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Adolescence now lasts until the age of 24, scientists have claimed.

Millennials are more likely to study longer and delay settling down than previous generations, pushing back popular perceptions of when adulthood begins.

In the 1972, the average age for British adults to get married was 25 years for men and 23 years women, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Today the average British adult gets married eight years later, at 32.5 years for men and 30.6 years for women, ONS figures show.

Biological arguments for why the definition of adolescence should extend include that the brain continues to mature past the age of 20.

Some individuals, especially men, keep growing well into their 20s.

Researchers at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, say that many are choosing to delay the responsibilities of adulthood.

We should expand the definition of adolescence from ten to 24 to ensure young people receive support form social policies, the scientists write in a new paper.

Professor Susan Sawyer, director of the Melbourne hospital’s centre for adolescent health, said: ‘Although many adult legal privileges start at age 18 years, the adoption of adult roles and responsibilities generally occurs later.

‘An expanded and more inclusive definition of adolescence is essential for developmentally appropriate framing of laws, social policies, and service systems.

‘Age definitions are always arbitrary, our current definition of adolescence is overly restricted.

‘The ages of ten to 24 years are a better fit with the development of adolescents nowadays.’

In the 1972, the average age for British adults to get married was 25 years for men and 23 years women, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Today the average British adult gets married eight years later, at 32.5 years for men and 30.6 years for women, ONS figures show.

Biological arguments for why the definition of adolescence should extend include that the brain continues to mature past the age of 20.

Some individuals, especially men, keep growing well into their 20s.

The researchers also argue that puberty is now starting earlier in life, meaning the definition of adolescence should follow.

Improvements in health and nutrition in the west mean the average child now begins puberty at 10 instead of 14.

Source: ZMOnline

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