Marking the Beginning of Adulthood

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On yesterday’s show, The Takeaway discussed the supposed problems with kids today. But that begged the question: when, exactly, is a kid no longer a kid? When does childhood end and adulthood begin?

It’s a confusing question. At age 18, an American is old enough to fight, and die, for his or her country, but not old enough to buy a beer. At age 16, one can obtain a driver’s license, but not rent a car. And at age 17, one can get married in some states, but not in others.

Haris Durrani is an engineering student at Columbia University, as well as a research intern at the school’s robotics lab and an editor at Scholastic. He just turned 19 on Monday. But does he consider himself an adult? Dr. Barbara Hofer is a professor at Middlebury College who specializes in educational, developmental, and cultural psychology. She is the author with Abigail Sullivan Moore of "The iConnected Parent: Staying Close to Your Kids in College (and Beyond) While Letting Them Grow Up."