Tag Archives: adolescent development

extended adolescence

lots of adolescent specialists have been talking and writing, for a number of years, about the upper-end extension of adolescence (at the same time as puberty has dropped, creating a greatly lengthened adolescent experience). people have started to talk about adolescence in three phases:
– young teen (roughly 11 – 14)
– middle teen (roughly 15 – 19)
– emerging adulthood (roughly 20 – 25 or longer)

but this article in ypulse, referencing this article on vox marketing is the first time i’ve heard about research saying adolescence is, in some ways, extended well into the 30s! holy cow.

this is a result of our cultural descriptions of adulthood:

Because the traditional duties that come with adulthood, like mortgages, children, marriage, and developing a strong sense of self-identity now happen later in life, 52% of 25-34 year-olds said they still have “a lot of growing up to do.”

another key quote:

“Even in these financially challenging times, people are trying to stay younger for longer,” said Kevin Razvi, EVP and managing director of VBSI. “25-to-34 year-olds are continuing to consume music, gaming and the internet and are enjoying the pursuits of their younger years while benefiting from a greater level of personal and financial freedom.”

they talk about three phases of “youth” this way:
– “discovery” is defined as 16-19 years old
– “experimentation” is 20-24 years old
– and “golden” is 25-34 years old.

interesting how these ideas align (though the ages don’t at all!) with stephen glenn’s old model, that i’ve taught for years (i might not have the age brackets right here, but this is how i’ve talked about them):

birth – 2: discovery
3 – 7: testing
8 – 10: concluding
— puberty —
11 – 13: discovery
14 – 17: testing
18+: concluding

given this new extending of adolescence, i’m wondering if there’s almost a third turn of glenn’s cycle. interesting stuff for thought.

feed the brain

really interesting article about a new program out of duke university to help teenagers make the most of their brains. it’s totally in line with the stuff i’ve been reading (and writing about on this blog) for a couple years, about adolescent brain development. in fact, when i asked an adolescent brain specialist, at our junior high pastors summit a couple years ago, how we can help teenagers develop their brain capacity, he listed three things: lots of sleep, good diet and exercise, and living with the consequences of their choices. the “learn now what you want to remember for the rest of your life” point also confirms what i’ve been reading and talking about in terms of “hard wiring” the brain in the years following the onset of puberty, when the pre-pubescent proliferation of neuron development switches into reverse, and begins a winnowing process based on a “use it or lose it” principle.

this would be a good article to pass along to teenagers, and/or to parents:

7 Ways to Learn More Without More Study

(here are the 7 points — but you’ll need to click through to see what the article says about them.)

1. Get to bed and go to sleep.

2. Start studying a few days in advance of a test.

3. Feed your head.

4. Body exercise is brain exercise.

5. Learn now what you want to remember for the rest of your life.

6. Harness the power of risk-taking.

7. Learn what you love.

(ht to heidi turner)