Scientists have changed when they think adolescence ends and adulthood starts. Adolescence is the period when children develop into adults, roughly around our teenage years. Scientists now say adolescence can start at the age of 10 and continue to the age of 24. Puberty once started around the age of 14, but improved health and nutrition means it can now start at the age of 10, especially in the developed world. The upper age for when adolescence ends has increased. We stay in education longer, and delay responsibilities like marriage, parenthood and getting a job.
The scientists published their study in a child and adolescent health journal. They say society needs new laws for the wider range of adolescence. A researcher said: "Although many adult legal privileges start at age 18, the adoption of adult roles and responsibilities generally occurs later." They suggested extending youth support services to the age of 25. This could be a problem because there is a big difference in the legal age at which nations recognize adulthood. People become adults at the age of 15 in Indonesia and Yemen, but in Singapore and Zambia, the age is 21.