By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
When I was young, my mom always told me, “Casey, you’re getting older; and once you’re 18, you’ll have to start acting like an adult.” That may have been true at the time, but now, psychologists are claiming that adolescence lasts until the age of 25!
“The idea that suddenly at 18 you’re an adult just doesn’t quite ring true,” says child psychologist Laverne Antrobus, who works at London’s Tavistock Clinic. Wait a minute, for as long as I can remember, 18 years has been the start of adulthood! Why change it now? Apparently, advances in neuroscience technology show that even though the body experiences a growth spurt, the brain doesn’t keep up with it like scientists once thought. That’s why Antrobus and other child psychologists were told to broaden their treatment range of “kids” from 0-18 years old, to 0-25 years of age. “We are becoming much more aware and appreciating development beyond [the age of 18] and I think it’s a really good initiative,” says Antrobus. However, not all scientists support the movement.
Frank Furedi, a professor of sociology at the University of Kent, says the initiative is only supporting a cultural trend that coddles adolescents. For example, not too long ago, it was embarrassing for anyone 18 and older to live with their parents; now, it’s the norm. Basically, he believes kids are pampered like crazy and just need to grow up! “Often it’s claimed it’s for economic reasons, but actually it’s not really for that,” says Furedi. “There is a loss of the aspiration for independence and striking out on your own.”
So, while I can use this new rule as an excuse to be lazy, I don’t want to be considered a big baby! I actually want to graduate college and make a name for myself.
Image of sleeping teen courtesy of dandeluca on Flickr.