Adolescence now lasts from 10 to 24, scientists recommend

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On the other end of the spectrum, our brains continue to develop after the age of 20, and many people don't get all their wisdom teeth until they're 25.

This change is directly related to the age of puberty which used to begin around the age of 14 but with increasing health standards around the world and especially in developed countries, this age has been brought down to around 10.

"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". Scientists believe the age of 10 to 24 years now corresponds to adolescent growth or adulting.

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.




Young people are also known to enter a period in life described as semi-dependency before fully taking on adult roles such as marriage, parenting, and economic independence. This showed an increase of nearly eight years since 1973.

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.

"Older children and young people are shaped far more significantly by society's expectations of them than by their intrinsic biological growth", she reasons.

Director of the centre, Professor Susan Sawyer, says that a more realistic age range would help appropriately shape laws and social policy. However, critics warn that doing so would only continue to infantilize the younger generations. Study authors argue that the definition of adolescence should be changed to match current realities and assure that laws and state policies remain relevant.

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