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#1012726 - Fri Sep 27 2013 06:39 PM Adolescence lasts till 25?
bloomsby Offline
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Registered: Sun Apr 29 2001
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Are 'we' extending adolescence till age 25 or even beyond, and are young people being discouraged from moving into adulthood?


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24173194


I'm aware that part of the difficulty arises from the fact that for many young people formal education is being extended well into their 20s, but that can't be the only factor in this.

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#1013032 - Sun Sep 29 2013 03:35 PM Re: Adolescence lasts till 25? [Re: bloomsby]
Santana2002 Offline
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Woah, very broad subject up for debate there, bloomsby!

I think lots of things contribute to this perceived extension of adolescence.

I can't say whether medically speaking 'adolescence' lasts up to or beyond age 25, but I do believe that the way life is lived nowadays does not necessitate youngsters maturing and behaving as adults, until much later than heretofore. Youngsters don't need to take on responsibility as early as before. The average age of parenthood has climbed and continues to climb, yet another contributing factor. I believe this this combination of less responsibility with longer studies and a heightened awareness of the dangers and difficulties of modern life, which mature adults try to protect younger people from, all play a large part in the phenomenon.


Edited by Santana2002 (Sun Sep 29 2013 03:37 PM)
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#1013197 - Mon Sep 30 2013 03:55 PM Re: Adolescence lasts till 25? [Re: Santana2002]
bloomsby Offline
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Quote:
... and a heightened awareness of the dangers and difficulties of modern life ...


When I think back to my own adolescence and early adulthood* I find it striking that on the whole our parents didn't make such a meal of these things. It was taken for granted that we would cope and, for our part, most of us were straining at the leash to be 'grown up' and independent.

After all, the concept of adolescence as a distinct stage of development is an invention that doesn't go back much before the 1890s, though the word was sometimes used earlier.



*I was born in 1945.


Edited by bloomsby (Tue Oct 01 2013 03:08 PM)

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#1013258 - Mon Sep 30 2013 11:03 PM Re: Adolescence lasts till 25? [Re: bloomsby]
Copago Offline
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Registered: Tue May 15 2001
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I read a newspaper editorial recently which used the term "kidult" to refer to the group of that stage. (http://www.smh.com.au/comment/kidult-syndrome-freezing-out-gen-y-20130926-2ug1y.html)

We aren't expecting kids to grow up so why would they? (I feel like an old fogey saying it wink ) If kids can stay home and still get fed and their washing done why on earth move out?

Many jobs/professions seem to require more study and training now. That could explain a bit of kids not earning enough earlier to move out.

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#1013293 - Tue Oct 01 2013 04:44 AM Re: Adolescence lasts till 25? [Re: bloomsby]
Santana2002 Offline
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Which comes back to expectations again. If our expectation is that the 'child' needs to be looked after and protected then we don't give them the opportunity to grow up.
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#1013407 - Tue Oct 01 2013 04:16 PM Re: Adolescence lasts till 25? [Re: Santana2002]
bloomsby Offline
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Quote:
If our expectation is that the 'child' needs to be looked after and protected then we don't give them the opportunity to grow up.


I agree with you both. The issue of expectations is very important.

The length of formal education and professional training is also an important factor.

There also seems to have been a fundamental change in attitudes to parents. When at school, my generation intensely disliked parental intervention in school-related matters and it was very rare. At university - and the proportion of people proceeding to higher education was small by comparison with now - we didn't want our parents on campus, though out of basic courtesy most university students invited their parents to visit them once and showed them round and a second time for the graduation ceremony ... Much as we loved them, we found them a bit of an embarrassment on campus. Now, on the other hand, I hear stories about some 'helicopter parents' phoning lecturers and professors at home and trying to haggle over grades.

There is another, possibly less obvious dimension to the issue of expectations. My own parents and those of my contemporaries seemed to have far more confidence in their children's ability to cope with life and stand up for themselves. It is this apparent decline in parents' confidence in their own children (and, by implication, in their parenting) that puzzles me most.

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#1013665 - Wed Oct 02 2013 10:39 PM Re: Adolescence lasts till 25? [Re: bloomsby]
mountaingoat Offline
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Registered: Fri Jun 22 2007
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Loc: Blue Mountains NSW Australia
The capital cities in Australia are in the top tier of the world when it comes housing costs. When I was a teenager in the 1970's I could walk out of a job and have a new one the same day. I would not like to be starting out these days. It is easy to blame the young but it is to the benefit of the older generation to keep house prices high and out of the reach of their own children. Rental properties are also higher. The funding for affordable and government housing dried up about 15 years ago. 40 years ago you could buy a house for about 2 years wages. It is now more than 7 years. I have heard, however, that a lot of young people are not prepared to start in a low paid job and a cheap house. This comes down though to the success of a lifetime of advertising telling them they deserve the best and they deserve it now. I have waited a lifetime to be able to say "The young people today .........." but fair shake of the stick.

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#1013942 - Fri Oct 04 2013 02:10 AM Re: Adolescence lasts till 25? [Re: bloomsby]
sue943 Offline

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Well it is all certainly completely different to when I was young. smile

As John (aka bloomsby) has said, it wasn't very common for people to go to university back then, and indeed it was common even for those in grammar schools to leave school at sixteen and go to work. People wishing to be accountants or solicitors (a type of lawyer) it wasn't necessary to go to university to get a degree, people were articled and trained within firms. Nurses didn't go to university, they went to nursing schools which were part of the hospitals, pilots went to flying schools which in the UK tended to be owned and run by what is now BA. It wasn't normal for employers to expect CVs other than for 'professional' people and jobs were very easy to get.

It was very common for people to marry early and indeed no one really thought it young when girls were under 20, my own sister was just under 20 when she got married to her 21 year old boyfriend. In fact I was rather old when I married at 26.

Mostly people left home to get married rather than for any other reason, my mother would have been very distressed had I moved out for anything other than marriage or because my job sent me somewhere distant. In fact my employers did send me to work here just before I was 25 so that is when I left home. I didn't know many people who moved out of home to be independent, just a few, and they moved towns to work.

When it came to my own two children, they went to university and I didn't expect them to return home afterwards, as far as I was concerned they should be independent. In my son's case he returned home after graduating, took some things and has not been home since, my daughter was harder to get rid of. She did leave home but that lasted a month or two before she came back as she could earn more locally than where her boyfriend was living, the money was good enough that she could fly to visit him every couple of weeks. She went back to studying after a year so finally moved out. Yeah!
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#1014004 - Fri Oct 04 2013 10:30 AM Re: Adolescence lasts till 25? [Re: bloomsby]
TabbyTom Offline
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Registered: Wed Oct 17 2001
Posts: 8100
Loc: Hastings Sussex England UK 
Quote:
If kids can stay home and still get fed and their washing done why on earth move out?

Yes, I think rising standards if living over the last fifty years probably have much to do with it. Many of us who were born in the forties lived at least part of our childhood without some of the modern conveniences which gradually became available to “the masses” in the fifties and sixties. So, when we reached our late teens and early twenties, we knew that life could be lived and enjoyed without central heating, a refrigerator, wall-to-wall carpeting and many other things, because we had lived happily without them only a few years before. The trade-off of a few home comforts for independence seemed well worth while. Today, many young people probably regard a basic bedsitter as unbearably primitive and almost impossible to adjust to.

Quote:
At university … we didn't want our parents on campus

I remember a conversation at work (probably about fifteen years ago), when colleagues were talking about driving teenage sons and daughters to their universities at the beginning of term. I asked why so many of today's students couldn't go up to college on their own. Most university towns, I said, had railway stations, and in my undergraduate days we would have been rather embarrassed to be dropped off by parents as if we were five-year-olds starting primary school. My colleagues explained patiently that today's undergraduate can't exist or work without a television set, a computer and so on, that these items can't be ;left in digs during vacations, and that parents therefore have to act as chauffeurs.

Well, I'm glad to have been born when I was.
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#1014024 - Fri Oct 04 2013 10:50 AM Re: Adolescence lasts till 25? [Re: bloomsby]
sue943 Offline

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I really am a rotten parent. I didn't go to look at universities with my children, they went on their own and made their own minds up without any parental input. They caught planes with their stuff, I didn't take them to university although quite a lot of people here do take their cars over to do the deed.

I made two visits to their universities, once each when they were well settled and then for graduation.

Come to think of it, when my daughter went to boarding school in England for her A levels I didn't go with her then, I just visited on speech days to see her collect prizes and took the car to take her two years accumulation of stuff home. I did go with her to look at the schools when she was choosing but didn't go with her for her entrance examinations, she was sixteen, surely she could find her own way from the airport to the school, using trains when she wasn't used to them. smile
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#1014132 - Sat Oct 05 2013 02:39 AM Re: Adolescence lasts till 25? [Re: sue943]
C30 Offline
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Registered: Sat Nov 13 2010
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Loc: Lancashire England UK         
Given the activities of some members of the human race, I would venture to suggest that adolescence lasts an complete lifetime in some cases.

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#1014134 - Sat Oct 05 2013 02:59 AM Re: Adolescence lasts till 25? [Re: bloomsby]
sue943 Offline

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Guilty as charged. smile
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#1014137 - Sat Oct 05 2013 03:44 AM Re: Adolescence lasts till 25? [Re: bloomsby]
halekotsi Offline
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Registered: Sun Jul 14 2013
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Loc: South Korea
It may be more natural in terms of prefrontal cortex development. Then again, I think it's safe to say my prefrontal cortex has done all the developing it's going to by now.

Personally, I think the real problem is the "time to leave childish things behind and accept drudgery as your lot" mentality. I'm very fortunate to have a job that I enjoy and that lets me continue to indulge my eternal adolescent side.

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#1014263 - Sun Oct 06 2013 01:57 AM Re: Adolescence lasts till 25? [Re: bloomsby]
Jabberwok Offline
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Registered: Tue Jun 24 2008
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Loc: Sussex England UK             
I also think that one of the issues is the expectations you have of a teenager or adult child living in your home.
I give them a roof over their heads, and food. I do not do their washing, cleaning and all the things they are capable of managing themselves. We've always shared out household tasks, age and inclination-appropriate. The necessary jobs that everyone hates are done on a rota basis.
Oh, and TabbyTom? When I was a student, we didn't bother much with locks as no-one had anything much worth stealing. smile
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