Kids are Kids Til They're 25: Psychologists

But is adolescence lasting longer, or are we just indulging our children?

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 29, 2013 11:43 AM CDT

(Newser) – If your 24-year-old is acting like a kid, don't worry—he or she actually is one, at least according to psychologists, who now say adolescence continues until we're 25. "Neuroscience has made these massive advances where we now don't think that things just stop at a certain age, that actually there's evidence of brain development well into early twenties," notes a child psychologist; those in her field are now expected to see patients from ages 0 to 25, the BBC reports. That later development may explain the growing social acceptability of young adults living with their parents.

Of course, not everyone agrees. A sociology professor fears we're being too soft on younger generations. "There is a loss of the aspiration for independence and striking out on your own," he says. Psychologists' perception of extended adolescence "inadvertently reinforces that kind of passivity and powerlessness and immaturity." If that's the case, one expert offers some solutions: Young adults living at home should "do their own washing, pay their own way, pay towards the rent, pay towards the bills." So when do they grow up? When they realize "that there are no grown-ups and everyone else is winging it."

Is adolescence lasting longer, or are we indulging our kids?
Is adolescence lasting longer, or are we indulging our kids?   (Shutterstock)
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