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Old 05-29-2012, 05:20 AM
 
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What do you think of it? Is there even a such thing? Do you think today's young adults are generally more like teenagers? I despise the idea and promoting of it. I believe we should still consider people adults at 18+. But as I take a look around others seem to be going along with this idea. Some young adults still consider themselves "kids". Some still live with their parents, even after they finish college. Some don't have jobs, etc, etc. I remember even 20 years ago, when my brother was in college, young adults back then actually looked and acted more like "adults". But I don't know if I can say the same for today.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:28 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
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There was an interesting topic similar to this on the History forum recently. It used to be that upon graduation, one was considered an adult. For that matter, the whole idea of adolescence as a special class unto itself, the concept of teenagers, was only conceived at some point in the early-to-mid 20th Century. But with college attendance a common experience, it seems that adolescence got extended through the college years, when students were still under the protection of their parents (and still listed on their health insurance and income tax returns as dependents). From there, it seems like adolescence has in many cases stretched on through the 20's, though I wouldn't say that's universal. Some college grads get good jobs and begin their careers right after graduation. Others, especially in a down economy, pass through a phase of several years of being under-employed. This contributes to the extended adolescence phenomenon.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:51 AM
 
7,492 posts, read 11,778,011 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipod99 View Post
What do you think of it? Is there even a such thing? Do you think today's young adults are generally more like teenagers? I despise the idea and promoting of it. I believe we should still consider people adults at 18+. But as I take a look around others seem to be going along with this idea. Some young adults still consider themselves "kids". Some still live with their parents, even after they finish college. Some don't have jobs, etc, etc. I remember even 20 years ago, when my brother was in college, young adults back then actually looked and acted more like "adults". But I don't know if I can say the same for today.
Interesting observation. There could be a lot of reasons for this change. The first is the lack of professional jobs available to young people today. That way, young adults who get service jobs may not have as strict appearance codes as say, a professional entry-level job. So they may either never change their high school appearance, or they move on to other unprofessional fads.

There is also the fact that things that used to be considered unprofessional in the workplace (tattoos, odd hair colors/styles) are now more accepted in a wider variety of workplaces than in past generations.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:54 AM
 
Location: TX
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Emerging adults: The in-between age
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Mammoth Lakes, CA
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Many of my colleagues have "children" in their mid 30's living in their homes and most have never had jobs. And the parents STILL support them! And my colleagues are University professors, highly educated and making a fairly decent wage. Yet so many of them are held hostage by their worthless kids who never leave home. It blows me away!

When I turned 18, my parents made me pay room and board and never gave me a dime towards college or grad school. That taught personal responsibility. Today's young generation seems to live at home forever.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:13 AM
 
13,499 posts, read 18,092,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipod99 View Post
What do you think of it? Is there even a such thing? Do you think today's young adults are generally more like teenagers? I despise the idea and promoting of it. I believe we should still consider people adults at 18+. But as I take a look around others seem to be going along with this idea. Some young adults still consider themselves "kids". Some still live with their parents, even after they finish college. Some don't have jobs, etc, etc. I remember even 20 years ago, when my brother was in college, young adults back then actually looked and acted more like "adults". But I don't know if I can say the same for today.
A younger friend who works in American advertising has told me that 16 - 26 is considered a single market for many products. It appears to me that the American popular culture accepts - or perhaps promotes is a better word - the idea that young people in their twenties and early thirties should be simply older adolescents.

When I was in college (fifty years ago!) I was immediately presented with the message that anything that smacked of being a teenager (R&B music, for example, blue jeans, etc.) was absolutely taboo. Upon graduation you expected access to the world of "grown ups." And while no one ever wanted to act like their parents; on the other hand, no one wanted to act like a kid or be called one. How one functioned in the post-college adult world was a prickly adjustment in the early 60s. It was still a very conventional world, very much still the Fifties. I had friends who simply became younger looking versions of their parents, not only one the job but in their leisure time. I took the other route. I wore the necessary "monkey suit" for work, but my leisure clothes and activities were more an extension of my high school years, as suggested below.

However, this generation was, I think, in many respects the one that began an enormous change in popular culture: As teenagers we were the first age cohort of white adolescents to whom some very adventurous DJs presented black R&B music. Prior to that our pop music was not significantly different from that of the 1940s...or even the 30s.

This type of music was considered the mark of immaturity in college where one was expected to like jazz and the older style of pop music that was still attempting to run a race with R&B and the evolving R&R in the late Fifties. Once out of influence of college culture a sizable number of us immediately returned to R&B and R&R, and on to Soul in the later 60s. This was also the generation that began to accept blue jeans as recreational wear for urban people in their twenties.

Both of these things are examples of formerly teenage attributes moving into the lives of people in their twenties. And in some respects, the "adolescentization" of the twenties and even thirties age groups had already subtly begun.

Perhaps the major significance of disco music and the urban subculture that surrounded it in the 70s, as most music historians point out, was that it thumbed its nose at the work ethic and at conservative small town/surburban values. In the urban context it had the positive influence of encouraging widespread mixing of blacks and whites and gay people; but it did devalue the traditional idea of "growing up," or perhaps one might argue that it just devalued growing up in the traditional way. But either way it did not confirm the 50s or early 60s idea of adulthood.

I see what the OP has pointed out as an already longterm trend in American society, one that has simply come into full flower in the 90s and after. I do not think in the slightest that it is a recent manifestation due to the current economic slump and lousy job market.

Last edited by kevxu; 05-29-2012 at 11:34 AM..
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Tacoma, WA
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Yah, I think adolescence is extended in young adults, at least in a large portion of them. There are exceptions, of course. What do I think of it? Doesn't really matter to me if they live at home forever and never work, so long as they're not adding to the "dole" numbers.

Some people consider my husband (age 50) and me (age 38) to still be "kids" because we don't have or want car payments, mortgage payments or offspring. If that means we are kids, then I guess we'll be them forever.
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:04 PM
 
Location: TX
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Originally Posted by 90sman View Post
No. I think it's just society conditioning them to think that. People in their 20s are grown adults and should be taking on adult roles and responsibilities, not living like they're still teenagers. 50 years ago, people expected young adults to grow up after high school and they mostly did. Now we expect them to continue on acting like teenagers and they do. Of course economic issues play a factor but this "prolonged adolescence" trend has been going on for the past 30 years or so. It's all about our expectations for them.
I'm usually the first to agree that "As you expect, you shall get". But in response to the first statement in bold, how are you defining "adult"? Neither the body nor the brain is fully developed until at least around the age of 25. As for the second statement in bold, how do you figure most of them "grew up"? What statistics have changed concerning young/emerging adults to make you believe those in earlier generations were more grown up than those we have now? Jw. I'm not seeing much beyond anecdotal evidence on this thread...
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:20 PM
 
2,732 posts, read 3,576,365 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipod99 View Post
What do you think of it? Is there even a such thing? Do you think today's young adults are generally more like teenagers? I despise the idea and promoting of it. I believe we should still consider people adults at 18+. But as I take a look around others seem to be going along with this idea. Some young adults still consider themselves "kids". Some still live with their parents, even after they finish college. Some don't have jobs, etc, etc. I remember even 20 years ago, when my brother was in college, young adults back then actually looked and acted more like "adults". But I don't know if I can say the same for today.
Prolonged adolescence is a real issue and it came about due to the fact that over the decades children were slowly prevented from participating in the adult world and forced to participate in what they call, compulsory education.

Young people just don't need to spend all this time in school, these institutions are nothing more then daycare centers at best, and at worse, your child LEARNS how to party, drink, do drugs and have promiscuous sex.

Young kids need to start working in the adult world right away, that way they will have more time to save money for their future (at least an extra 10 years), and they will mature much faster. They can do it, and they have done so in the past, such as, little 15 year old boys in the 1800's knowing how to shoot guns, hunt, and help his dad build a log cabin. This is why back then people had 13+ kids; it was because children were HELPFUL being that they matured quickly and were able to make themselves useful!
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:24 PM
 
Location: California
37,043 posts, read 41,975,975 times
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I was talking about this with my brother yesterday. We realized that when we were young adults we got jobs we could stay with for years with benefits and never did have to worry about work or money unless we did something stupid or got in over our heads financially. My kids either can't find jobs that pay them enough to live on their own or they are moving around a lot to be where the work is temporarily. We were able to plug into the system early and then we moved on to other things...like marriage and kids and basically doing grown up stuff. That may not be the complete reason but I think it's a big part of it.
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