Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Modern teenagers are delaying adulthood
In a new study published in the journal Child Development
, researchers at San Diego State Univeristy analyzed data from seven large, nationally representative surveys of U.S. adolescents between 1976 and 2016. They found that fewer adolscents in recent years engaged in typically "adult activities" such as gaining a drivers' license, trying alcohol, dating, having sex, or working for pay. The authors suggest this as evidence that the entire developmental trajectory from early adolescence to mature adulthood is slower than it once was.
These findings are in line with that predicted by life history theory, wherein resource-rich environments allow for a longer, slower developmental path, and harsher, unpredictable environments encourage a faster path.