Brain maturity not til 25years?

Merry - posted on 02/23/2011 ( 29 moms have responded )




So I guess it's some fact that human brains aren't fully mature until age 25?
Dr Phil said it as fact, and no one seemed to argue it as fact so I'm assuming it proven or something.
Ok, so I'm 22, does that mean I'm not a capable adult yet?
Why can we drive at 16, and at 18 we are deemed 'adults', and then at 21 we can drink...if we aren't even fully matured in the brain til 25.
Did you all who are older then 25 notice some sort of brain capacity at your 25th birthday?
Do you think you were somehow less capable in decisions prior to your 25th birthday?
I know plenty of adults under 25 who sure appear to have great decision making skills and I know many many adults over 25 who make one bad choice after another....

Maybe it's not as proven as they think. Idk kinds pisses me off tho :)


Jackie - posted on 02/23/2011




As with nearly every other body part and system, the brain continues to grow for several years after birth. Scientists have consistently studied brain development to determine the age at which the human brain is fully developed. Unfortunately, there is not one specific age where brain development is fully complete.

At Birth
1. At the time of birth, most of the brain's cells are developed and almost all of the neurons the brain will ever have are present. However, these cells and neurons are not fully connected within the brain and require additional time to form their connections.
Braing Weight
2. By age 2, the child's brain is about 80% of its adult size at approximately 1,120 grams in males. The brain reaches its maximum weight between age 19 and 21 and then begins to gradually lose small amounts of weight after age 50.
Neural Connections
3. By the time a child is 3, the brain has formed nearly 1,000 trillion neural connections, which is about twice as many as the adult brain has. Around the age of 11, the brain will begin to gradually rid itself of unnecessary and inefficient connections.
Brain Development
4. Although the brain reaches its full adult weight by the age of 21, it continues to develop for several years. In fact, a study done by the National Institutes of Health found that the region of brain that inhibits risky behavior does not fully form until age 25. This is the final stage of brain development.
5. It is important to keep in mind that although the brain reaches its final stage of development at age 25, learning continues throughout the life span. The neural connections of the brain continue to form, change and redirect when confronted with new experiences and ideas.

Read more: At What Age Is the Human Brain Fully Developed?


Meghan - posted on 02/23/2011




The studies are that the part of the brain that restrains/asses risky behavior, is not fully developed until the age of 25. Apparently teenage brains have extra synapses in these areas and most of them are useless A lot of the studies also apparently look at environment and parenting and acknowledge that can affect future brain development. That's just paraphrasing out of my psych book.

Charlie - posted on 02/23/2011




I've read a few studies on this that all point to the same conclusion ......your brain isn't fully mature until around 25 years , Fact's don't set out to hurt or offend they are what they are .

I think I made good decisions as an under 25 year old but as a nearly 27 year old I can look back in retrospect and see how much I have matured and grown , If you think your doing a good job now as a 22 year old then don't be offended or pissed off just look forward to what is yet to come .

[deleted account]

I'm less adventurous and don't take as many risks now. Maybe that came with mother-hood though. That happened for me at age 24. I still make very quick decisions though. Once a decision is made, I don't look back. If it was the wrong one, I just accept the consequences and move on. Maybe that's personality, not brain maturity.

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Celeste - posted on 02/28/2011




Laura, don't take offense to that! It doesn't mean that before that you're not a capable adult or that you'll make poor decisions! It just means that our brains still aren't quite developed yet.

I'm 34 and I definitely see a difference around that time. I had been living on my own at since 19, and was more than capable adult, but I've changed quite a bit since then. My thought processes are different, it's just "different".

Tah - posted on 02/26/2011




25 is about right. We are constantly changing and developing and my maturity and outlook on life was different then at 21. If you aren't that age or haven't been you probably can't imagine it being any different. Heck I have been running my own household since 18 so you couldn't have told me any different, but now at newly 30 I can tell the difference in thought processes etc.

Melinda - posted on 02/26/2011




Looking back from the old age of forty(I never thought I'd reach it) I do realise that by 25 I had reached a point in my life where I thought more about my decisions and their impact on others- I'd had four kids by then, but I feel that we are continually growing and never actually stop learning!

Starr - posted on 02/25/2011




25 is a pretty fair number on brain maturity. Don't ask a 19 yr. old because of course they will disagree ;) I think we are just better at making more sound decisions as we age. Our lifestyles, desires, and responsibilities change. Of course this doesn't mean everyone. Some people are forced to grow up at an earlier age and some people will just never grow up. But for me. I notice a huge difference from even 22 to 25. At 22 I didn't have the responsibility of a husband, children, and home as I had at 25.

Jodi - posted on 02/24/2011




My mum and I discussed this a while back. Many of you know I have an 18 year old step-daughter, and we were discussing some choices she made that I am SURE if she was a little older, she may not have made, but hey, they are her choices.

Anyway, I definitely feel that 25 is about right - and it isn't necessarily something you can put your finger on. When mum and I discussed it, she agreed that with all of us (I am one of 5 kids), it was around 25 that she noticed the difference, and in a lot of ways, that is also the point at which our relationship with our parents changed too. She noticed that we became less dependent on them (even just for little things), our outlook on the little things changed because there was a bigger picture. She did say that I matured younger than my brothers did, but they do also say that girls DO mature physiologically earlier than boys do, so that makes sense. And 25 isn't a magic number, just as with everything else, everyone is different, but it is an average. I totally agree with that. And it isn't a drastic change, it is just that one day you just *realise* it.

I can't see anything to get offended about. I think getting offended over something like that is a bit silly really.

[deleted account]

It isn't about emotional maturity but the physical maturity of the brain. It is the reason why you aren't allowed to rent a car before 25. It is also why car insurance and other types of insurance go down at 25.

It is believed that the part of the brain that controls impulse isn't fully matured until about 25.

Really I don't think that 16 year old should be driving or that 21 year olds should be drinking. I never understood the 18 and being an adult. The only reason the voting age is 18 is because they figured that if you can be drafted you should be able to control who is in the government.

I suppose there has to be an age for everything. I would think that for those who were premies would take longer for their brain to finish developing.

Merry - posted on 02/24/2011




Yeah I do see some brain improvement from 16 til 22, but not anything drastic, I see the most growth in the past two years since Eric was born! I bet it just gets better and better, but I feel like my improvements are just based on my larger knowledge of facts about babies and kids since I started coming to circle of moms and learning so many new things!

April - posted on 02/24/2011




Awww Laura, I am sorry to hear that your mom passed away when you were only 15! She must have been a good Mom because I can see that you are a wonderful person and a good mom yourself!

Minnie - posted on 02/24/2011




Hehehe- me at 20 vs. me at 25 and older...yeah. I'd say the facts fit me at least. :D

And I see it in my siblings as well.

Erin - posted on 02/24/2011




I am almost 30 and I can assure you I was not the grown up I thought I was in my early 20s. I think you know when you're brain is matured if you can accept you actually didn't know it all lol. For me, that happened around 26.

Alexis - posted on 02/24/2011




Well I am 26 and sometimes I still feel like I am a teenager, im not sure when that magical wall will hit me that ushers me into being an adult...LOL. If it is a fact I would say it must be part of the brain that we don't use since I think its less than 10% of our brain that we do use. However this would explain some people I know in their early 20's...LOL

I would say that the capabilities of a person are not based on age but on them personally and society. I say society because at one time you were a functioning adult at 13 and would start working and having families. I wouldnt take it to heart and just know that you are a good person making good choices, and if and when you make a mistake...we all do at all ages...then learn from them, thats what life is all about anyways

Alison - posted on 02/24/2011




Laura, you should not take offense here. Obviously individuals mature at different rates and some people are more generally mature than others. This is about the physiological state of the brain.

can you not accept that you may have better judgement at age 25 than you had at 16???

Merry - posted on 02/24/2011




I totally skipped being an adult :) I went from teen to wife at 18 and then to mom by 19! Well Eric wasn't born til I was 20 but I was pregnant at 19 and very much considered myself a mom immediately. I also am not normal in that I was home schooled so I had just a few friends and never got into any sort of trouble in high school, and I started dating matt when I was 16 and he was my first everything, and I was his first everything as well. I think I grew up alot when my mom died when I was 15 and I started raising my brother, so I guess I'm just not the typical 22 year old now!
(I still look 16 though, I had the receptionist at my drs office ask me where my parents were when I went for a pregnancy check! I said my husband is over there with our son, lol she apologized and admitted she thought I was 16!)
Oh well, I'm sure it will come in handy when I'm 50 and still look 35 or something!

Amber - posted on 02/23/2011




Oh, and I forgot to say that you shouldn't worry about not being deemed a capable adult. As long as you're acting like a capable adult, everybody assumes you're older :-P
People are always surprised to find out I'm only 24, and I'm ok with that.

[deleted account]

I'm 56, so you'd think I'd have a pretty mature brain by now, but boy do I make some weird decisions!

Incidentally, I wouldn't accept ANYTHING Dr Phil said as gospel!

April - posted on 02/23/2011




Laura, I think you are pretty mature for your age! When I was 22, I wasn't thinking about marriage. I've always known I would marry and have children, but those things were on the backburner at 22. I have never been a partier or drinker, but I definitely felt more carefree prior to 25. I took so much for granted.

*side note I read somewhere that teenagers are not being lazy when they sleep until noon or 1 when school isn't in session. It's because their brains are still developing and they actually need more sleep than adults!

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I wonder if it's coincidence or proof that this study has some truth behind it, that most of us "settled down" (either with a SO or kids) at about age 25. Laura, your brain just developed quicker!

Nikki - posted on 02/23/2011




I had a turning point in my life at 25, I don't know if it had anything to do with brain development or the fact that I met my husband and decided to settle down. I certainly look at my life choices before I was 25 and wonder what the hell I was thinking at times, I always put that down to starting a new phase in my life, looking for new outcomes? who knows.

[deleted account]

Amber, that sorta makes sense. When I was first married at age 21, I was like "all we need is love to survive!" I didn't worry about money or spending. Now, I'm Miss Budget and obsessed with getting the best IRA and college savings plan and on and on and on. Yeah, those things seemed insane to even think about a few years ago.

Amber - posted on 02/23/2011




We were talking about this in my Child Psychology class on Monday.
The way that she explained it was that you know what you are able to do and you know what is morally right to do before that.
But in your 20's your brain kind of clicks together and focuses on those two things and you're able to see the big picture of your actions. You're more able to make good decisions and plan for things that will happen in the future.
Plus, your working memory has expanded and you can multi-task better the older you get.

I'm sure it's more complicated than all of that. She was just trying to get us to understand the concepts.

[deleted account]

The studies are interesting and like everything else I'm sure it varies from person to person. Some people are more capable of being mature. I've always been the mature one. I'm almost 26 and I'm sure I will continue to mature and change as the years go by because that's life. My brother, however, is 22 and I don't see a magical transformation happening in the next three years. Although, this could explain why he's extremely immature and has no idea what he wants to do with his life lol. My sister has changed tons in the last few years. She's almost 27. You seem like you're pretty mature so I wouldn't worry :P.

[deleted account]

I certainly make less selfish decisions now than I did when I was a teenager or even in my early twenties. I have matured in that way but as Sara has said maybe that is due to me being a mum and having to consider how my actions affect others, more than age idk.

I would say though that watching my nieces and nephews grow up I can see their level of maturity changing and growing with age (my eldest niece will be 21 in June) so although none of them are over 25 I can see the difference age makes in them by the way they act and the decisions they are making already. So while younger people can make brill decisions they are more likely to make the 'wrong' one.

[deleted account]

I don't know, I'm 30 now, and while there was no "over night" change in me at 25, I can look back at who I was before then and how I processed thoughts and see a major difference in the way I think. I think we all mature a lot more than we think we do during our adult years, but I don't think it stops at 25 either. I do wonder if I'll be completely different from who I am at 30 when I'm 40, because I, and most people I know, are completely different now at 30 than they were at 20. When you're only looking back 4-5years, it's hard to see a difference, but when you look back 10-15 years, it's very obvious.

While I don't think the study implies that people under 25 are incapable of making wise decisions, driving, or other responsibilities, I do think the study holds some merit.

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