When Do You Become an Adult?

There is an array of opinions as to when a person fully matures. Should the legal age of adulthood be lowered or raised? At what age do you think you are grown?

Neuroscientists now know that brain maturation continues far later into development than had been believed previously. Significant changes in brain anatomy and activity are still taking place during young adulthood, especially in prefrontal regions that are important for planning ahead, anticipating the future consequences of one’s decisions, controlling impulses, and comparing risk and reward. Indeed, some brain regions and systems do not reach full maturity until the early or mid-20s. Should this new knowledge prompt us to rethink where we draw legal boundaries between minors and adults?

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Published in Senior Chatters


  1. starlette

    Well Gael, cannot agree with theses scientific reasons……….I think there is no specific age for maturity…………to me that comes with the passing years, life experience…….life’s knocks……….so if part of our brain controls impulses, helps us make decisions, plan ahead and be aware of the consequences……..then why do we still keep cocking up……..why are we not wiser than wise……..nope, all down to the individual, character, personality regardless of age……..can get some really mature young ones……….and some real stupid older ones……..xx

  2. roseinbloom

    Maybe, we are grown up when we realize that we never “grow up”. The brain never solidifies on the best way to live. Our emotions can go haywire and reason can be overruled. Maturity may be an illusion and we learn to dress, sit quietly, and look the part, at least some have. Others have rebelled and gone back to childhood, or maybe, they never left it.

    1. Gael

      Well put, Rose. I often quote a saying “I’ve met old people who are young and young people who are old.”

      It varies so much from individual to individual with some never really growing up, unfortunately.

      For me, I probably got a kick into adulthood when I married young and had a baby. It forced some responsibilities on me pronto. Though to be honest I still was basically a pinhead..haaa.

  3. vonMichael

    I have to agree unconfined with Star. Who will find, who will know the answer. Some of our politicians reduce the right for voting down to the age of 16yrs
    when they are in the need of new electors? Politicians agree to a driving licence for people in the age of 17yrs?

    Sure the young generation of today mature faster than we did. But decision making with egg-shells behind the ears will not work. Neither today nor tomorrow.

    1. Gael

      Certainly the times we live in have influenced maturity levels. I think there can be an illusion, however, of maturity due to the advances made in society, especially the technological ones with young people seemingly so advanced.
      My mother used to say, “you can’t put an old head on young shoulders.”

  4. lani36

    Such an interesting blog and great replies, i read somewhere that any young teen that looses a parent never fully mature, they can remain that age , physcologicaly
    for many years to come, i cant remember where i read it now but it was a noted Physcologist that wrote the article.. perhaps why my decision making processes have not always been sensible i lost both parents before i was 16, and i ask myself, is it the trauma of the Death of parents ,or is it the fact that they are no longer there in one.s life to teach and guide one? similar to Nature or Nurture…..

    1. Gael

      A case of arrested development that might be lani. Probably a combination of the trauma of it and the lack of parental input?

  5. roseinbloom

    Lani, you seem more mature than anyone I know. You have had to deal with death a lot in your life and at early ages. You seem to do what you need to do.

  6. lani36

    Bloom t,y, for your kind words, i think it may be a case of what doesn’t kill you can make one stronger, I feel as though I can achieve anything these days, and have learned to apreciate each day as it arrives,whatever challenges life may throw my way, so the way I look at it is ,for every heartache one faces there is always someone with a bigger hurdle to jump, and by suffering ourselves thereby we are there to serve others and guide them through our experiences.