Within the world of child development and human development, this theory has been circulating for years. However, in UPTOWN magazine it reports that psychologists are reconsidering 18 as the end of adolescence. Instead age 25 is more in keeping with how new agers are developing.
According to BBC NEWS MAGAZINE:
Neuroscience has shown that a young person’s cognitive development continues into this later stage and that their emotional maturity, self-image and judgement will be affected until the prefrontal cortex of the brain has fully developed.
Alongside brain development, hormonal activity is also continuing well into the early twenties, says [psychologist Laverne] Antrobus.
‘A number of children and young people I encounter between the age of 16 and 18, the flurry of hormonal activity in them is so great that to imagine that’s going to settle down by the time they get to 18 really is a misconception,’ says Antrobus.”
There are a few factors that can ultimately cause this dynamic.
1. The economy is forcing youth to stay at home for longer periods of time rather than taking flight right after high school. Many are unable to afford a four year college or university and remain local to attend junior colleges or to travel.
2. There is a very pronounced delay in cognitive and social skill development. As an educator, I see it every single day. The likely cause of this can be attributed to the increased use of technological contraptions. Video games and cell phones prevent people from engaging with one another by creating a dual reality that enables an individual to ‘check out’ while still being present physically. As a result of less functional interaction, cognitive, emotional and social intelligence is drastically impacted.
3. The article suggests that media is also a factor.
Furedi says that this infantilised culture has intensified a sense of “passive dependence” which can lead to difficulties in conducting mature adult relationships. There’s evidence of this culture even in our viewing preferences.
More adults are preferring to watch animated movies and video games than ever before. To that I say, perhaps the animators should not embed so many mature elements. Honestly, some episodes Spongebob Square Pants make me blush and I haven’t seen girlhood for a minute.
So you have this kind of cultural shift which basically means that adolescence extends into your late twenties and that can hamper you in all kinds of ways, and I think what psychology does is it inadvertently reinforces that kind of passivity and powerlessness and immaturity and normalises that.”
Did the show ‘Friends’ birth the concept of delaying entrance into maturity?