Worried about being 21 and not yet having a 'serious professional career'? You’re not married at 24? No need to panic – according to a study, you’re still just a kid!
In the eyes of the law, you may be an adult as soon as you hit 18 years old. However, an Australian study has revealed that the phase of adolescence has changed greatly in the recent years. According to their research, adolescence spans 15 years, from age 10 to 24.
The reasoning behind their claim is two-fold. Children nowadays are not biologically the same as the children from a century ago. Children experience hormonal changes and activation younger than ever before. In the UK alone, the average age of puberty for young girls has dropped by about four years over the past 150 years. Not only that, but our brains continue to develop past even the age of 20, a year older than the now recognized end of adolescence at 19.
There are also sociological factors to take into consideration. As years go by, we’ve seen milestones like a first professional experience not occurring until later on in the average person’s life. We’re sure you've also heard lots of stories about how older generations had already settled down, gotten married, bought a house, and either had already given birth or were pregnant by the age of 21.
Nowadays however, times really do seem to have changed. According to information from the NUS, 47% of uni graduates end up moving back in with their parents for an extended period of time after finishing their studies.
Researchers are also suggesting that the state recognises this proposed age and that it’s reflected in legislation and policy. Time to get with the times, guys.