Will Teenagers Disappear?

As kids grow up ever faster, that carefree age known as adolescence may soon be a memory

Of all the great postwar inventions--television, rock 'n' roll, the Internet--the greatest and most influential is, perhaps, the American teenager. Think about it. While the country has always had adolescents (human beings between the ages of 12 and 18, that is), it was only in the past 50 or 60 years that it had tens of millions of semi-grownups living in a developmental buffer zone somewhere between childish innocence and adult experience.

This teenage culture of pop songs, cars and acne ointments, of proms, allowances and slumber parties is still unknown in less developed countries. And until the reform of child-labor...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!