Adolescence starts earlier in modern generations than previous ones lasting twice as long as it did in the 1950s. So children are hitting puberty earlier than ever before said Psychology professor Laurence Steinberg who explained why to Brainwaves. Adolescence is a period of life between starting puberty and becoming stable, independent adults. This time is being extended because some children begin puberty earlier.
Adolescence is three times as long as it was in the 19th Century and it’s twice as long as in the 1950s.Professor Laurence Steinberg
According to Professor Steinberg, in the western world adolescence runs from age 10 or to about age 25. Professor Steinberg attributed this phenomenon of lengthening of adolescence to several surprising factors as follows:
Obesity & Man-made Chemicals
The first and most important is obesity. The kids who are fatter go through puberty earlier than the leaner kids he said. Man-Made Chemicals. There are other factors as well. One has to do with the exposure of children to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the man-made environment. The chemicals are not just in food, they’re in cosmetics, they’re in plastics, they’re in pesticides they’re ubiquitous.” “When people are exposed to these endocrine disrupters it alters their hormonal development and many chemicals lead to earlier onset puberty mostly in girls.”
More SunLight exposure
The third factor that’s been discovered fairly recently has to do with exposure to sunlight.” It turns out that kids who grow up near the equator go through puberty earlier than kids who grow up near the north or south pole and that’s because, when you grow up near the equator, you have more exposure to sunlight over the course of childhood years.” While it may not be of too much concern to parents in northern Europe, recent research suggests a final factor which applies to many children here.
“Scientists discovered recently the light emanating from tablets or smartphones or computer screens can affect onset of puberty by disrupting brain’s melatonin system. Kids who spend more and more time in front of these screens especially in front of the blue light emitted by the devices probably contributed to earlier puberty as well. Light from the phones impacts brains of kids and adults.“
Brainwaves of the adolescent brain as Pennie Latin examines is relatively a young field of teenage neurology. It has revealed lack of frontal cortex ability to understand risk and consequences. And so although adolescent children may hit puberty earlier, they may not be able to handle the harsh realities of the trauma of war years, distress, rations, famine, lack of tough physical life forced upon previous generations. They worked in factories, chimney sweepers, railway as tracks as children making them more mature. They develop faster on growth spurt but face challenges of the modern generation.