By Jessa Gamble
Part of this is due to the declining age of puberty in both males and females, but most of that extension appears in the 20s, when an increasing number of young people are still dependent on their parents. There is some concern that all of this dependence could lead to a lasting immaturity and failure to take on responsibility.
But according to developmental researchers, there is one lasting gift that extended adolescence can bestow, and it resides in the brain. “Neurobiological capital” is built through a protracted period of learning capacity in the brain, and it is a privilege that comes to those lucky enough to enjoy intellectually stimulating environments in late adolescence. Far from a contributor to emotional immaturity, the trend toward an adolescence that extends into the mid-20s is an opportunity to create a lifelong brain-based advantage.
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