Today's teens are immature compared to the 70s

70s youth
Remember what you got up to in your youth? Source: Flickr / US National Archives

We’ve all thought it at some point; how today’s youth have it so easy.

It turns out, we were right. A survey by researchers at San Diego State University and Bryn Mawr College has revealed that teens in the US are growing up a lot slower than those in the 1970s. The study even went as far as saying 18-year-olds of today are what 15-year-olds used to be back then.

So what exactly does that mean? A lot, according to the research.

Results have shown that current teens are less likely to pay their own way, drive, date, drink alcohol, go out without their parents, and have sex than adolescents in previous decades. The author have said the only thing they are doing more of is spending time online. Of course.

So what is causing this to happen? You might think it’s because of over-protective parents or students spending more time doing things like homework and study when in the past they might have already left school. However the trend toward engaging in fewer adult activities could not be explained by time spent on homework or extracurricular activities, the researchers said, because time doing those activities decreased among eighth and tenth graders and was steady among twelfth graders and college students.

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Heejung Park, assistant professor of psychology at Bryn Mawr College, who coauthored the study, said the results were neither good or bad, they were just showing the new trends that reflected the current climate. 

“Our study suggests that teens today are taking longer to embrace both adult responsibilities (such as driving and working) and adult pleasures (such as sex and alcohol),” Heejung Park said. 

In context, other traditional milestones are also occurring later in life. Things like marriage, having children and even finishing studies to start a career.

Have you noticed this trend in your own family?