Age Limits and Adulthood

Mar 8, 2018

So many issues in the news today center on the question of what age counts as an “adult,” from purchasing a gun to smoking to voting. We explore what factors lead to determining that a young person is an “adult,” including brain development, legal precedents and social mores.


  • R. Bruce Thompson, associate professor of psychology, University of Southern Maine
  • Dr. Jonathan Fanburg, pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine at Maine Medical Center
  • Dr. Robyn Ostrander, interim chief, Department of Psychiatry, Maine Medical Center; medical director, Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Maine Medical Center