Adult Meanings

Adult is an adjective that comes from the Latin word adultus. The concept allows to qualify the one or that which has reached its full development.

For example: “When you are an adult, you will make your own decisions: now you are a child and you must obey me because I am your father”, “On the right, you can see an adult specimen of a leopard”, “A century after our independence, we are a adult and mature country ”.

Children need the presence of an adult for their development, at least within a normal social framework, where the activities and knowledge necessary for subsistence are in the hands of the elderly. In addition to learning to speak, read and write, they should receive examples of interpersonal relationships, indispensable for when the time comes to go out into the outside world and deal with other people.

For biology, an organism reaches adulthood when it can reproduce. In the case of the human being, the notion is also linked to various legal and cultural issues, transcending the aspect related to physiology and reproductive capacity.

The first stage of human life is childhood, then adolescence comes and finally the individual becomes an adult, when his physical development has already been completed, at which point he can make greater use of his faculties. Adulthood, in turn, it can be divided into several stages, as early adulthood, the middle adulthood and late adulthood and old age.

At the legal level, it is common for a person to be considered to be an adult from the age of 18 or 21, according to the legal system. It is believed that, from a certain age, the subject already has the physical and psychological maturity necessary to make their own decisions consciously and assuming the consequences of their actions.

An adult, in general, must engage in some work or productive activity to obtain the resources that allow him to subsist and support his children. This is why early and middle adults constitute the active economic group of a society: children and adolescents must attend school, while older adults are already retired.

It should be noted that this is not always true, especially in the current era, characterized by having broken with many of the structures and precepts that were valid in the past. One of the points that is less and less common is fatherhood: although there are many traditionalists, who believe in the basic family model, and are born prepared to marry and procreate, there are also those who choose to find their own way through the professional and personal development, without the need for a partner.

On the other hand, adulthood is not something that can be defined in the same way for all cases, since it is not a concept necessarily linked to the physical maturity or age of an individual, as can be seen in many artists and free-spirited people who continue to enjoy life as if they were children. This does not mean that they are adults before the law, but from a social point of view they are closer to childhood.

Becoming an adult seems a natural matter, but there are those who assure that it is possible to voluntarily refuse to take that step, and prefer to keep the inner child alive so as not to lose that intensity typical of the first years. While some people never question mandates and passively allow their surroundings to transform them into husbands, fathers, and grandparents, others discover in time that there are infinite possibilities.