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Psychologist explains new study showing teenagers are in no rush to grow up

High school students take an exam.
High school students take an exam.

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Rates of teenage drinking, dating and driving have significantly decreased since the 1970s, but not for the reasons you might think.

Some might say that today’s pressures on adolescents are high – the path towards college seems to begin earlier as each year passes. It’s no wonder teenagers don’t have time to party.

But a study from San Diego State University psychology professor Jean Twenge suggests otherwise. Yes, priorities have shifted, but so has the average lifespan. As people live longer, the need to meet the typical markers of adulthood have delayed as well.

Listen in as Larry discusses the study’s findings with Twenge, which are included in the first chapter of her new book, “iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy — and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood.”


Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University and author of “iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy – and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood” (Simon and Schuster, August 2017); she is the lead author of the study “The Decline in Adult Activities Among U.S. Adolescents, 1976-2016