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Adolescence lasts from 10 to 24 years old, researchers say

A new opinion piece for Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal opine that adolescence lasts from 10 to 24 years old, even though previous research indicated it ended at 19.
A new opinion piece for Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal opine that adolescence lasts from 10 to 24 years old, even though previous research indicated it ended at 19.
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Adolescence might last longer than we thought.

An opinion piece for The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal concludes that adolescence lasts from 10 to 24 years old, even though previous research indicated it ended at 19.

According to the BBC, the researchers said young people’s desires to push back education and delay marriage and parenthood change the perception of when adulthood starts.

The study’s lead author, Susan Sawyer, director of the center for adolescent health at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, wrote in the opinion piece that adulthood truly begins when people accept mature responsibilities.

That, she said, is happening later for modern young people.

"The ages of 10-24 years are a better fit with the development of adolescents nowadays,” she wrote.

However, Dr. Jan Macvarish, a parenting sociologist at the University of Kent, told the BBC that if society begins to believe that adolescence starts later, then teens will too, which will stunt their development.

"Older children and young people are shaped far more significantly by society's expectations of them than by their intrinsic biological growth," she said.

She added, "Society should maintain the highest possible expectations of the next generation."

Read more about the research at BBC.

Read the opinion piece at The Lancet.