At the recent American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting, psychiatrist Professor Beatriz Luna claimed that, in the western world, true adulthood does not begin until 25.
Professor Luna believes that adulthood begins when certain adolescent desires of sensation seeking and risk taking are overridden by the need for stability and reliability, usually triggered by taking on a lot of responsibilities. In teenagers, the pre-frontal cortex, which controls adult-like reason and planning, is trumped by the hormone dopamine, which triggers feelings of happiness when taking risks.
She believes that contemporary young adults putting off responsibilities such as marriage, a career or parenthood delays the transition to adulthood, encouraging the brain to stay in a state of adolescence. HSPS and Human Sciences applicants might consider both the social causes and effects of such a change, while History students might compare the different responsibilities faced by teenagers today versus previous societies.
Commentators have in recent years noticed a shift towards irresponsibility in the behaviour of young adults, and have dubbed the trend ‘kidulthood’. Another result of this delayed adulthood is a tendency for young adults to ignore their parents and do whatever they want to do.
English students might look at ideas of coming of age in literature, in the Bildungsroman genre, and consider literary perceptions of the transition into adulthood, alongside these scientific claims.
- April’s Top News Stories Read more about some of the biggest news stories to... Read more >
- February’s Top News Stories Read more about some of the biggest news stories to... Read more >
- The Great Collection of Past Oxbridge Interview Questions The great thing about an Oxbridge interview is that it... Read more >
- Download a Medicine Personal Statement Read our sample Medicine personal statement for application tips. Read more >
- Cambridge Language Test overview If you’re applying for Modern and Medieval Languages at Cambridge,... Read more >
- Course By Course Fact Sheet This helpful guide sets out by course what grades you... Read more >
- Bursaries Both Oxford and Cambridge are committed to the principle that... Read more >
- History of Art Reading List History of Art at Oxford and Cambridge allows you to... Read more >
- PAT overview If you’re applying for Physics, Materials or a relevant joint... Read more >
- Oxbridge: the global impact Concerning UK university admissions, UCAS have released some interesting stats.... Read more >
- Outside reading: the key to a good application When it comes to writing your personal statement and preparing... Read more >
- 30 Real-Life Oxford and Cambridge Interview Questions The Oxford and Cambridge interviews are notorious for having academically... Read more >
- Cambridge’s Supplementary Application Questionnaire After you have submitted your UCAS application to apply to... Read more >
- Human Social and Political Science (HSPS) Reading List If you are applying for HSPS at Cambridge, it is... Read more >
- Application Calendar Making an application to Oxford or Cambridge can seem like... Read more >
- College selection checklist Your college at Oxford or Cambridge is where you will... Read more >
- ELAT mini mock paper If you’re applying to read English at Oxford, you will... Read more >
- Taking a Gap Year There are a number of advantages to taking a gap... Read more >
- The OA School’s Magazine: Issue 1 Last year, Oxbridge Applications launched its first ever Schools’ Magazine,... Read more >
- What’s the Most Important Part of Your Application? An application to Oxford or Cambridge involves various different elements,... Read more >
- International Application Calendar Keeping on top of the various deadlines and decisions when... Read more >
- Maths & Hard Sciences: answer like a pro Maths, Physics, Chemistry – they’re brilliant because there is a right... Read more >
- What Results Do You Need In Your Exams? At the heart of every Oxbridge offer is an excellent... Read more >
- What’s so special about Oxford and Cambridge? Both Oxford and Cambridge have fearsome reputations. The Oxbridge system... Read more >