- Sikeston singer moves on with 'The Voice' (10/16/17)
- Past Rowdy the Redhawk mascot's identity revealed (10/15/17)
- College algebra to be removed from Southeast required curriculum (10/10/17)1
- Cancer will 'change your life, but it doesn't have to rule it' (10/8/17)
- Police chief, council: Cape Girardeau faces growing gun violence (10/17/17)4
- Developer asks court to OK tax district board for improvements near Hobby Lobby (10/17/17)4
- Bills addressing equal child custody to be filed, legislators say (10/13/17)
- Cape Christian School burglarized (10/18/17)
- The last person to be laid to rest at Old Lorimier Cemetery: Mary Russell Fox (10/17/17)2
- Load shift kills Jackson trucker (10/17/17)
Old enough to know better by 26
The law may imply that you're a grown-up when you're old enough to vote, serve in the military or drink legally. But most Americans really think adulthood begins at age 26, according to a new study from the University of Chicago.
The study said most people don't consider a person grown up until they finish school, get a full-time job and start raising a family.
Tom W. Smith, who authored the study, said Thursday the results are a sign that society has accepted what researchers have long called an "extended adolescence."
Take marriage, for example. In the 1950s, the most common age for brides was 18.
"In 2003, when you hear about an 18-year-old bride, the first thing you say is, 'Boy that's unusual -- and boy, that person should've waited,"' Smith said.
According to those surveyed, the average age someone should marry was 25.7, and the age for having children was 26.2. Most respondents considered parenthood the final milestone needed to reach true adulthood.
The new data is based on findings from the university's 2002 General Social Survey, an ongoing poll of American adults that began in 1972 and which Smith oversees. Nearly 1,400 of those surveyed last year were asked to answer the questions about adulthood.
For categories other than marriage and having children, the average ages were: financially independent, age 20.9; not living with parents, age 21.2; full-time employment, age 21.2; finishing school, age 22.3; and being able to support a family, age 24.5.