Understanding and Supervising Young People at Work
The Australian Government definition of a young person is someone aged from 15-24. (http://deewr.gov.au/youth) The Australian Psychological Society defines a young person as aged between 12 and 26 years of age. (http://www.psychology.org.au/publications/inpsych/youth_mental_health/)
However, developmentally one doesn’t enter youth or exit into adulthood by definition, formula or some ‘scientific’ time scale. In reality (and also defined by some governments), youth can be experienced between the ages of 10 and 35 years of age or more. Due to changes in diet and other societal issues some young girls are now experiencing puberty as young as 8 or 9 years of age. Developmental maturity is not something that works like mathematics or engineering, humans all develop differently. One can easily have a very mature 16 year old on a work team and an immature 35 year old on the same team.
So what are the characteristics of youth and how does this knowledge help us understand and supervise young people to help keep them safe?