Adolescents may be older than we think: Today 25 is the new 18, or Is It?

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There is a marked dearth of research on the lived experience of adolescents with celiac disease in the United States in the current literature. A vulnerable population, adolescents with celiac disease can get lost in the gap between healthcare research and practice related to treatment regimens, health teaching and health counseling. The period of adolescence is triphasic and a time of rapid physical growth and development. It includes developmental tasks of identity formation, the separation from authority as a means of independence and seeking conformity with peers. Varying age range brackets for adolescents were identified through a review of the current literature of adolescents with celiac disease. The lack of universality in age bracketing prompted the question, "What is the age range for the period of adolescence?" Current literature surveyed from the United States and Great Britain state that 25 is the new 18. Social and cultural factors and neuroscience research support that adolescents may be older than we think. In the United States there are more than 80 million Millenials also known as Generation Y, born between 1980 and 1995, that fall within this expanded stage of "emerging adulthood." The general consensus across disciplines remains undecided in benchmarking an expanded age bracket for adolescence. Further discourse and research is warranted to determine a universal age standard for the period of adolescence, as it relates to the research of Millenial/Generation Y adolescents with celiac disease.

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International Journal of Celiac Disease

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