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Adolescence Should Now Be From 10 To 24 Years Old

22 January 2018, 02:01 | Franklin Nunez

Image Shutterstock frantic00

Image Shutterstock  frantic00

In most industrialized countries, the average age for a girl's first menstruation has fallen by four years in the past 150 years - half of girls now get their period by 12 or 13 years old.

Adolescence is a period of huge change and growth-and young people are taking so much longer to mature that a team of doctors are now suggesting it be officially extended to age 24.

We used to consider adolescence ending at age 19, but now scientists in the United Kingdom think we should consider the period of development as lasting from ages 10 to 24.

Study authors also argue that there is biological evidence that now adolescence lasts longer.

From a neuroscientific point of view, there may be some basis for extending the definition of this life stage, as research suggests that the cognitive development of the young can last until age 25.

They argue that the brain is still maturing well beyond the age of 20 and wisdom teeth typically only come through around 25. This showed an increase of nearly eight years since 1973.

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The researchers argue that law changes may be necessary, saying that we should consider anyone between the ages of 10-24 to be an "adolescent" and offer them additional state support.

The report said that while improved health and nutrition had accelerated the onset of puberty in almost all developed countries, greater understanding of continued development had lifted the endpoint well into the 20s.

She said delayed partnering, parenting and economic independence means semi-dependency related to adolescene has expanded.

This change gets a differentiation in the age of puberty now.

Sawyer further stated that although age definitions are always arbitrary but our current definition of adolescence is too restrictive.

However, not all experts agree with a new definition since it could help "further infantilize young people". "Society should maintain the highest possible expectations of the next generation", she says.



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