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I have three age groups that I want to distinguish in my research project.

They are as follows:

  • 18-45 years - I have called this group young adults
  • 46-65 years - I have called this group adults
  • 66 years and over - I have called this group seniors

Is there a better way (one word) to describe the 18-45 age group? I don't like the term young adults. (Adults and seniors work fine for me!)

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whippersnappers? – cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Mar 8 '12 at 22:32
Any reason why you're not breaking the 18-45 group into, say, 18-30, and 31-45? Just curious... – J.R. Mar 9 '12 at 0:59
I agree with J. R. I would not expect to be included in a young adult group, and I'm 45. I understand that technically it might be correct, but I don't think I have much in common with a 20 year old physically, mentally, etc. – Julia Mar 9 '12 at 1:34
What @Julia said. I'm not quite in OP's "senior" group, but I wouldn't want to be thus labelled in a couple of years time. I think OP would be better advised to simply call them Groups A, B, and C. Whatever - this is hopelessly subjective, and not really a matter of "commonly-recognised English language usage". – FumbleFingers Mar 9 '12 at 2:10
Wow! To still be a young adult at 38 makes me feel all giggly. I'm an adult at this point I think. – Toby Allen Mar 9 '12 at 22:53
up vote 4 down vote accepted

How about just adults? I would recommend a breakdown like this:

  • 18-45 years - adults
  • 46-65 years - middle-aged
  • 66 years and over - seniors
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What about prime adult or early adult? From the Wikipedia entry for 'young adult':

A young/prime adult, according to Erik Erikson's stages of human development, is generally a person between the age of 20 - 40, whereas an adolescent is a person between the age of 13 - 19,1[2] although definitions and opinions vary. The young adult stage in human development precedes middle adulthood. A person in the middle adulthood stage is between the ages of 40 - 65. In maturity, a person is 65 years old or older.

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