” she wrote in 2012. Sawyer and her co-authors suggest a definition of adolescence across three age categories, 10-14 years, 15-19 years, and 20-24 years. That is how Statistics Canada defines young years, often further describing the 15-19 years as “adolescents” and the 20-24 years as “young adults.”

    Some academics contest the Lancet piece, including sociologist Jan Macvarish from the University of Kent, who tweeted that “science really can't tell us how to live our lives and raise our children and what adulthood means.”

    But Sawyer is intent on a redefinition. She found that much research on the adolescent years tends to focus on children under the age of five instead of the later years when minds and bodies continue to develop which she tweeted in November ahead of the new article’s release.

    “Let’s make adolescents visible,” she wrote.
    https://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/adol...gest-1.3766854


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    Senior Member Nordic Angel's Avatar
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    This is so ridiculous. If you are 18, you are an ADULT, no matter what. Decades ago, people still raised their kids in a way so they were able to act as adults at 18. Just because many parents today fail to raise their kids properly and don't prepare them enough for adulthood, it doesn't mean you can change laws of nature because of it. At 18 you are grown and should be able to act accordingly. All these ridiculous people who say they feel "too young" to have children at the age of 25 or even 27 cannot be taken seriously. Their parents and society clearly failed to raise them into responsible adults.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nordic Angel View Post
    This is so ridiculous. If you are 18, you are an ADULT, no matter what. Decades ago, people still raised their kids in a way so they were able to act as adults at 18. Just because many parents today fail to raise their kids properly and don't prepare them enough for adulthood, it doesn't mean you can change laws of nature because of it. At 18 you are grown and should be able to act accordingly. All these ridiculous people who say they feel "too young" to have children at the age of 25 or even 27 cannot be taken seriously. Their parents and society clearly failed to raise them into responsible adults.
    And of course this is aimed squarely at people of European descent. Mexicans are still getting early starts in life and having kids in their teens, but (((the enemy))) wants to use this sort of propaganda to convince US to have 2 children at 40 while the third world in our midst has 4 children at 20. Figure it out... making OUR generations longer reduces our relative population in a very big way.
    Most people think as they are trained to think, and most people make a majority.

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    Senior Member Aelfgar's Avatar
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    Well, facts are facts. Scientific tests could establish whether or not 21 year olds are less good at reasoning, judging and remembering than 25 year olds. If so, then there would be a case for raising the voting age and, especially, the driving age.

    People in their early 20s do often behave quite childishly in some ways.

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    Senior Member Nordic Angel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aelfgar View Post
    Well, facts are facts. Scientific tests could establish whether or not 21 year olds are less good at reasoning, judging and remembering than 25 year olds. If so, then there would be a case for raising the voting age and, especially, the driving age.

    People in their early 20s do often behave quite childishly in some ways.
    Sure they do. Because they were raised the wrong way. A healthy society would raise its children into responsible adults and not allow 20-year-olds to behave like immature kids.

    It really annoys me how immature our society has become. I find it so ridiculous when I hear of childless women in their 30's who like to make "girl's evenings" (Mädelsabend) together and gossip around like 13-year-olds. These women are lazy and useless. When you're in your 30's you're NOT a girl anymore, you should act like a responsible adult and raise your children and be a good role model for them.

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    Girls' evenings? Hmm, I think we know what really goes on there!

    http://cdn.playbuzz.com/cdn/644332bb...2d2ff022b0.jpg

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    Blut ist ein ganz besonderer Saft. Juthunge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nordic Angel View Post
    Sure they do. Because they were raised the wrong way. A healthy society would raise its children into responsible adults and not allow 20-year-olds to behave like immature kids.
    Sure, current irresponsibility and immaturity of 20-somethings is definitely exacerbated by a drastic lack of education and the general outlook of society.
    But there's only so much you can do with education, whether by parents of by teachers, most of behaviour is nevertheless genetic. And we do know that one's brain isn't fully developed until about 25.

    There's certainly a reason after all, why historically the age of citizenship and a lot of other things wereset at 21 or beyond. Often coupled with the need to show actual markers of responsibility, like possessing land, being able to bear arms, having a good reputation etc.
    "And in the shock of battle the men of the North seemed like a sea that cannot be moved. Firmly they stood, one close to another, forming as it were a bulwark of ice, and with great blows of their swords they hewed down the Arabs. Drawn up in a band around their chief, the people of the Austrasians carried all before them. Their tireless hands drove their swords down to the breasts of the foe." - The Mozarabic Chronicle of 754, about the Germanic victory at the Battle of Tours.

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    Society used to pressure young adults to leave home and get married at a certain age between 19-25. I've heard terrible advice given to adult children in recent years. Older adults say "never get married" or "go have fun and not worry about having babies" to people in their mid thirties. The older generation acts as family was a nuisance to their life-styles and wallets. Plus, the sky-rocketing divorce rates happened during the mid 70's. Media culture promoted "personal freedoms," "rights," material self-pursuits and heavily criticized traditional family-life. If you have Western culture promoting these attitudes, the birth rate will plummet. Economic and emotional stability are major factors in promoting higher birth rates at younger ages.

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    @LdyPrussia, I totally agree, having witnessed this being preached to my sister. I didn't want to be a childless drunken stoner at parties into my 30s, but that's what my divorced parents brainwashed her to do. I became a father at 20, after meeting my wife at 16. I've been away from home since 19, other than my grandfather's funeral when 24. My parents and their friends as well as my sister and her friends, are all hedonists and couldn't care less about consequences. I'm the black sheep of the family for raising objections. Why hang around?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nordic Angel View Post
    When you're in your 30's you're NOT a girl anymore, you should act like a responsible adult and raise your children and be a good role model for them.
    Since when are people in their 30`s part of the age category 10-24?

    I don't find this surprising at all. The more knowledge about the details of human development we gain, the more we have insight in the processes beyond the obvious ones anyone can observe. Then it becomes quite logical that the age category of development is extended. What should be wrong about this? In general even a 40 year old seems more mature than a 30 year old; so what? People don't just start developing at 12 and stop at 18. The reactions provoked here by this study says more about the instability of the worldviews of those being provoked than about the study itself.

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