When do you think a person should be considered an adult in American society?

The importance of rites of passage and milestones in the transition into adulthood is discussed on pages 86-88 in your textbook. In your opinion, when do you think a person should be considered an adult in American society? Why? Are there certain milestones or rituals that determine adulthood, or is it a certain age?


Sample Replies

  1. In my opinion it is hard to put an age on when someone were to be labeled an “adult.” I think that maturity plays a major role in when a person makes that transition. I have seen some very mature 16 year olds and I have seen some not so mature 25 year olds. I think a lot has to do with the upbringing. I think that some kids have to take on additional roles in their families that normally would wait until they were 18 like get a job and become financially responsible. There was a finance class that we could take when I went to high school that helped me have an understanding of money and where it goes and I changed my ways quickly when I learned about the amount of money that my parents would spend to play sports and other items such as that. In society today social media is destroying our youth in my opinion. There are more persuasions that come from facebook and tik tok that I would like to see stopped. When you become that “adult” you should be able to make sound judgements on your own and if those judgements prove to be wrong then be ready to accept the consequences that follow. My parents encouraged me to be independent and find my way. They were there to assist along the way, but they allowed me to make decisions. I was able to grow up well and keep a stable job and bank account and was proud of where I was to where I am now. I just don’t think labeling an age is appropriate for when to transition into adulthood.
  2. In my opinion from childhood to adulthood is signified by the age of 18. When one receives the right to enjoy freedom and have responsibility. The U.S. deems 18 as the legal age of an adult. At the age of 18 one can live on their own, vote, join the military or get married.

    According to the chart example given in the ebook, the expected age of 20 only 80.9 % are financially independent from parents/guardians. At the age of 21 only 57.2% are living at a separate residence outside of their parents.

    My opinion on adulthood. Milestones have to be taken order to be considered an adults in my eyes. The court system and the U.S. deems one as an adult because of age, not due to being responsible. ex: Working, living outside of your parents home, purchasing your own necessities, having the ability to feed yourself with out the help of your parents.

  3. oung people in American society should not be considered to be an adult until at least the age of twenty-one years old.  In American society, we should do away with the mainstream, outdated, and obsolete notion that young people are all of a sudden adults at the tender age of eighteen.  This belief that a child officially becomes an adult when they reach the age of 18 is augmented by certain milestones in American society such as graduating from secondary school–receiving a high school diploma, which typically occurs at the age of 18 for most young people.  Graduating from high school is a huge milestone in America; it is a ritual that bridges the gap from childhood to adulthood.  High school graduation is just as significant in American culture as turning “Sweet 16”–the young age at which many Americans first obtain their driver’s license and/or are gifted or purchase their first vehicle.

    Furthermore, according to the U.S. government, a child legally becomes an adult once they reach the age of 18.  At 18, in America, the young adult can vote, start paying taxes, legally purchase cigarettes, and even go off to war.  In terms of the law of the land in America, you are an adult at 18 years-old, and can be sentenced as an adult for committing crimes against society.  Interestingly, although at the age of 18 you can be sent to war by the U.S. government, the government does not consider an 18-year-old mature enough to buy or drink alcohol; you cannot legally buy or drink alcohol in America until the age of 21.

    As previously stated, 21 should be the age when one is considered an adult in American society.  Nowadays, young people are facing tremendous changes in our society, from rising student loan debt, the high cost of higher education, a decline in home ownership, the shrinking of the middle class in America, stagnant job wages, rapid increases in the cost of living, and sadly, now the threat of a deadly virus–Covid-19, spreading rapidly throughout the United States.  It’s all too much for us young people.  We can barely handle it the age of 21, at the age of 18, that’s still a child.

  4. I think that maturity plays a large role into how people are perceived as adults, however I believe that 18 is a valid age to be considered an adult. Typically at this time many people are graduating high school and getting ready to enter college or a work field. I don’t think that it would be possible set adulthood at a certain number of milestones. Everyone develops and experiences things at their own pace so a number for adulthood is the standard. Additionally, I do think that education plays an important role in these factors. I believe that education should teach more realistic classes alongside core subjects. These classes such as home economic classes and honest nonjudgmental sexual education, children will be more prepared to face life’s challenges and adventures.