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Age compression was first formulated in the 1990s as a marketing concept targeting children as consumers for products of older age groups. In the educational discourse, age compression is one of the narratives that attribute the disappointment of normality expectations regarding the behavior of children and adolescents to a disintegration of physical, biological, psychological, and social time.

The underlying assumption of a relative coherence of the numeric age of children with the various aspects of their development in the form of age groups is part of everyday communication, underpinned by mainstream developmental psychology and institutionalized by educational policy. Age compression attributes the asserted collapse of formerly seemingly more stable or fixed age groups to societal innovation, especially in the form of new media and new economic ...

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