Psychologists claim that adolescence is up to 25
If you are under 26 and think you are an adult, you can change your perception from now on. Studies show that adolescence actually goes up to 25 - and not up to 18, as it was considered before. And this is causing child psychologists to work with the age group 0-25, as opposed to the traditional 0-18. The news came in a series of surveys released by the BBC in London.
The new orientation is designed so that when young people are 18, they do not fall into a gap in health and education systems. Change accompanies hormonal development and brain activity in general.
Child psychologist Laverne Antrobus argues that psychological support for young people should not end at age 18, as cognitive development continues until age 25. Until then, there would still be no emotional maturity yet, which affects such things as judging different situations and even self-image, all due to the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is not fully developed until this age.
The stages of adolescence
“Neuroscience has made massive advances, and as a result, I don't think things just stop at a certain age. There is evidence of brain development until the early twenties, and in fact, the time when the changes stop is much later than we thought, ”says Antrobus.
According to researchers, adolescence can be divided into three parts: early (12-14 years), average adolescence (15-17 years) and late (18 years and over).
For the psychologist, hormones are also fundamental in this evolution. "In children and young people between the ages of 16 and 18, the hormonal upheaval is so great that to imagine that all this will settle in by the time they reach 18 is really a misconception, " Antrobus believes.
She even says that some teens may want to spend more time with their families before leaving home as they need more support during those formative years. According to the psychologist, it is important for parents to realize that young people do not develop at the same pace, so each has their own time.
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According to Frank Furedi, a professor at the University of Kent, there are still a huge number of young children in their twenties, which makes them stay much longer at home, taking longer to exercise their independence.
For him, in addition to economic motivations, there is a greater emotional connection than in previous generations, demonstrating a late independence. “There is a loss of aspiration for independence. When I went to college, it would have been my social death if I were seen with my parents, but today that seems to be the norm. ”
However, he believes this can be a harm to the individual. “We have this kind of cultural change, which basically means that adolescence extends into its early twenties, yet it can hurt individuals in many ways. I think, in a way, psychology reinforces this kind of passivity and powerlessness and normalizes this immaturity. ”
Dependence and overprotection
Furedi says this culture has massified into a "passive addiction" and it can lead to various difficulties in mature adult relationships. For him, there is much evidence of this new culture, even in the consumption of content.
“There are a growing number of adults watching children's movies at the movies, ” says Furedi. “If you look at children's channels in the United States, 25% of viewers are adults, not children.” He still believes that some of this behavior comes as a result of overprotective parenting.
“I don't think the world has become more cruel, we have been holding our children at home from an early age. At 11, 12 and 13 years we do not leave teenagers on their own. When they are 14 and 15 years old, we isolate young people from real life experience. We often treat college students the same way we treat school students, so I think the culprit is a kind of cumulative effect of infantilization, ”says Furedi.
How to stimulate teenagers?
British TV presenter Sarah Beeny, a family affairs expert, says the solution is not to kick children out of their early twenties but to increase their responsibilities within the family environment. “The solution is to have them do their own laundry, pay their own bills, pay the rent, take over cleaning their own room and not just wait for it to come from their parents, ” says Beeny.
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His colleague, presenter Quentin Willson, believes that giving young people greater responsibilities also helps in development. For him, the greatest “talisman” of mature life, which is regarded as a symbol of maturity and responsibility, is the car.
According to him, while local statistics show that the greatest number of car accidents happen to young people in their 18s, the solution would not be to take cars off young people, but to teach skills and show the weight of driving to young people.
“If you teach these kids when their mindsets are pure and before they have been corrupted by things like Grand Theft Auto V and Top Gear, plus all the corrosive social pressures, then you start getting the road safety message much sooner, ” says Willson.
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For him, games and movies themselves are no problem: the question would be what children out of the indicated rank learn there even before they are aware of what happens in the real world.
Finally, the BBC reporter asks respondents, "How do I know if I really came to adulthood?" For Antrobus, this happens when independence "looks like something you both want and can acquire." Beeny's opinion was also taken into account: "For me, adulthood happens by failing to perceive others as adults."