Adulthood now begins at 24, say scientists

Researchers Now Think Adolescence Should Last Until Age 24

Adolescence is a period of vast change and growth-and young people are taking so much longer to mature that a team of doctors are now suggesting it be officially extended to age 24.

That, adolescent age began from 10 and lasted up to 19 years was an established fact, but things might be changing now. The transition period from childhood to adulthood lasts far beyond age 19, when it is popularly thought to end.

Similarly, young adults continuing their education for longer period, delayed marriage and parenthood, has pushed back popular perceptions of when adulthood begins. With the change in mindset is turning out as the major impact on this age limit.

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Puberty is considered to set in when the hypothalamus starts releasing a hormone that triggers a body's pituitary and gonadal glands.

Adolescence - the phase of life stretching between childhood and adulthood - has long proven hard to define with precision.

Writing in the Lancet Child and Adolescent Health journal, doctors from the Royal Victoria Hospital in Melbourne suggested broader adolescent years due to biological and societal changes among youth. The age of mensuration in girls shows a drop down of 4 years in the past 150 years.

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Around half of girls now have their first menstruation when they are 12 or 13 years old.

Also underpinning the theory are biological reasons. Depending on culture and the society you were raised in, social changes can happen in a variety of ways and at different points in time.

While the brain would start thinking more maturely after 20 years of age, humans are in a rush to achieve the maximum in as minimum age as possible. This delay in marriage radically changes the way that we, as a generation, approach adulthood. Jan Macvarish, a parenting sociologist at the University of Kent, says broadening the age range could impact young adults. In the U.S., for example, the Affordable Care Act allows people to stay on their parents' health insurance until age 26.

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