New research suggests that real adulthood begins around age 25 because neurological changes are still occurring that could be due to delaying big responsibilities like marriage, parenthood and mortgages. Beatriz Luna, a professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, discusses the findings.
So what is happening, neurologically, to delay adulthood now to the mid-20s?
What we’re seeing in the latest findings are two things: number one, the prefrontal cortex, which supports planning, complex cognition and so forth, that’s already there. It’s the limbic system, which supports motivation and reward and enthusiasm and novelty-seeking, which we had thought was peaking during adolescence, that seems to continue to increase its hyperactivity all the way through the beginning of the 20s.