Scientists now think adolescence lasts from the age of 10 to 24, instead of ending at age 19 due to numerous reasons, reports BBC News.
Various biological reasons support the extension. For instance, the body continues to develop beyond the age of 20, the brain continues to mature beyond the age of 20, working faster and more efficiently, and many people’s wisdom teeth do not come through until the age of 25.
Modernisation impacted adolescence too. As society continues to develop, young people marry and have children later.
According to the UK Office of National Statistics, in 2013 the average age for a man to enter first marriage was 32.5 in 2013 and the average age for women 30.6 years across England and Wales. This showed an increase of almost eight years since 1973.
Lead author Professor Susan Sawyer, director of the centre for adolescent health at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, wrote, “Although many adult legal privileges start at age 18 years, the adoption of adult roles and responsibilities generally occurs later.”
She said delayed partnering, parenting and economic independence means semi-dependency related to adolescene has expanded.