Status of Adulthood

Status of Adulthood

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Status of Adulthood

Generally, the society considers children to be adults at the age of 18 years. However, some parents may treat their children as adults depending on their capability to carry out certain activities and make mature decisions. This may or may not be subject to the legal age of 18 years. Some children may be as young as 15 or 16 years yet their maturity levels are considered to be far more advanced than their older peers (Richards, 2010). The society may also consider children to be adults depending on the cultural or religious inclination. For instance, in the Jewish culture, the age at which boys and girls are considered adults is 12 and 13 years respectively. The status of becoming adults means that they are accountable for their actions in terms of behaviour and community decisions. Prior to that, their parents are responsible for their decisions.

Legally, the “age of majority” is considered the stage at which a child transitions into adulthood. Most countries set this age to be 18 years old. It is at this age that the legal obligations of the parents or guardians are terminated and the individual becomes responsible for their own actions. It is also at this stage that the state allows the adult the right to make certain legal decisions such as the ability to sign legal contracts, consent to sex and marriage, right to vote, purchase of alcohol and emancipation (Waites and Palgrave, 2005). Some states will increase or reduce the age limit of certain activities. For instance, some states give individuals the right to operate a vehicle at the age of 14 and 16 years while most state laws in the United States have increased the age limit of alcohol purchase to 21 years.

 

 

 

 

Reference

Richards, M. (2010). Adolescence — between childhood and adulthood. London: Henry Stewart Talks.

Waites, M., & Palgrave Connect (Online service). (2005). The Age of Consent: Young people, sexuality, and citizenship. Hound mills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

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