Child psychologists in Britain are now being told to acknowledge 25 — not 18 —as the cut-off age for adolescence for the purposes of treating young people, according to a story in the BBC News magazine.
The guideline is being introduced because new research suggests the brain continues developing well past 18 — into a person’s mid-20s and 30s, according to the BBC report. The new guideline will help ensure children aren’t rushed through childhood, according to the report. And will ensure that people over 18 don’t miss out in terms of health and education opportunities.
“The idea that suddenly at 18 you’re an adult just doesn’t quite ring true,” child psychologist Laverne Antrobus, an advocate of the change, told the BBC. “My experience of young people is that they still need quite a considerable amount of support and help beyond that age.”
However, some experts see the new directive as hampering young people’s growth and development. The new cultural shift could mean that young people will want to stay home longer under their parents care. Young people may have less of a desire for independence and to strike out on their own, Frank Furedi, professor of sociology at the University of Kent, told the BBC. “…And I think what psychology does is it inadvertently reinforces that kind of passivity and powerlessness and immaturity and normalises that,” he said.
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