Coming of age: Is it a difficult time for some young people?

Traditionally and legally, adulthood is considered to occur at the age of 18, when one acquires the right to vote and becomes a full citizen. It is also a period, which can extend into the mid-twenties, when responsibilities increase in number and importance.

The transition to adulthood: A period of decisive change

The period between the ages of 18 and 25, which is associated with the transition to adulthood (which follows childhood and adolescence) is a time of great change. It is generally the time when people leave home, pursue post-secondary education, sometimes in a different city from where they grew up, and/or officially enter the labour market. For some, this is also the time of their first serious commitment to love and relationships, which may be accompanied by their first cohabitation with a spouse. These changes, whether alone or in combination, bring with them a number of decisions to be made and new responsibilities. The person must therefore acquire autonomy, which is done more or less easily depending on the case.

Some factors of difficulties in adapting to adult life

Parental overprotection: An overprotected young person has fewer opportunities to make decisions or face adversity (frustrating situations, difficult choices, etc.). A hedonistic lifestyle: Some people place too much emphasis on the notion of pleasure, thereby putting off making important decisions or taking on simple responsibilities.Fear or distaste for taking on responsibilities: It can be attractive to remain in a teenage mindset, a time when there are far fewer decisions to be made. This mindset can even lead to a certain denial of responsibility. A person may experience great difficulties (disorganisation, denial, anxiety, panic attacks, etc.) and not seem to be able to make it through the transition to adulthood in a healthy way.

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