Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 1180-1180

Psychological Age

  • Douglas K. SymonsAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Acadia University Email author 


Age-equivalent; Age-related attitudes; Developmental Age; Maturity


Psychological age refers to the subjective age-equivalent of a person or how old one feels.


Psychological age is how old one feels, acts, and behaves, and is thus not necessarily equal to chronological age, which is age since birth [1]. A person can therefore have a psychological age that exceeds their chronological age if they are mature or at least feel older than they really are. For example, this may be common in adolescence when young teens that feel older than they really are engage in behaviors typical of late teens and early adults. There is some indication that social maturity and achievement motivation in teens which could be associated with an advanced psychological age, for example, is associated with a parenting environment that is authoritative, emotionally warm, democratic, and firm. On the negative side, teens feeling older than they are may g ...

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