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date: 21 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Adolescents are developmentally distinct from both children and fully mature adults in ways that are relevant to policymaking. This chapter discusses some of those developmental differences and shows how the decision-making context influences adolescent competence in different settings. Thus, depending on the nature of the decision and the context in which decision-making will occur, policies appropriately extend to adolescents the ability to exercise different rights at different ages. This chapter focuses on three areas of non-criminal regulation of adolescent life: voting, driving, and the purchase/consumption of alcohol.

Keywords: adolescence, driving age, age of consent, human development, autonomy, voting age, underage drinking, cognitive capacities

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