Scientists Now Think 'Adolescence' Should Last Until Age 24

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Adolescence is a period of enormous 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.

The traditional definition for adolescence is now between and the ages of 10 and 19, which marked the beginnings of puberty and the perceived end of biological growth. Before it was called to end up to 19 years. Many people worry that changing the limits of adolescence will only work to further infantilize what some say is already an overly dependent generation of millennials.

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

"Rather than age 10-19 years, a definition of 10-24 years corresponds more closely to adolescent growth and popular understandings of this life phase and would facilitate extended investments across a broader range of settings", said study lead author Susan M Sawyer from the Centre for Adolescent Health at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne.

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Puberty starts when your brain starts to release a hormone that activates your body's pituitary and gonadal glands. Scientists now know the brain continues to develop after the age of 20. In the United Kingdom, the average girl has her first period at the age of 12, compared to 14 or older in past centuries.

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Another change of society is that the adults are delaying their marriage and parenting which lets to the change of this age.

Young people are also getting married and having children later, the report said. In the USA, for example, the Affordable Care Act allows people to stay on their parents' health insurance until age 26.