Is turning 30 the new adulthood?

Is turning 30 the new adulthood?

Mon July 30, 2012 2:03am

"You have to be so unselfish to have children, and we're all too selfish at 21," she said.

"Putting off responsibility, I don't think it's a conscious decision, I think you just have other stuff you want to do."

Lee Cone, 20, added: "By 30, you haven't had your career but you've established it. You have the option now, more of a choice. Back in the day it would have been 'you're 21, you have to do this' but now you have a choice."


The research, inspired by the 7-Up TV series which followed a group of children every seven years into adulthood, was presented yesterday to the Australian Institute of Family Studies conference.

"I think the age marker no longer has some of the relevance it did," Ms Taylor said. "But on the other hand, turning 18 is very important for young people - that is when you can drink or get a driver's licence. Some of the young people indicated turning 21 wasn't as big as turning 18."

Social researcher and psychologist Hugh Mackay said 30 was the new milestone of maturity. He said the generation of "kidadults" spent more time studying, travelling and had more career choices.

"Twenty-one is an excuse for a party," Mr Mackay said. "Young people now approaching 30 regard that as the threshold to adulthood - 30 is the new 21."

"Hallmarks" of maturity were committing "to the idea of a stable relationship, possibly parenthood and some kind of commitment to a career or mortgage but those things now happen typically not in our 20s but our 30s," he said.

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