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The trends appear among teens poor and rich; of every ethnic background; in cities, suburbs, and small towns.
Where there are cell towers, there are teens living their lives on their smartphone.
These changes have affected young people in every corner of the nation and in every type of household.
Coupled with longer life expectancies and lower teen birth rates, teens now have the freedom to be younger longer and are choosing to do so, the authors argue.
“The developmental trajectory of adolescence has slowed, with teens growing up more slowly than they used to,” said Jean Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University and the lead author on the study.
Today, the researchers say, 18-year-olds act more like 15-year-olds from previous decades.
That was true across all demographic groups in the study.